Source Code Review: What Does the Ending of Mean?

Parallel universes and personal choice in Source Code (2011): the meaning and explanation of the ending, the plot of the film.

Genre: fantasy, action, thriller, drama

Year of production: 2011

Directed by: Duncan Jones

Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

Slogan: “Make every second count”

The painting by Duncan Jones can probably be attributed to science fiction sentimental fiction. This is due to the fact that the meaning of the film Source Code is not only and not so much about time travel, altered reality and the “butterfly effect”. To a greater extent, the tape tells about the struggle with the “wrong self” and about love. To life and to people.

What is the movie about

A brief description of the content of the film “Source Code”.

Captain Colter Stevens suddenly wakes up in a train car and cannot understand what is happening. A girl named Christina sitting across from him calls him Sean for some reason. Stevens, politely answering the girl that she made a mistake, goes to the restroom and, to his horror, sees in the mirror not himself, but another person completely unfamiliar to him.

Jake GyllenhaalThe role of Colter Stevens was played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Frame from the film.

Pulling out his wallet, Colter sees a photograph of the man who works as a history teacher. He again tries to explain himself to Christina, but just a few seconds later there is an explosion and all the passengers die.

Stevens suddenly wakes up inside the capsule, where he is greeted through a computer screen by a woman in military uniform – Captain Colin Goodwin. Colter cannot understand how he ended up inside the capsule – after all, only yesterday he and his detachment were in Afghanistan. Captain Goodwin explains to the young man that he is inside the source code – a program that allows you to move into the body of a person in the last 8 minutes of his life. Earlier that day, a bomb exploded, destroying the train. Stevens’ mission is to find this bomb and find out who created it. Otherwise, another bomb, this time a dirty one, will go off in Chicago.

Colter goes back to the train and finds a bomb in the vent above the restroom, which is activated by a signal from a mobile phone. It explodes and Stevens returns to his capsule. He tells Captain Goodwin that he did not find the terrorist, but he saved the girl Christina in the process.

She, like the creator of Source Code, Dr. Rutledge, says that everything that happens to him is just an imitation. More precisely, the transfer of consciousness to residual memory, but only in a parallel reality. The fact is that there was an explosion on the train that was going to Chicago, and Sean was among the dead. It so happened that the history teacher and Captain Stevens were compatible for the transfer of consciousness.

Colter is again redirected to the train and there he meets a suspicious person. He has very little time – only 8 minutes – and he pounces on a hypothetical terrorist with his fists. At this time, the train explodes again, and the captain again finds himself in a capsule. There, by chance, he sees a patch on Goodwin’s clothes and remembers it. Back on the train, he sketches it from memory.

Michelle MonaghanMichelle Monaghan as Christina Warren. Frame from the film.

Searching for a terrorist, Colter communicates with Christina, who sees Sean in him. Seeing a drawing with a military patch, the girl is interested in whether he served. To this, “Sean” replies that his friend Colter Stevens served. After some time, Christina informs him that Colter Stevens died in Afghanistan while on a combat mission …

Once again in the capsule, he asks Goodwin if he is dead. She replies that it does not matter: the main thing is to find the bomber. Stevens strongly dislikes this and insistently asks for an answer. He is told that part of his brain is still working, but everything else is no longer. The capsule and everything it sees inside is the brain’s way of somehow organizing everything. The captain’s body is still alive because it’s in a lab.

Colter decides that enough is enough: he does not want to constantly die instead of Sean. Rutledge gets in touch again and promises to disconnect him from the device if only he completes the task.

Time after time he is sent to the train, but this does not bring results. In the end, Colter goes to another suspect and soon becomes convinced that he really was preparing a terrorist attack. Unfortunately, Stevens fails to detain the terrorist – Christina distracts him inappropriately. Taking advantage of the hitch, he kills them both and hides. The train explodes again.

