This article discusses the ending of the Netflix Tawainese film Man in Love (2021), so it will contain major spoilers.
Throughout the Netflix film, there’s a strange, quirky romance. Gangster Zhang, Meng-Cheng finds himself struck with love after threatening debt-ridden woman Wu, Meng-ting, who is looking after her ailing father. He decides she can pay off her debt by going on dates with him, which feels like an unstable deal. After much resistance, Meng-ting sees the gangster in a different light; she sees his kindness and softness under his criminal aura.
However, with a growing romance comes irony in the gangster’s life. Finding his feet, he decides to start a business venture with the woman he loves using savings and her deceased father’s insurance money. The couple looks to be ready for a whirlwind romance, building a home and a family.
But, unfortunately, crime eventually catches up to you, and Meng-Cheng ends up losing all the money and get beaten up at the same time. When he returns to his loved one, he’s hurt so much and in denial that he cannot lower his stubbornness. Rather than use his feelings to better the situation and explain to his partner that he has screwed up, he blames her instead and claims he never loved her. When Meng-Cheng walks off, he ends up entangled with two police officers, and he’s arrested for assaulting an officer.
Months go by, and Meng-Cheng is released from prison. His first objective is to return the money to his loved one and seek forgiveness. We soon learn that the ex-gangster has a brain condition caused by an aneurysm; when he speaks to Meng-ting, she pulls herself away when he tries returning the money. It’s emotionally charged. There’s a sense she wants to forgive him, but she has no idea that he’s dying.
Netflix film Man in Love (2021) ending explained
As the film closes out, Meng-Cheng stays away from Meng-ting. One evening, he watches her from a distance, and she looks happy. We can only assume he’s happy for her. But then he collapses nearby. Meng-ting sees the incident and realizes her lover does not have long to live. She stays by his side, and with death approaching, there’s forgiveness and appreciation of the time left. Eventually, Meng-Cheng dies, but he leaves his time on earth with someone he loves by his side.
Despite this being a strange story with plenty of contexts (a gangster forcing a woman to date him), the lesson we face is love and forgiveness. We only have a set time on the planet, and we should make the most of it. Money isn’t everything.