What happened to Jack at the end of The Jacket
Country: USA, Germany
Genre: Thriller, Fantasy, Drama, Detective
Year of production: 2004
Directed by: John Maybury
Actors: Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson
At first glance, “The Jacket” is a gloomy and paranoid example of a scenario alignment. But it’s not. This is a dark, chamber, but at the same time very emotional tape.
The meaning of the film “The Jacket” (The Jacket) lies in the fact that even in the most hopeless situation, a person is able to change the future – his own and those who are not indifferent to him.
There is no hidden meaning in the picture, but this does not make it less interesting and deep.
What is the movie about
Brief description of the content of the film “Jacket”. The plot of the picture is based on Jack London’s novel “Wanderer in the Stars, or Straitjacket”.
The protagonist of the picture, a young man named Jack, is a typical “humiliated and insulted”. The guy is a former soldier. In Iraq, he went through all the circles of hell, and, due to his own naive good nature, was seriously wounded in the head by an Iraqi boy.
Adrien Brody as ex-military Jack Starks. Frame from the film.
After a difficult rehabilitation, Jack set off on a lonely voyage through a world that suddenly became completely different. The injury did not pass without a trace and provoked the development of partial amnesia: the main character suffers from memory lapses.
One day, walking along a winter road, he noticed a broken car parked on the side of the road. At the car, he saw a little girl and her mother, who was high.
Jack fixed the car and gave the girl his dog tags. After that, the mother took the girl away, not only without thanking Jack, but also attacking him with abuse. But the girl remembered him.
Going further along the same road, the main character hitched a ride. This event became fatal: Jack became an unwitting witness to the murder of a policeman and almost died himself. The perpetrator of the crime, a man named Craig, escaped by planting a gun on him. Jack was charged with the murder. At that moment, he had another attack of amnesia, and he was sent to a psychiatric hospital called “Alpine Grove”. In the same hospital there was a boy named Babak, who looked suspiciously like the Iraqi boy who had wounded Jack in the head in the war.
Further, the content of the picture, which used to look like an ordinary drama, becomes more and more gloomy and frightening. The head physician of the hospital, Becker, decided to apply an experimental method of treatment to the protagonist. To do this, Jack was put on a straitjacket, which is called a jacket in the common language, and placed for several hours in a narrow box, similar to those in which bodies are kept in a mortuary.
Frame from the film.
It was here that Jack had fantastic abilities: in an amazing way, he learned to move into the future. The whole journey lasted as long as he was in the box.
The point of all these movements is that the box gives Jack a second chance. Traveling to the future, the protagonist of the film “The Jacket” moves from 1992 to 2007 and meets Jackie – the very little girl from the snowy road. Then he learned that he had only four days left to live in the past. Having come to terms with this, he unexpectedly found love in the face of Jackie.
On December 26, 1992, he came out of his trance and provoked Becker into falling into the box again: he wanted to know what he would die of in four days. In the future, together with Jackie, he went to the Alpine Grove and found out that he died from a blow to the head.
Throughout the film, diving from the past into the future, Jack obtains important information and uses it for good: he helps several patients of the clinic, including Babak and young Jackie, convincing her mother to lead a healthy lifestyle.
At the end of the film, Jack hits his head and ends up in the future with Jackie. Next we see a white light and the doctor’s voice asking, “How much time do we have?” The white light is the light of the lamp, and the explanation for its appearance is simple and logical: Jack is dead.
The meaning of the ending of the movie “The Jacket” is that you can not move into the future without dying in the past.
Considering all the events in the film “The Jacket”, one can deduce the following explanation for the ending: the only way to change the future is by changing the present. If you strive for the best, you can “program” good changes in the future.
The meaning of the film
The main idea of the film “Jacket” is the theme of mercy, compassion and selfless kindness.
Jack went through hell in the war, but at the same time he remained a man – a simple and kind guy, the meaning of whose actions was to somehow improve the world around him.
The meaning of the picture lies in the fact that the main, powerful motivator for a person is love: for the homeland, for loved ones, or for people in general.
When did Jack die?
The ending of the film seems unambiguous and does not raise questions. But the audience in their analysis and reviews give other interpretations of the events of the film “The Jacket” and the finale in particular.
Jack’s real death could not have come in the war, but after his return, during an incident on the road. The killer, before throwing the gun, called Jack and, seeing that he was not moving, stated: “Lean back!”. It could be assumed that the hero simply passed out from the sound of the shot, but he could actually be dead (or close to that).
Frame from the film.
There are minor inconsistencies with the age of the hero. Jack said he was 27 years old when he died the first time.
The protagonist of the film “The Jacket” was born on December 25, 1964. So, he turned 27 only on December 25, 1991. It can, of course, be assumed that the military operation in which the hero was wounded took place in one of the last seven days of 1991, but then 12 months simply would not have passed between demobilization and return to America – the viewer is deliberately pointed out at this moment.
According to the events of the picture, on December 25, 1992, Jack “hit” the “Alpine Rose”. This means that the events on the road happened before that. Thus, at the time of his injury in the Gulf, he was only 26 years old.
This may mean that when talking about the “first death”, the hero means some other death, for example, during an accident on the road when he was 27 years old.
The clue here lies in the fact that after being wounded in the head, Jack is in a coma and all the events in the film are his virtual travels. And his actual death, along with the virtual one, occurs a year after the injury.
This happens after the hero’s second stay in the box, when the viewer sees Babak for the first time, and the doctor pronounces the word “jacket”. “Jacket” is an anagram of Jackie’s name, and even if the straitjacket actually existed, the unconscious hero already assigns the name to it. At the same time, precise chronological landmarks are included in the narrative, both in the “future” and in the “present”. Prior to this, the hero exists, as it were, outside of time, and only the first hit “into the future” clearly sets the period of time in which the main action takes place.
In the film, an Iraqi boy with a gun “turns” into Babak, who is being treated for epilepsy. To create the clinic and its inhabitants, Jack’s brain could use memories of a military hospital, its staff and patients. The image of the “jacket” arose in his imagination on the principle of consonance with the name of the girl (Freud called this trick of the subconscious “a visual image of the word”).
Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley starring. Frame from the film.
It turns out that the hero of the film “Jacket” died three times: in the Gulf (clinical death), a real death on the road and an imaginary death in the “Alpine Grove”.
Thus, there is no “happy ending” in the film. The hero never got into a psychiatric hospital and did not travel in time. All events, starting with the trial, are generated by his fading consciousness and are organized around one central aspiration – an ardent desire to help this little girl, doomed to repeat the bleak fate of her drug addict mother.