Toward the end, once again in the capsule, the captain tells who the bomber is. According to the terms of the contract, Colter must now be allowed to die. But he asks to be moved for the last time so that he can save all these people. Rutledge vs. Stevens fulfilled his contract and is no longer needed. Soon the offender is detained in real time.

Coulter, seeing that Goodwin is more loyal and empathetic towards him, tries to persuade her. And the woman, understanding what’s the matter, agrees …

Source Code Ending explanation

Explanation of the ending of the movie “Source Code”. Once again on the train, “Sean” invites Christina on a date. He then defuses the bomb.

In real time, Rutledge demands that Stevens’ memory be erased so that he can continue to use him in the system. Goodwin disagrees – she reminds the scientist of the terms of the contract. He, retorting that they are dealing with a unique case, insists on his own.

Meanwhile, Stevens detains the bomber and, taking advantage of the moment, calls his father and, on behalf of his comrade, says goodbye to him. And Goodwin, having penetrated into the capsule in which the disfigured body of Colter lies, disconnects him from the device. Time stops, but then continues its course. The captain realizes that he remained alive in Sean’s body.

That same morning, Goodwin receives an SMS from him with the text that the program is working and thanks to it they can save many lives. The woman realizes with amazement that this SMS came from a parallel universe. That is, the meaning of the ending of the film “Source Code” is that Colter changed the future, being in the past, in which the program had not yet been used. As a result, a different reality was created.

But not all viewers think that everything is really so rosy. In their analysis, the opponents of the happy ending offer a different interpretation. They believe that everything that happened to Colter after the shutdown of the system is not real. He did not change the future, but is still in the program, in a non-existent alternate universe.

Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey WrightVera Farmiga as Colin Goodwin, Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Routledge. Frame from the film.

The meaning of the film Source Code

The idea of ​​time travel is far from new, but in Source Code it looks very original. The meaning is in priorities: the whole focus in this picture turns from the technical side of the matter, but to the inner world of a person. In some ways, the plot of “Source Code” resembles “Groundhog Day“, but the essence of the film is completely different.

In this case, the hero knows exactly what he must do to stop the endless returns – to find the one who blew up the train. But the question “How to live further?” remains open. And is a future life even possible?

Oddly enough, but “Source Code” is a fairly simple picture without any hidden meaning and riddles, suggesting several clues at once. Important aspects of the bioethics of law are brought to the fore here. For the safety of society, the all-powerful scientist over and over again forces the remnants of the protagonist’s mind to experience death. Taking advantage of the fact that the main character is a military man, they try to squeeze the maximum benefit out of him, without even thinking about the ongoing personal tragedy.

Yes, first of all, this fantastic tape tells the story of an ordinary person who managed to change the world – a person who has known the essence of the beauty of every moment, even seemingly insignificant.

The film also raises other important issues. For example, it is clear that a secret office in which such serious innovative tests are carried out is a priori determined to become a money-making machine. At the same time, it demonstrates where we should all move and who we should be. Or not be.

It can also be assumed that “Source Code” is a story about parallel universes, of which there are probably (according to the authors’ idea) a great many. However, in the foreground is still the humanistic sound of the picture. It raises the question of a person’s choice – a choice that probably doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t change anything at all. However, that doesn’t make it any less valuable.

Michael Arden, Jake GyllenhaalMichael Arden as Derek Frost, Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter. Frame from the film.

Similar films

Here are a few pictures that are similar in meaning to “Source Code”:

  • “Deja Vu” (USA, 2006). Doug Carlin is a special agent. Given the opportunity to travel back in time, he meets a woman he must eliminate. But he falls in love with her…
  • “The Butterfly Effect” (USA, Canada, 2003). Young Evan has the ability to change the future. Soon he will have to make an important choice.
  • “Edge of Tomorrow” (USA, Canada, 2014). Major William Cage, trying to repel the onslaught of aliens, dies in battle and somehow finds himself in a time loop.
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