THE LOBSTER (2015)
The Lobster forces the viewer to understand the plot as it is progressing and the somewhat ambiguous ending, albeit cliché, continues this trend until the film’s last moments. Without explaining the plot—which is another article in its own—the movie ultimately offers three possible endings: David did gouge his eye out with a knife, he didn’t and ran away or that he didn’t but tells the Short Sighted (now blind) Woman that he did. I think the ending that seems most likely to you depends entirely on your own interpretation of the movie as a whole as well as your judgement of the character of David as director Yargos Lanthimos once again delivers an open-ended conclusion to one of his films.
MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)
Every film lover knows that a movie directed by David Lynch is never going to be straightforward, but it is this combination of complexity and sheer brilliance that makes his movies all the more interesting. Mulholland Drive is a movie that has perplexed audiences and critics alike since its release 16 years ago and although there are numerous theories circulating online, one seems to be more universally adopted. Diane has her girlfriend murdered and in the moments before she commits suicide, she reimagines her “ruined” life by taking on the character of Betty who goes on to achieve everything she didn’t during her life.
EX MACHINA (2015)
Futuristic sci-fi thriller Ex Machina had everyone talking when it was released in 2015, even if this was about how utterly baffling the whole thing was, but one theory seems to summarise it in a way that actually makes sense. Firstly, Ava is a failure. This is emphasised by her lack of consideration for Caleb as she leaves him to die and the inhumane way in which she rips flesh from other bodies in order to further humanise herself. However, Nathan already knows this as he mentions that his next model will be exactly what he is looking for, but is this really the case or has he already chosen his next model? (*Cough*, Caleb, *cough*)
THE MACHINIST (2004)
The Machinist is probably best known for the transformation that Christian Bale went through in order to play the character of Trevor Reznik, apparently achieved by a diet of just apples and tuna, but the movie’s grim and, at times, dark storyline shows just how much guilt can mentally, and in this case physically, affect the body. Unable to accept he is responsible for the death of a child in a hit and run, Reznik imagines a world in which he is innocent, but his past soon comes back to haunt him in the form of Ivan, a personification of his own conscience, who eventually encourages him to confess to his crimes. After all, “a little guilt goes a long way”.
DONNIE DARKO (2001)
Donnie Darko performed poorly when it was first released in cinemas but it’s growing popularity in recent years has meant it is now one of the most popular cult movies of the last decade and a must-see for anyone who loves a good cliff-hanger. The scene in which the jet engine falls through Donnie’s bedroom ceiling is pivotal in understanding the general plot of the film as many fans believe that he didn’t actually survive this accident and that everything from this point on is, in fact, a dream, including Frank. This theory is given a greater sense of plausibility when we revisit the scene in which Donnie tells his therapist that he has made a new friend who just happens to be, you guessed it, imaginary.
—Erin Smith, Correspondent (Film)