12 Monkeys; what's up with the ending??? [** SPOILERS WARNING **] - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 98 Old 06-18-2010, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by katesisco View Post

OK the lady in the next seat on the plane with Goines assistant; she is IDd as a future scientist. Well, I own the film, watch it often, keep learning new stuff. I thought that the guy doing luggage-check was the future scientist & the guy behind him also future, reason he holds up panties is to create delay so J can catch up & try to shoot him. I thought that that is when they obtain the desired 'pure' sample.

So J is expendable; he wants to stay & 'not allowed' to he's going to die in this attempt. Since his phone call enabled the future scientists to have 30 years, this can't be their only presence in the past. Particularly since they flagrantly request the sample be opened & hence breathed showing they do not fear the virus; they have already been here, obtained a sample & are now immune. They are just cleaning up loose ends. What do you think?

Thats an excellant take on the ending. I have always wondered about what exactly was going on with all that at the end. Whats great about this movie is that it allows you to come up with so many interpretations.

I just watched this again 2 days ago, and i love this movie so much. I really think it was Brad Pitts best acting job ever (as has been said in this thread already).

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post #92 of 98 Old 06-19-2010, 11:12 AM
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The movie ends with the lead scientist from the future seating next to Dr. Peters on the plane. She introduces herself as "in insurance". Gilliam leaves it there -- as an open ending -- which allows the audience to speculate. What was she insuring?

The mission was for criminals to locate the cause of the virus. A scientist would then be sent back to retrieve a sample of the unmutated virus. Did the reference to her being in insurance mean that she was sent back to insure that Peters actually will disperse the virus?

The scientists are in charge in the future because of the virus. If they come up with a vaccine, their power is threatened. So why not send people on wild goose chases to pretend they're working on something and use it as a way to eliminate those who cause trouble? In other words, maybe they're happy with their place the future.

The scientists in the future already had a good idea where the virus came from. In one scene, when Cole is being interrogated in the future, look at the newspaper clippings on the wall. They show Dr. Goines. Why does Gilliam use those clippings in the background? Since the scientists were talking about finding the source of the virus at the time, a reasonable conclusion is that they knew that Goines was the source. Yet this essential fact is never given to Cole.

He's told about the 12 Monkeys, but the most likely source of the virus isn't even mentioned to him. With a plot as beautifully constructed as this one, that omission is a key one. They are sending Cole off chasing after the 12 Monkeys, when they seem to know that group wasn't the source of the virus.

Even if they believed the 12 Monkeys were involved, the source was still Goines laboratory which remains the key bit of information that the scientists should have given to Cole. Instead, we find Cole and others trying to locate the Army's headquarters. Why?

This is one of my favorite movies and can be watched closely many times. I always pick-up new subtle clues dropped by Gilliam.
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post #93 of 98 Old 06-19-2010, 03:24 PM
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Why send Cole on a wild-goose chase after the 12 Monkeys though, you could just not send him at all. It would be easy to take a prisoner or too and make elimate them and then announce to everyone that they had been sent back to the past to find the source of the virus. No need to go thru all the hassles with Cole actually going back.

This movie has so many ways it can go. In fact, i want to watch it again, probably early next week.

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post #94 of 98 Old 06-19-2010, 04:41 PM
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If you didn't send him back in time then you would have one boring film.
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post #95 of 98 Old 08-21-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PainterPaul View Post

>>> Originally Posted by PainterPaul
What about the last scene with the female scientist who was in Insurance. Did she save the world, or, did she maintain her power in her present by assuring James failure?

>>> Originally Posted by IAM4UK
She was to insure that the future "scientists" could pursue a way back to the surface. Throughout the movie, characters made it clear that nobody could stop the disaster that befell humanity. All of the major events up until Cole was sent to explore above ground had already happened by the time the movie starts, and none of them could be altered. However, the future could be improved by knowledge from the past.

NOTHRU22 said re the above:

>>> More specifically, they wanted a sample of the original, raw virus so that they could device a vaccine to let them return to the surface in the future. They couldn't use it to alter the past and prevent it from ever happening.

The question was not answered for me.

James fails… he is killed… he never made it back with a virus sample (nor did he want to, but he did leave a message about the corrected history which is what got him killed, really). So the future was tipped off about whom it really was who spread the virus, etc.

So in the last scene… was the female Insurance scientist who was on the plane next to the virus-spreader, there in order to bring back one of his samples so the future race might return to the surface, or, was she there to insure the virus did indeed spread so that she, and the other scientists, might maintain their power (as they were portrayed as having total power when scenes flipped back to the future… plus at no time during the future scenes, were any of the scientists nice).

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Originally Posted by PainterPaul View Post

The female Insurance scientist in the last scene, looked at first like she was there because James failed to kill the guy and so she was there to finish what James could not do; namely kill the guy. If this is so, then the future would have certainly been altered. I guess the question is, would she have appeared at all had James succeeded? We don’t know. Maybe she was going to kill the guy, get the virus bottles, and jet back to the future… or maybe just manhandle the vials from him, and jet back to the future. In either case, taking the bottles away from him would have made it impossible for him to further spread the virus beyond his home location… dead or alive…again, altering the future.

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Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

"Insurance" was there to do what Cole failed to do... but that was NOT to kill the red-haired bioscientist. The mission was to get a pure sample of the virus, to seek a cure in the present (future).

Quote:
Originally Posted by katesisco View Post

OK the lady in the next seat on the plane with Goines assistant; she is IDd as a future scientist. Well, I own the film, watch it often, keep learning new stuff. I thought that the guy doing luggage-check was the future scientist & the guy behind him also future, reason he holds up panties is to create delay so J can catch up & try to shoot him. I thought that that is when they obtain the desired 'pure' sample.

