Who are these The Others (2001)?: Analysis of the thriller with Nicole Kidman. Plot Summary, Meaning Of The Film With Nicole Kidman, Explanation Of The Ending, Similar Films.
Country: Spain, USA, France, Italy
Genre: horror, thriller, detective
Year of production: 2001
Directed by: Alejandro Amenabar
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Finola Flanagan, Alakina Mann, James Bentley
tagline: “Sooner or later they’ll find you”
Awards and nominations: In 2001 the film was nominated for the Golden Lion.
The plot and meaning of the film “The Others” with Nicole Kidman is unique and differs in many ways from films similar in genre. Its construction is so subtle and elegant that the ending not only turns everything upside down, but also makes the viewer look at the story told in the film from a different angle.
What is the movie about
Brief description of the content of the film “The Others” with Nicole Kidman. 1945, Channel Islands, Jersey. A young woman named Grace Stuart lives with her children, son Nicholas and daughter Ann, in a huge old house. Her beloved husband Charles is fighting somewhere in France, and Grace, who has not received letters from him for a year and a half, considers him dead.
The role of Grace Stewart was played by Nicole Kidman. Frame from the film.
Further, in the plot of the picture, which began as a drama, mystical notes appear. Suddenly, all the servants disappear from the house, and he himself is shrouded in a gloomy thick fog. Instead of the former servants, others appear in the house – the gardener Edmund, the mute maid Lydia and the nanny Bert. According to them, they have worked here before and are ready to help with the housework again with great pleasure.
Grace accepts them and briefly talks about the rules that reign in the house. One of the most important rules sounds like this: no door in the house can be opened until the previous one is locked, and the windows must be curtained with thick curtains. This is necessary because Nicholas and Ann suffer from sunlight intolerance. For the same reason, there is no electricity in the huge, gloomy estate: the room is lit only by candles and kerosene lamps.
Berta, as a new nanny, tries to establish contact with the children and finds out that they are very scared of something. She tries to find out what happened, but the guys are silent.
The heroine Nicole Kidman brings up children on her own. Raised in strict Victorian morality, she is very prim and religious. There is no question of real, living faith – it simply follows the given rules and requires others to do the same.
Children, despite their very young age, do not experience any enthusiasm for soul-saving conversations. Grace tries to strictly suppress “blasphemy”, but one day Annie declares that in addition to them there is another child in the house – a boy named Victor, as well as a certain old woman – a “witch”. Grace soon becomes convinced that there is someone else in the house.
The roles of Anne and Nicholas Stewart were played by Alakina Mann and James Bentley. Frame from the film.
Together with the servant, the heroine Nicole Kidman carefully searches the house and discovers the book of the dead – a photo album containing posthumous photographs. Frightened by what she saw, Grace asks Berta to get rid of him. She soon becomes convinced that the house is haunted.
After going to the local priest to bless the house, the woman begins to wander in thick fog and unexpectedly meets her husband Charles. Delighted by his return, she takes him to the house, but he acts distant and says that he does not plan to stay at home.
Soon Grace, being in a good mood, dresses Ann in a dress for the first communion. Unexpectedly, under the veil, the heroine Nicole Kidman sees not the face of her daughter, but a terrible old woman who, judging by Ann’s descriptions, looked like the “witch” that appeared to her. Frightened, Grace grabs her by the throat and yells at her to “bring her daughter back.”
Having torn off the veil, she is surprised to see the frightened Ann. A little later, her husband tells her that her daughter told him what happened “that day.” Grace replies that she remembers what happened very vaguely. Annie tells Nick about what happened and also mentions a strange incident in the past.
Before leaving for the front, Charles informs Grace that he is returning to the war, not only because there is a need for it, but also because he does not want and cannot be with her anymore. In the morning, the woman discovers that he is gone.
Frame from the film.
That same morning, Annie and Nicholas discover that the room they slept in has no curtains and is flooded with sunlight. Finding that the curtains are gone in all the rooms, Grace tries to get help from the servants, but Bertha says that she should not be afraid of the sunlight, which “now will not harm the children.” Enraged, Grace kicks them out of the house. In parting, Berta says that if Grace stubbornly does not want to understand anything, then she, Lydia and Edmund will have to remove the leaves from the graves.
Grace has been trying to find the curtains all day without noticing that the children have gotten out of the house. After searching the whole house, the woman decides to enter the room previously occupied by Bertha and Lydia. There, she finds a post-mortem photograph showing all three servants.
Meanwhile, the children go out into the garden and discover a tombstone with Bertha’s name written on it. Just out of nowhere at this moment, the whole trinity of servants appears. Frightened, the brother and sister rush home. The servants slowly follow them, but on the threshold they are met by Grace with a gun in her hands.
