This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film The Assistant (2022), which will contain spoilers.
The film begins with the protagonist Zafik lying in a prison cell, serving ten years for apparent drug possession. Upon being released, we watch him travel home to an empty house where he has flashback memories of his now-lost family. Through multiple flashbacks, we see him almost kill himself in prison, how he was arrested after the police found drugs that had been planted in his car, and his life with his wife and son.
The willing, eager Feroz comes into action, saving and enabling Zafik’s quest; he’s a stone-cold, intense killer with his own agenda. Like a lot of action-thriller films, there is a hyper-focus on masculinity and what it is to be a hero. Zafik, Feroz, and Sam are all different types of male characters and stereotypes. Zafik is a soft, poor family man who was taken advantage of and framed. Feroz is fit, sexy, honest, unafraid, and proactive. Sam is a powerful man in a suit, confident and taking command. Zafik has to adapt these qualities in order to fulfill his purpose and avenge his family. Nice guys finish last.
Roughly forty-five minutes before the end, we learn that Zafik and Feroz are the same person; Feroz is Zafik’s alter ego, a persona he has to create in order to help him battle and confront his demons. A great twist, we go back and run through all the scenes where we thought Zafik and Feroz were together, but really it was Zafik all by himself.
Together, they come to the conclusion that it was Sam all along. Zafik is captured by Sam and his men and Sam says that Zafik is weak for having morals, this led to him not being able to feed his family, and if he had been corrupt his life would have been different. We finally learn how Zafik’s wife and son were killed. There is a flashback of Sam trying to rape Lisa and killing Zikri, which leads to Sam and Lisa fighting and Sam accidentally killing Lisa by stabbing her. Finally seeing how and why they died, Zafik is now at his lowest. Begging and crying for more answers.
Sam orders Zafik to be shot and killed. I was shocked that he was shot in the head. As they’re dragging his body away, blood is pouring down his stairs and down his body. Is he really dead? He stands up, and takes off the bag on his head, revealing Feroz under the mask, showing that Zafik needs Feroz to survive.
Netflix film The Assistant (2022) ending explained
Zafik is back face to face with Sam, pointing a gun at his face. Feroz is walking around Zafik telling him to shoot him, laughing, taunting. Zafik drops the gun and simply punches Sam, causing the two to fight. As they’re fighting, the shots flit between Zafik and Feroz. Then the tables turn, and it becomes a battle of the mind, between Zafik and Feroz, on which one is going to take the lead in this life. Zafik doesn’t want to be Feroz, after all this, even though it is what has driven him, he is being true to himself.
Throwing themselves from a window, they fall and fight from a great height to land in a pool. A little bit over-the-top dramatic here, this feels drawn out and almost unnecessary. As long as Zafik doesn’t give up, Feroz can’t win, but for me, they are both losers in this scenario. Zafik sees his dead wife and son, who tell him he’s had his revenge, and what has it brought him? Nothing but more pain. He should accept their death and move on.
Zafik throws himself through a window in a giant suicide attempt, which brings a circle back to when he tried to kill himself in the beginning. However, he lives and wakes up bandaged back together, now being offered Sam’s CEO role, but he turns it down, turning into another alter ego called Yasmin. Interesting choice to have a female as the final shot and new alter ego, Zafik now needs someone who can both be good and bad, strong and powerful but also vulnerable and soft, a woman fighter can be seen as all these things.
With all the fighting, conflict, and violence, this film is showing how people create alter egos in order to protect themselves and bring out parts of themselves they truly hide but are still within them. The ending was a mix of emotions for me, I like the twist of a new alter ego, but I feel Zafik never really got the closure he needed and instead fell into the corrupt life of becoming a criminal. An action-packed ending, but it lacked emotional substance and closure.
What did you think of the ending of the Netflix film The Assistant (2022)? Comment below.