The Soul ending explained – does Netflix’s murder mystery provide an answer?
This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film The Soul, also known as Ji hun, so it will contain major spoilers.
The Soul is an outrageous film because it throws so many twists at the audience that it could have easily become a ridiculous feature; however, it manages to sustain the mystery despite the many elements.
After numerous leads, interviews and investigations, the third act brings the audience closer to the truth. We learn that investigator Ah-Bao made a deal with Dr Wan for RNA to save her partner Liang’s life (also the Prosecutor on the case). She also tampered with evidence that cleared Li yen and Dr Wan of any responsibility for the murder of chairman Wang Shih-Tsung. The son of the chairman, Wang Tien-Yu, is still the accused and ready to face time.
But then, the story turns when Li Yen and Dr Wan reportedly have a violent fight, and Li Yen tells the police the corporation belongs to her, not Dr Wan.
Netflix’s The Soul – the ending explained
The Soul brings some hefty exposition after Prosecutor Liang suspects that Mr Wang has had his memory transferred into Li Yen in an all-consuming twist. Dr Wan explains the story to the Prosecutor with a series of flashbacks:
Dr Wan visits Prosecutor Liang and asks for help. In another twist, he reveals he was having an affair with the chairman. Mr Wang always felt he was a woman but acted like a happy couple with his wife and secretly neglected her. The story deepens when we learn that Mr Wang had worked on a soul transfer project, so he could finally be a woman. A frustrated Su-Chen tried to prove her husband was cheating, but she found photos showing Mr Wang and Dr Wan having an affair. Before killing herself, Su-Chen cursed Mr Wang.
The curse and the soul transfer programme
Following on from Su-Chen’s death, the curse seemed to have worked — Mr Wang’s life turned upside down. He had multiple brain tumours, and his business was falling apart, so he sped up the soul transfer project. The candidate chosen was Li Yen; Dr Wan and Mr Wang tricked her into testing for RNA, claiming it is genetic cancer prevention.
Dr Wan implanted Mr Wang’s RNA powder into Li Yen. Over time, memories and aspects of Mr Wang’s consciousness transferred to Li Yen. They then used artificial fertilisation to make Li Yen pregnant. However, the project went wrong as the sick Mr Wang got confused and wanted to replace Li Yen — this brings the story full circle; Li Yen (with Mr Wang’s memories and artificial soul) went out of her way to kill Mr Wang.
Feeling they have crossed scientific boundaries, Dr Wan tried to reverse the transfer and tried to remove Mr Wang’s identity from Li Yen, but she sensed what he was doing, which is why they had a violent fight. Dr Wan did not feel Mr Wang was the same anymore. Li Yen/Mr Wang removed all Li Yen’s files, so they can’t restore her to her original identity.
Bringing down Li Yen/Mr Wang
Prosecutor Liang has an idea; nearing his death, he meets Li Yen. He asks her if she thinks Su-chen’s curse worked and if she still loves Dr Wan. She admits she loved him in a previous life, but not anymore. As the conversation ends, Dr Wan runs into the room and sprays her. We can only assume that the spray was to help knock out the character. It’s then announced in the news that all of Li Yen’s stock will be managed by the board, and she will no longer be managing the corporation.
In a sad state of affairs, Dr Wan kills himself so he can be with his lover Mr Wang. Prosecutor Liang took the blame for the tampering of evidence, so his partner Ah-Bao is in the clear. In court, Li Yen confesses to murdering Mr Wang — justice has been served.
What happens next?
To tie the film up, it resolves and brings an extra twist to Liang and Ah-Bao’s sad story…
Liang leaves a voice message for his expected child, telling them he will always be there and asking them to look after their mother. He then dies.
However, it then shows Li Yen in prison. Bao visits Li Yen with the newborn baby, and it is very emotional; it’s clear that the couple used the RNA technology to transfer Liang into Li Yen so he could continue seeing his wife and child. But this also confirms that Li Yen was Liang when she gave up all her stocks and confessed to the crimes in the trial — Liang assured justice was served by transferring himself into Li Yen. He had nothing to lose as he was dying anyway. That was the real truth to the ending of The Soul.