My Brother, My Sister ending explained – do Tesla and Nik fix their relationship?

October 10, 2021
Christina Geani 3
Ending Explained, Film, Netflix

This article discusses the ending of Netflix film My Brother, My Sister, so it will contain spoilers.

Read the review.

My Brother, My Sister is an Italian family-drama movie with a serious narrative, a sentimental yet psychological movie that conveys a meaningful message, including the ending. It’s a journey towards acceptance and mending the broken family. It starts with two siblings — Nik and Tesla — having a real beef towards each other after his father’s last will is for them to live under the same roof together to seek the meaning of love within the family.

To put it up simply, things don’t go well between them, from their way of living to how they communicate. But not until our MVP, the pizza that Nik ordered, comes to the spotlight. The almighty pizza brings everyone together. Including Sebastiano. Ever since then, a ray of sunshines starts to unfold within Nik and Tesla’s house. But the real deal happens after Nik and Tesla overcome their barrier by confronting their past.

Tesla asks why Nik left the house 20 years ago. The two dwell into an arousing argument where he finally opens up about his reason: He sees Giada — his future fiancee —  is on the bed with another man. Tesla does not believe everything since Giada is one of her friends. Nik breaks down and starts to tear down all the sticky notes that Tesla put up and that’s how we know that Tesla is also suffering from an issue: OCD.

It’s not just about the pizza, and arousing confrontation. Music plays a big part in it, too. After a long time, Nik finally overcame his fear of playing piano — which strongly associates with his inner wounds regarding his father. He plays Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata where Sebastiano surprisingly joins him as a cellist. Emma or anyone has never been able to makes him move a finger to play his cello, yet… he did it with Nik. Perhaps, what’s missing and makes Sebastiano hides himself is the absence of a fatherly figure that he gradually finds in Nik. Also, the void of engaging with the people is slowly recovering since Nik is the only person that treats him like a human rather than an illness.

That’s when Tesla begins to gives Nik another chance by letting him bring Sebastiano to the beach despite his fear of water and unfamiliar surrounding. The same thing goes with Tesla and Carolina. They spend a date together, where Carolina ends up setting her mother up for a date and spilling all the truth of the lies she’s been making about her relationship with his father and how she is ashamed of Sebastiano. It’s also the first time she ever calls her “mother”. So, all it takes is to listen.

But things begin to fall apart when Nik begins to neglect Sebastiano’s request of going home. Things get ugly after Sebastiano finds out that Nik is flirting with Emma, as the two display a form of affection. Sebastiano is also in love with her. His outrage gets out of hand which later shatters the reconciliation between the family. Nik goes to Giada’s house and the two have sex where she tries to convince him to run away—thankfully he didn’t. This is also the time where Carolina reads the letter that her grandfather writes for her which leaves a shocking revelation.

Despite what happens, Sebastiano still decides to do the concert with Emma but later got anxious due to the crowd resulting in him clashing into a fatal car accident. His accident later brings all the people together. Due to the accident, Sebastiano is in a coma. But later, his subconscious wakes up and begins to express all the things that he is unable to convey. It’s also representing the distortion that Schizophrenia survivors are facing. He reconciles everything with Carolina and asks her to do whatever she wants without thinking of him as a burden because they’re siblings and there’s more depth to their relationship. He also confesses his adoration towards Emma and endless admiration for pulling him out of the dark to Nik. Last but not least, he asks Tesla to start living a happy life and do whatever she wants to.

Netflix film My Brother, My Sister ending explained

So what is the real reason of Nik leaving the house? On the day of Sebastian’s concert, he ran away from the building after having a sudden panic attack and extreme anxiety due to a part of his Schizophrenia symptoms. After his fatal accident, the family finally come together. To mend his absence towards his family, Nik arriving on time where the disastrous event happens. At least this time, he is there with them. Tesla can’t stop blaming herself over what’s happening. Nik reassures her. Later, she confronts him with a shocking truth: Guilino is the man that Nik sees sleeping with Giada. Yup, he was betrayed by his own father. That’s the answer to his absence and why he stopped playing piano.

