The Starling ending explained – will that damn bird stop dive bombing poor Lily?

September 24, 2021
M.N. Miller 0
Ending Explained, Film, Netflix

This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film The Starling so that it will contain spoilers.

Ready Steady Cut Film Critic, M.N. Miller, said The Starling, “…is a manipulative cinematic therapy session equivalent to treating depression with a Flintstone vitamin.”

First, let’s look at some symbolism The Starling is meant to show. A Starling is a bird that represents shedding those old feathers and bringing in the new. I am sure this is something that bird has tried to teach old dogs these new tricks. The Starling that has caught the attention of the film’s main character, Lily (Melissa McCarthy), is a stout, tough, and durable son-of-a-b***h that keeps taking dive bombs at a woman who is locked in one of the stages of grief. She is a woman who recently lost her child. To make matters worse, her husband, Jack (Chris O’Dowd), tried to kill himself because the loss of their daughter was just too much to bear.  

So, he enters a mental health treatment facility, leaving Lily behind to work and deal with the pain by herself. Oh, and don’t forget that damn little bird who attacks her. So, she is referred to Larry (Kevin Kline), a former mental health clinician, who has become a veterinarian (it’s that kind of movie). Lily doesn’t know boundaries, frequently inviting herself into his home and office. She is distracted at work and even pricing everything at five cents. Her husband won’t even see her. This is because she broke the news to him she sold most of their stuff. She is shedding the old without knowing it.

Netflix film The Starling ending explained.

By the end of the film, Jack comes back to Lily. Shortly after, she leaves a message condemning him for trying to take himself away from her. He is ready to move on and has gotten through the stages of grief to acceptance. Lily has jumped from multiple steps in varying stages that are not in order. She now has the tools and a partner to help her get there.

The final scene has them run out to their garden together. Hand in hand, and wearing football helmets. Why? Because of The Starling, of course. As they pick their vegetables, way too slowly, I may add, the bird takes a nosedive, and it seems to have found a friend—two starlings attack. Perhaps symbolizing the bird was also dealing with grief and waiting for their partner to return home—both Lily and Jack, with the birds, get ready to move on with their lives. Not forget about the past, but be prepared to grieve with less force and fonder memories. 

What did you think of the ending of the Netflix film The Starling? Comment below. 

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