So J is expendable; he wants to stay & 'not allowed' to he's going to die in this attempt. Since his phone call enabled the future scientists to have 30 years, this can't be their only presence in the past. Particularly since they flagrantly request the sample be opened & hence breathed showing they do not fear the virus; they have already been here, obtained a sample & are now immune. They are just cleaning up loose ends. What do you think?

Some good speculation there, but something is gnawing at me that the answer is actually much simpler than that.

My initial reaction to her statement (I watched it again tonight for the first time in years) was how interesting it was that someone as ordinary as her ends up where she does after the apocalyptic event occurs. Think of all the post-apocalyptic stories we've been told, and how often somebody who was an average joe before the "event" is now in power, or a hero, or a villain, or of some other significance. They are no more qualified to be where they are than a baggage handler or a dignitary would be (other "scientists" we saw in the past), but due to the "event" and the chaos of life and mental states that inevitably take place afterwards... there they are.

I think Gilliam was showing us the idea that those that are in power are not always the qualified sorts we assume they are. That the illusion of knowledge is often just as coercing and impressionable as having the knowledge itself. That in the desperation of trying to understand the past and protect the future, we will turn to anyone. I don't know if I'm conveying my thoughts as succinctly as I should, but I hope you get the general idea. She was literally just an insurance lady, and now she's helping give orders and determine the outcome of people's lives.

I dunno... just hit me differently than what I read here. Regardless it is a fantastic movie, holds up well.
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post #96 of 98 Old 12-15-2011, 02:32 PM
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There are still a few plot holes in the movie. First of all, Willis says in the beginning of the movie that "Past cannot be changed" but they contradict that in a scene where Cole and his friend are found in the WW1 picture. They werent really in WW1 but are shown in that picture simply because they were sent to the wrong timeline by the scientist and became the part of the history. So past changed.. right there.

Secondly, Bruce Willis calls the scientists in the airport and the scientists get the message and reach at the airport within a few minutes BUT they already had the recorded message from Kierra that she sent maybe just a day before voice-mail that Willis made at the airport. The Kierra's voice messgae was shown in the movie much earlier in a scene where they ask Willis about the voicemail by some girl.

If they received the 1st message(Kierra's message) then they obviously recieved the second one (Willis's message from the airport) already as well because it was sent just 1 day after Kierra's voice message. Which means they got both messages already. If thats the case why did not they go for the second message which clearly states that "twelve monkeys are not responsible for the virus but someone else is" and use that info in the first place instead of sending Willis with zero information(which actually was available) about the person responsible for the virus. Instead they sent him in the past to get information about 12 monkeys, even though they recieved a message 30 years ago from Willis that 12 monkeys are not responsible for the virus and someone else is.

I really liked the movie, and as for the ending, well.. I interpreted that the mission was successful. Willis not returning back to the present triggered the scientists to come in the past and push him to get the job done, which is what they did exactly. That lady scientist and the rest of the scientist from the present found out who the culprit was during the last scene at the airport because they were present right there and followed the culprit to the plane and tells him she works in insurance company, which clearly meant she was there to make sure that the mission succeeds. I think its pretty clear that she must have took the sample of the virus, took it back to the present, study it and work out an antidote for it to save the future.

If not, we wouldn't be living on earth today. ;P
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post #97 of 98 Old 12-16-2011, 02:57 PM
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When the lady at the end says 'i'm in insurance', my take is that she somehow has a way to 'solve' the post apocalyptic events to occur, making it a happy ending for me......

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post #98 of 98 Old 08-03-2012, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post

When the lady at the end says 'i'm in insurance', my take is that she somehow has a way to 'solve' the post apocalyptic events to occur, making it a happy ending for me......

Here are a couple things to consider when interpreting the ending:

First, the lady seemed to know who the virus guy was. She even had time to purchase a seat right next to him. If her intent was to obtain a sample of the virus in order to save humanity wouldn't it have been easier just to pretend to be one of the luggage security guys/gals and take a sample then? Also, she didn't seem to worried about being exposed to a virus that killed off 5-6 billion people did she? Why? Because, as a survivor she already knew she was immune to the virus.

There are many parallels in the film. The most obvious being Railly's speech about the Cassandra complex and James Cole as a real life Cassandra. Consider the subplot about the missing boy in the well. I don't think it is a coincidence that a monkey was sent down to find what was ultimately nothing as the boy was never in the well. A parallel can be drawn about Jame Cole's mission. He was sent in the past to find what at first appeared to be a cure to the virus but upon further examination was really a mission about nothing as the people in the future are already immune to the disease.

I think lastly, you can take into account how the scientists regarded the general population. The lady on the plane mentions how they are like insects and how she despises them. Their treatment of James Cole seems to confirm this opinion. Notice whenever he is being interrogated they lock him up and put him in an obviously uncomfortable chair and he sees monitors with enlarged eyes peering at him much like how an animal/insect might see us if it were being interrogated or tested. Also, worth noting is that he seems to receive better treatment in an insane asylum than he does from the scientists, the people he is trying to help. Yes, he is a criminal but if they are willing to pardon him they probably don't see him as someone who needs to be restrained during a routine interrogation. While the general population appears to be living in a dystopian society, the scientists, seem to be the politburo living in clean sterile environments as evidenced by their clothes. It is unlikely that they would want to give up their power to those they see as beneath them.

I'm not saying that your interpretation is wrong but there are clues that indicate that the lady wasn't on the plane entirely to save all of humanity.
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