Guilino’s will is a form of apology to mend the broken family. Well he lost his wife, too, a long time ago. It’s the beginning of the cracks within their family. But sadly when he begins to realize the yearning and love within the family, he is running out of time. So, as a way to put an end to the angst, he let the living soul do their job. Because in the end, love conquers all.

But the real question is… does Sebastiano survive the accident? It can be seen in two ways. The first one is… Yes, he did. The ashes that everyone spreads at the end are Guillino’s. It’s symbolic of acceptance and forgiveness. Throughout the movie, we’ve seen that Sebastiano often communicates with Kelvin, his imaginary friend. He once mentions that he is afraid of water, but at the end, he goes into the water, spreads his grandfather’s ashes, and pours himself into the sea with a bright smile. It can be seen as a metaphor for hope. Sebastiano finally overcome his fear of water, maybe in the future, he’ll overcome his mental illness too! The movie ends with all the family diving into the sea, hugging him, and playfully splashing water to each other as a celebration of healing and a rebirth of a new journey of life.

The second interpretation could be that he did not survive. But the last scene is the distortion of the reality: we’re inside his reality where he finally finds the freedom and the ideal he has yearned for—or everyone yearns for. But nevertheless, both of them are a happy ending for the whole family after what they’ve gone through.

What did you think of the ending of Netflix film My Brother, My Sister? Comment below.

3 thoughts on “My Brother, My Sister ending explained – do Tesla and Nik fix their relationship?

  • October 14, 2021 at 10:09 pm
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    Interesting and a lot of insights I appreciate. Lacks knowledge of one of the most serious mental illnesses. Schizophrenia is a brain disease. There is no cure and lasts a lifetime. It can be treated with medications and structured and supportive therapy. In some cases, the person can learn to live a productive life, but always lives with schizophrenia. There are many sources available to become informed about this serious mental illness.

  • January 30, 2022 at 3:31 am
    Permalink

    This psych thriller reminds us of the impact psychiatric disorders have on those close, and the mental (mal)adaptions the family develops as a result. And as you watch the movie, you realize that family harmony is best held when each member accepts the other on that family member’s terms and not their own.
    Though not expressly made clear if the father suffered from a mental disorder, he was not well remembered, and at the funeral service we get a glimpse about him, when the family spoke their last respects.
    Forced to grow up in this emotionally neglected environment, son, Nik, developed the schizoid personality. He clearly demonstrates a lack of emotional expression, even though he still retains a subconscious ember deep inside him. He has no friends and family ties are poor. He is a loner, and his sexual relationships are one-night stands. His social nonconformity and his similar dry humor and sarcasm are demonstrated defensively under pressure. He intellectualizes his feelings and takes little pleasure in others, while engaging in solitary activities.
    Not surprising, Tesla developed cluster C symptoms, manifesting as obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is not typically described as the usual inheritance trait from cluster A parents, so it’s trigger, possibly Nik’s too, was likely family dynamics. But neither alcohol nor tight control could relieve her suffering, and her family suffered too.
    Tesla’s daughter, Carolina, clearly stated what she missed mostly about her grandfather, was that he wasn’t ever there. She was on the artsy flashy side, suggesting schizotypal personality. And was detached from Tesla, never calling her her mother. Tesla’s son, Sebastiano, suffered from full-blown schizophrenia, with delusions, hallucinations, ideas of reference, distorted thought and speech, magical thinking, and odd behavior. Even to medication non-compliance and an acute psychotic melt down. Such a prevalence in this family is stronger than hereditary transmission alone. Controversy, whether the development of schizophrenia is truly a risk factor regarding those with schizoid personality disorder, still continues, but one has to conclude that the father had schizoid personality too.
    People with schizoid personality are misunderstood as being emotionally cold. Calling a person with schizoid disorder cold is cold. Death stare! Nik had a heart of gold. He sacrificed himself for his sister. He didn’t know how to express his feelings to her about Giada’s affair with their father, and why he left making his sister live with her father alone without telling her. At the time, it seemed so cold to Tesla, but Nik was deeply hurt too, something she didn’t consider. When Tesla learned the truth, she realized she was wrong about Nik all along and I thought the movie gave a good example of the cold misconception.
    Schizoids also do see what other people need. Even at the risk of harming his rekindling relationship with Tesla, Nik tried to give her sound, direct advice to get control of herself. If Nik didn’t care, he wouldn’t have tried. Schizoids have a hard time appropriately expressing themselves, mostly because they have a hard time understanding what they feel if at all, but they know well enough what is right and wrong.
    At the end, as Nik takes a handful of ashes at the beach, we see him look over at Sebastiano, giving the impression Nik could detect Sebastiano’s presence, – did anyone else catch that? Such premonitions are sometimes mentioned by a subset of people with cluster A disorders.