Berta tells her with a creepy grin that she can’t do them any harm because they’ve been dead for over 50 years. She goes on to say that the curtains were removed from the windows by “others” who have been living in the house for a long time. At this moment, Grace hears the desperate cries of the children and rushes into the house …
The explanation for the ending of The Others is as follows. Grace, bursting into one of the rooms of the house, sees an unexpected and terrible picture: Nicholas and Ann are huddled together in the corner, and in the middle of the room there is a small table at which several people are sitting.
One of them is an elderly woman who scared Grace the other day. She somehow established contact with the children and writes down everything they say to her. And those, as if obeying someone’s order, report that their mother strangled them with a pillow. This is where Grace comes in. Enraged, she runs up to the table and starts throwing papers lying on it.
Suddenly, the scene changes. The viewer sees the same room and table where people are sitting – those same “others”. However, the table shakes on its own. From the conversation of “others”, it turns out that Grace Stewart once lived in this house, who, having learned about the death of her husband in the war, first strangled her children, and then shot herself. Since then, restless spirits have been living in the house. That is, the mysterious “others” are not ghosts, but ordinary people. After learning the terrible story of the Stewart family, they decide to move out immediately. However, Berta informs, others will soon appear in the house …
The meaning of the movie’s ending “The Others” is that the ghosts were Grace, her children, and a trio of servants. That is why Nicholas and Ann are no longer threatened by daylight: they are already dead.
Watching the living leave the gloomy mansion, Anne briefly meets the eyes of the living boy, Victor. However, the thin thread that connects the worlds of the dead and the living immediately breaks. The living eventually leave, and Grace and her children remain in their gloomy kingdom, repeating the phrase “This house is ours” like a mantra.
Frame from the film.
The meaning of the film
A round dance of withered leaves is circling over the lawn. The piercing cries of the seagulls ceased, a thick fog descended from the sky, and time seemed to slow down. The past is no longer the past. The old album, called the “book of the dead”, is trying to say something to its owner, but she does not understand and does not hear.
She is not obsessed or ill; she is just deep in thought. She had just hired a trio of servants, whose appearance would have fit for a medieval engraving “Terrible News”. Her husband is missing, and her children suffer from photophobia. Grace does not yet understand that her feelings are now deceptive, like a silhouette in a dense darkness …
There is nothing surprising in the fact that the picture of Alejandro Amenabar at one time was perceived by critics not just as another horror movie with a “gothic” plot, but as a full-fledged drama. This story, completely devoid of any hidden meaning, first of all tells about problems within the family, about mutual trust and mistrust. And most importantly, its end, which hits the heart with a backhand.
Taking a gothic basis, the director masterfully adjusts the sound of mourning for it, which becomes more and more withering every minute. In their analysis, the audience notes the filigree staging accuracy of Amenábar. His tape, the action of which does not go beyond the boundaries of the old estate, is filled with absolutely indescribable horror. Already from the first seconds it is felt that a catastrophe is approaching.
The role of Mills was played by Finola Flanagan. Frame from the film.
The film “The Others” impresses not only with the final twist, but with all its content. It looks like an unkind fairy tale that frightens and intrigues at the same time. The essence of the film is to live a terrible, sizzling grief. Sometimes it pushes a person (even the most reasonable and standing with both feet on the ground) to completely irrational actions, which it is hardly possible to comprehend and accept in full.
Deftly playing with the strained nerves of the audience, Amenabar tells about the afterlife. But that’s not even the point of his film. Having created a subtle connection between the worlds, he seems to lead the viewer to the idea of the existence of an immortal soul.
A special role in the picture is played by the most episodic character – the father of the family. Having mentioned the war, he, involuntarily emphasizing the relativity of traditional life, notices that he has fulfilled his duty.
According to the director, life is a reflection of oneself in someone and in someone’s memories. And it doesn’t matter how the memory is observed. Crooked tombstones, first communion dress, posthumous photographs… The meaning is completely different.
The dead are afraid of only one thing – that they will soon be forgotten, that their names will remain only in the “book of the dead”. This less terrible, and more sad tape is devoted to a reminder of the incorrectness of this.
However, the director is sincerely convinced that a pessimistic attitude cannot be an assistant in establishing the truth. He is no less skeptical about the Christian faith.
However, in his opinion, there is another support. This is Love. Nothing ends with death: the end of the earthly path is an exit to another level. Do not deny this need, otherwise you can get lost in the fog. We must admit this – then there is a chance to find the long-awaited peace. He is truly wonderful.
Frame from the film.
Here are a few pictures similar in meaning to the movie “The Others”:
- “The Sixth Sense” (USA, 1999). Little Cole is haunted by the ghosts of murdered people. An experienced child psychotherapist Malcolm Crow decides to help the boy;
- “House of Dreams” (USA, Canada, 2011). A wealthy publisher and his wife come to a small town and settle in an old house. Soon he learns that not so long ago there was a murder in him;
- “Shelter” (Spain, Mexico, 2007). Raised in an orphanage, Laura returns to it with her husband and young son. Soon the boy tells her that he made friends with a certain Thomas, whom no one else sees except him.