This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film Carnaval, so it will contain major spoilers.
Carnaval, Netflix’s Brazilian film from Leandro Neri, tells the story of four young women in Salvador for the Bahian Carnival, a world of influencers, musicians, and somebodies. The friends all confront their fears, insecurities, and shortfalls in a series of events that only become more far-fetched as the narrative progresses. Focusing on Nina (Giovana Cordeiro), the film seeks to tackle issues such as social media usage, influencer culture, homophobia, the judgment of others, and our addiction to our phones. Unfortunately, it struggles on all accounts, even as its star continues raking in the followers, posting photos and stories in a blitz.
Netflix’s Carnaval — the ending explained
By the third act of the film, Nina has ascended into the ranks of true influencer status, hitting one million followers, hooking up with a famous singer in Freddy Nunes (Micael), and dancing atop the main stage of the Bahian Carnival. Her friends become stretched around the city, though, with Mayra (Bruna Inocencio) submitting to her anxiety and confronting her childhood traumas. Nina goes to Freddy to find her missing friends, walking in on his manager, Jorge (Nikolas Antunes), and the celebrity kissing. It’s the only surprise, an unearned one, in the film: Freddy is gay and in a relationship with Jorge. I’ll admit it. I gasped.
With little groundwork, the third act already had a forced feeling, but this put an over-the-top movie even more into the stratosphere of unbelievability. Still, the veneer of stardom has been shattered for Nina, and so, she goes to find her friends with a secret in her pocket. After going on Instagram Live to plead with her followers and her friends, they all surprise her and forgive her for being such a selfish person. The next day, everyone is happy and “changed” for the better, as Nina decides to be with Salvador (Jean Pedro), clearly the nicest man at this resort. She even gives advice to a fellow fallen influencer.
What’s next for Nina, the meme-turned-superstar? Once a dumped ex-girlfriend, now a famous woman in the digital world, she will likely continue to post daily, trying to include her friends and not be (too) embarrassed by their regular, fun behavior. It’s hard not to believe her sincerity, but you hope that she’s turned a corner, living in the moment and not through a screen. Still, she doesn’t go so far as to delete her account, and she probably never will.
As for Freddy, he’s out with her manager, and he seems genuinely happy. I’m unsure of the backlash he’ll receive in the Brazilian pop community, but let’s hope his fans and the entire country accept him. Her friends all seem to be happy enough, and they will likely stay close for a long time, despite the probability that Nina drops off to spend time with other half-famous folks. As Freddy said, she’s his muse, a shocking statement given they’ve known each other for 24-48 hours.
And as every sentence gets more absurd than the next, that’s where the story leaves us, grasping to see how many followers Nina will have in one year from now. My guess: three million?