This article discusses the ending of Netflix Taiwan film The Falls (2021) and will contain spoilers.
From the beginning of the film, we see the tension between the mother and the daughter, although this is lost when the roles are reversed and the daughter begins looking after her mother due to her developing mental health issues. External circumstances kept the two in together, from covid-19 and quarantine to the mother’s breakdown and mental health issues causing the daughter to take a break from school to look after her.
The father moving on and having another family is something clearly both are having trouble dealing with. Especially the mother, who desperately wants the father to come home. Their relationship with the father isn’t explored nearly enough, which made me question the relevance of his character.
As the film develops the mother becomes more neurotic and after multiple trips to the hospital, the mother is then able to get her medication under control. Now the mother and daughter begin to rebuild and re-form their relationship. All of this leads to the ending.
Netflix film The Falls (2021) ending explained
Inside their new house, messy and unpacked, eating take-out pizzas the mother figures out that a noise she has been hearing is the sound of waterfalls, without a clear reason as to why this is so important and has been affecting her so much. Are the sounds of the waterfalls the mother’s yearning to go back to being young, before heartbreak and responsibility?
We then have shots of Xioa Jing back at school, taking her exams. She’s not been able to study much taking care of her mother, so she is hoping to be able to get into a public college, stay close to home, and work to help her mother. She then asks if she can go to a barbeque with her friends.
The film cuts between shots of the mother working the supermarket, alone and inside four walls, and the daughter playing with her friends outside, in the water. Showing a contrast of two completely different lives.
We then see a huge wave of water coming rushing to where the children were playing. Flashes between a pan over-boiling and Xiao Jing drowning and being swept away by the water. The mother watches the news, hoping to see her daughter as one of the survivors of the tragic incident. Xiao Jing’s face is blurred but we see her top that says “don’t sweat it”– and the mother calls her name and the film ends.
Quite an abrupt ending, the film finally picked up the pace and we had some serious drama, for the film to end straight after that, I did feel a little lost and confused. Was the mother hearing a prediction by hearing the sounds of waterfalls? I’m not sure.
I didn’t feel a conclusion at the end of the film, being a melodrama I could have continued watching to see what happens next, which is why these are tricky film genres. The ending was the most exciting part of the film, it was the only section to have drama and promise. Not worth the hour and forty minutes of talking before, though.
What did you think of the ending of the Netflix Taiwan film The Falls (2021)? Comment below.