Dead Man Ending Explained & Film Analysis

Dead Man (1995) is an unusual American film of the second half of the 90s, directed by Jim Jarmusch. The genre of the film is quite complex, it combines western and mysticism. The film is saturated with the philosophy of Native Americans.

The plot of the movie

Viewers find themselves in the second half of the 19th century in the Wild West. The protagonist is a young and not very successful accountant William Blake. Suddenly, a man sits next to him, who predicts his imminent death in the West. And the hero goes there, because he found a job at a metallurgical plant.

Soon the hero arrives in the city he needs, where he is strikingly different from the locals. All his plans collapse when the young man finds out that the place at the plant is already taken. Realizing his desperate situation, Blake goes to a bar. There he meets a girl selling paper flowers. Their evening ends in her bed. But suddenly the son of the owner of the plant appears, who was once the girl’s fiancé. In a fit of jealousy, he kills a flower seller and hits our main character in the chest. William thinks quickly and shoots him, accidentally killing him. Thus, the young accountant is blamed for the murder of two at once, and in addition – the hunt for three killers of the plant director.

William is running. In the forest, his wounded man is found by a native Indian named Nobody. Having learned the name of the rescued, the man takes William Blake for a long-dead poet, a “dead man”. The Indian decides to help the young man go to the “spirit world”. No one tells the hero the long story of his life, in particular about how he became an outcast.

Together, two loners go on a journey. Various characters come across them on the way, and they all die at the hands of Blake. Oddly enough, but the mercenaries of the plant director are powerless in front of the accountant. Viewers can easily follow the path of the main character’s changes, and how circumstances affect him. He quickly learns to connect with the wild and can soon understand visions.

Soon Blake is wounded again. Together with Nobody, he gets on the boat. The men end up in an abandoned Indian settlement, where its leader helps the Indian send the young man on his last journey. And Nobody himself and Blake’s last pursuer die in a deadly battle.

The meaning of the film

To be able to understand the meaning of the picture, it must be reviewed more than once.

The first thing that can be understood after such a viewing is that the hero is hinted many times that he is already dead and simply takes someone’s place. According to the first scene in the settlement in the wild west, it is already clear that no one is waiting for him, and the young man himself climbs where they are not asked – the position of an accountant, which is already taken, the position of a flower girl’s lover. Yes, and note that everyone who surrounds the hero is gradually dying. After all, the whole point of the hero’s path is simple – to get rid of everything that can delay him in this world. Let us also recall that the hero begins to see spirits that treat him well. This is because Blake is part of their world. All those who would like to receive a reward for his head also perish. No wonder the hero gets the fame of a ruthless killer, who is patronized by spirits.

Nobody is just a casual acquaintance of Blake. It appears exactly after the “first victims” appear on the hero’s account. The Indian is none other than the conductor of his soul. Apparently, the purpose of Nobody is to lead William to the other world, because immediately after the accomplishment of this deed, he dies.

Let’s figure out why William Blake interfered so much with others, “took other people’s places.” First, a seat on the train. Why would a “dead man” go somewhere, achieve something? His companion says that death awaits him. When the hero gets off the train, we begin to understand more and more clearly that this soul is simply attached to the world of the living. Nothing shines for him, everyone avoids him, he is an outcast.

The second place is the bed of the flower seller. Then the higher powers make him understand that his presence in the world of the living can bring trouble to everyone, including the people dearest to him. Not understanding his position, the hero continues to hold on to life. Then the higher powers again remind him that he is not in his place. Now everyone who at least somehow intersects with the hero is doomed to death. The hero gets a taste and now accepts “victims” more indifferently.

Particular attention should be paid to the scene where Blake finds a dead deer. The deer is a young life that was interrupted unexpectedly, did not have time to live as long as the spirits took away. So our hero is a child who simply did not understand when he managed to grow up. He does not understand what life wants from him. But he is already in danger at every step, and death will soon overtake him.

The director is trying to show us that the worst thing is a soul that is not ready to come to terms with its end. And the last scene puts an end to the story: neither the guide nor the killer is needed if the obviously dead person is dead.

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