  • January 30, 2022 at 3:53 am
    Permalink

    This psych thriller reminds us of the impact psychiatric disorders have on those close, and the mental (mal)adaptions the family develops as a result. And as you watch the movie, you realize that family harmony is best held when each member accepts the other on that family member’s terms and not their own.
    Though not expressly made clear if the father suffered from a mental disorder, he was not well remembered, and at the funeral service we get a glimpse about him, when the family spoke their last respects.
    Forced to grow up in this emotionally cold environment, son Nik, developed the schizoid personality. He clearly demonstrates a lack of emotional expression, even though he still retains a subconscious ember deep inside of him. He has no friends and family ties are poor. He is a loner, and his sexual relationships are one-night stands. His social nonconformity and his similar dry humor and sarcasm are demonstrated defensively under pressure. He intellectualizes his feelings and takes little pleasure in others, while engaging in solitary activities.
    Not surprising, Tesla developed cluster C symptoms manifesting as obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is not typically inherited from cluster A parents, so it’s trigger, like Nik with schizoid, was likely family dynamics. But neither alcohol nor tight control could relieve her suffering, anf her family suffered too.
    Tesla’s daughter, Carolina, clearly stated what she missed mostly about her grandfather, was that he wasn’t ever there. She was on the artsy flashy side suggesting schizotypal personality. She was detached from her mother, never calling her mother. Tesla’s son, Sebastiano, suffered from full blown schizophrenia, with delusions, hallucinations, ideas of reference, disordered thought and speech, magical thinking, and odd behavior. Such a prevalence in this family is stronger than hereditary transmission alone. Controversy, as to whether the development of schizophrenia is truly a risk factor regarding those with schizoid personality disorder, continues, but one must conclude that the father had schizoid personality too.
    People with schizoid personality are misunderstood as emotionally cold. Calling a person with schizoid disorder cold is cold. Death stare! Nik had a heart of gold however. He sacrificed himself for his sister. He didn’t know how to express to her his feelings about Giada’s affair with their father, and why he left making his sister live alone with her father without telling her. At the time, it seemed so cold to Tesla, but Nik was deeply hurt too, something she didn’t consider. When she finally learned the truth, she realized she was wrong about Nik. I thought the movie did a good job demonstrating the deception of ego and observation.
    Schizoids also do see what other people need. Even at risk of harming his rekindling relationship with Tesla, he tried to give her sound, direct advice to get control of herself. She failed here too. Schizoids have a hard time appropriately expressing themselves, mostly because they have a hard time understanding what they feel if at all, but they know well enough what is right and wrong.
    At the end, when we see Nik taking a handful of ashes at the beach, we see him look over at Sebastiano, giving the impression Nik could detect Sebastiano’s presence, – did anyone else catch that? Such premonitions are sometimes mentioned by a subset of people with cluster A disorders.

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