Meaning of The Neon Demon & Plot Summary

Today’s article is dedicated to explaining the film The Neon Demon directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. You are probably interested in the meaning of the film Neon Demon and its ending, but first things first.

The film The Neon Demon appeared in 2016 and almost immediately attracted the attention of both famous film critics and ordinary viewers. The film belongs to the art house genre, and such films always cause a lot of discussion. After all, everyone strives to interpret such films in their own way: someone sees interesting messages in the art house and admires the creator, someone thinks that films of this genre are too pretentious, and they either have too little meaning, and the idea is not impressive, or the presence of such things as meaning and idea is completely denied by the audience. This time we will analyze the picture a little more in order to understand what the meaning of the film The Neon Demon is, perhaps this analysis will help someone find meaning where they did not see it, and someone just make sure their reasoning is correct.

The plot and meaning of the film The Neon Demon

Jessie, a young girl, comes to the big city of Los Angeles to get a job at a modeling agency. She tells the assistant that her parents died, but it is worth noting that she does not tell the director of the agency when processing documents and, moreover, forges the signatures of her parents. It is not known what actually happened to Jessie’s family, but it’s likely that it’s nothing terrible, it’s just that the girl ran away from her parents. The girl is very shy and cannot at first understand why others are so delighted when they see her, but at the first fashion show she accepts her beauty. It becomes her property.

If earlier her appearance was praised and admired by only a few characters herself, then at the show she saw the delight of the whole crowd. Immediately after the show, we see the scene where Jessie kisses her own reflection, this is a turning point in the girl’s life – she realizes that she is beautiful. If until this moment the girl’s innocence was presented as something sweet, she herself was not aware of the fact that she was so beautiful, then after the show she began to realize her strengths.

Admiration from various characters often develops into a desire to physically possess the girl, but it is not by chance that the director notes several times during the film that Jessie is innocent. After accepting her extraordinary appearance as a real gift, the girl does not want to have sexual contacts, not because it is too early, or she is scared, but because she does not consider anyone worthy of her.

It is worth remembering a few scenes from the movie. For example, the one in which the owner of a modeling agency looks at the girl with admiration and declares that she is beautiful. With these words, she seems to give the go-ahead, pave the way for Jesse to the heights, which many other girls should not even dream of. Then let’s remember the scene of the girl’s photo shoot with the famous photographer in the world, he sympathizes with the young model so much that while working with her, during the filming, he does not want to share her with anyone, he even asks the make-up artist Ruby to leave the studio. Jack is left alone with the model in order to fully realize and feel the extraordinary beauty, almost unreal, in an intimate setting. And finally, the conversation between Jessie, Ruby and Ruby’s two friends Gigi and Sarah.

The two girls have been in the modeling business for a long time, but they have not seen the heights that the main character has already reached, and they are unlikely to have the opportunity to repeat her path. Their indignation and surprise is understandable, but in response to these words, Ruby only replies that there is “something special” in the girl. Probably, it is this “something special” that distinguishes Jesse, it is not just talent or good looks, it is something that cannot be learned and cannot even be realized. It’s just there in her, and other people are drawn to it. All these scenes, which took place even before the girl realized herself, show the heroine through the eyes of other people. After all, the film is not about the appearance of the actress that the director chose to play the lead role. Of course, El Faning is a very beautiful girl, which has been noted more than once, but there are those who do not consider her the standard of beauty. A film about the concept of beauty in general. All these characters reveal the beautiful, convince the viewer of Jesse’s real extraordinaryness.

At the show, the girl first sees blue triangles of neon stripes around, gradually she allows them to fill her mind, it resembles immersion in water, which is symbolized by the color scheme of the moment, and emerges already surrounded by red triangles. So she swims across this river and becomes a different person. Answering the question of what the film The Neon Demon is worth mentioning is the scene that follows just after the fashion show, where Jesse and a young man find themselves in a cafe and hear a conversation about beauty.

A fashion designer, a man who has seen many beautiful people in his life, with impeccable taste, thanks to which he became famous, believes that it is external beauty that is important, it is much more important than the outside world. This is the same eternal question that humanity has been discussing for a long time – the creator does not give an answer to this question in his film, offering to comprehend the viewer himself. However, it is likely that the viewer will be able to come to an answer by realizing the meaning of the film’s ending.

Meaning of the Neon Demon movie ending

Let’s talk about how the picture ended. Sarah, Ruby and Gigi kill the beautiful Jessie and eat her. What for? Probably, not only in order to destroy the traces of the crime, they want to place this “something special” in themselves in the truest sense of the word. But Ruby dies the next day, releasing everything special in the form of an incomprehensible puddle, and Gigi starts to feel sick right at the casting, and she tries to remove the contents from her stomach.

Only Sarah was ready to accept this ingredient. She acquires a new glow, she is immediately noticed at the casting, although they did not pay any attention before, this girl makes the necessary sacrifice and becomes the carrier of “something special”. This is the meaning of the film’s ending – in order to stand out from the crowd and succeed in life, you must be ready to sacrifice yourself and go to absolutely everything.

That’s the whole point of the film The Neon Demon – this is a philosophical picture about love, or rather, about its meaning for people in the modern world. It does not turn out that there was a substitution of concepts, and now only beauty rules the world?

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