Léon, directed by French director Luc Besson, is one of the best psychological thrillers in film history. This film is a joint, Franco-American. He was released in 1994 and glorified the whole world for his director Besson and the actors who starred in the lead roles – Jean Reno and Natalie Portman, still very young and hitherto unknown. Since then, the popularity of the film has not faded, but not all fans understand its true meaning.
What is Leon about?
So, in the center of the plot is the fate of the hired killer Leon, who lives as a hermit. His main customer is a local New York mafioso. Leon’s character is quite consistent with his profession – he is not attached to anyone, he only cares for a house plant. He also loves movies.
But lonely Leon has a neighbor – a teenage girl Matilda, the daughter of unlucky parents. Matilda’s ancestors, her brother and sister became victims of corrupt cops who cover the drug trade. The cops are led by the sinister character Stansfield, played by Gary Oldman. So, Matilda miraculously did not become a victim of police bandits – she went out to the store.
Leon saw the cops massacring her family through the peephole in the door. Matilda encounters the killers in the corridor and realizes who they are – instead of her own door, she goes to Leon’s door, knowing that otherwise she will be shot as a family member. Surprisingly, Leon lets the girl in – reluctantly, after some thought.
And then Matilda realizes that Leon is also a man from the underworld, but she has nowhere to go. Moreover, she also wants to become a hired killer – she needs to avenge her family. And since Leon is not an American, Matilda also has something to teach him: English, for example. Thus begins the mutually beneficial cooperation of the killer and the teenage girl.
Friendship, backed by “deeds” – she helps him in custom “deeds”. Gradually, the student falls in love with her patron and even admits it to him, but Leon does not say anything in response. He does not speak, but he feels and even kills one of Stansfield’s subordinates, as a gift to the baby.
Matilda decides she’s trained enough to track down Stansfield and get her revenge. But he turns out to be more cunning and disarms the girl. Leon did not know anything about her plans – she left the house, just leaving a note. Having discovered her, Leon realizes that Matilda has got into something very bad and rushes to the police station. Further, the action develops rapidly – Stansfield is reported to find Leon and the girl, they must get away from him.
Meaning of Leon
In the image of Matilda, the image of a little offended girl, a defenseless baby is rethought in a very unpredictable way – similar to Cosette Hugo. Only a defenseless little girl turns out to be a girl who doesn’t want to just shed tears, and then forgive her offenders with all Christian generosity. “New Cosette” is going to take revenge, and takes revenge. And just as Cosette becomes attached to Jean Valjean from Les Misérables, so Matilda is full of feelings for Leon.
Only here it’s the other way around: Valjean, a former convict, loves Cosette secretly, and in Besson’s film, the girl is the initiator of the relationship. Such a mixture of Cosette-Lolita and … something else. Besson admitted that he did not want to add sex to the relationship of the main characters, they had to remain clean, and remained. That is why such a young Natalie Portman was cast for this role – already incredibly gifted then. By the way, at first Besson did not want to take her – precisely because of her tender age. But the applicant literally broke through to the set and amazed everyone with the pressure and quality of the game.
And the main theme of the film is love, which saves two, outcast and lonely. Before they met, they lived in a world in which there was nothing sacred, nothing human. And suddenly they give each other real, genuine love. And who said that Leon is a bad person? Is there good and bad in a world where cops kill and sell drugs?
Leon turned out to be a man, if only because he allowed love to make him vulnerable, although once he almost succumbed to the desire to remove Matilda, foreseeing that the appearance of a woman, albeit a small one, would turn his world upside down. And so it happened…
The meaning of the ending of the movie “Leon”
As Leon and Matilda flee from Stansfield and his men, Leon remembers to grab his favorite potted flower. And then, leaving Matilda in safety, leaving to fight with the cops, he asks her to take care of herself and this flower, because he needs roots.
When Leon dies, Matilda, left alone, comes to his former customer Tony, as Leon bequeathed. There lies the money that is owed to her. But Tony won’t hand over the money until Matilda is of age. For now, let him go back to school and live the life of an ordinary child, without unnecessary adventures.
Matilda does just that. But in the very final scene, she plants Leon’s favorite flower in the city’s soil. Because he remembers that Leon dreamed of putting down roots in this life. And if he himself has already died, then a tree can take root – something that he loved even before her.