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Old 10-20-2011, 02:09 PM
the_thecat_hat the_thecat_hat is offline
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Take Shelter Movie - I Didn't Understand the End

What happened at the end on the beach? I know the husband and wife said something brief to each other but I did not get it. Obviously, spoils will follow.
Old 05-15-2012, 01:52 PM
BomTek BomTek is offline
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I wanted to resurrect this thread (can a thread with no replies be considered to be alive in the first place?) because I just saw this movie this weekend.
To answer the OP's question, there were two waterspouts forming offshore, causing that thick oily rain to fall (the rain Michael Shannon's character kept seeing in his dreams), and the tide appeared to be drawing back, possibly indicating that a tsunami was on its way.
My question is this: what is all that supposed to mean? I think the oily rain could come from an offshore oil rig, like what happened after the Deepwater Horizon incident (not that I recall hearing about oily rain, but if there was oil in the water, the waterspouts could throw that into the air), but I don't know if there are any oil rigs off of the coast near Myrtle Beach. Also, is that stuff supposed to cause people to turn into bloodthirsty maniacs? Is all this coincidence, or is it supposed to indicate that the character is somehow having prophetic dreams, or what?
Regardless, I thought it was a decent movie. I just wasn't sure what I was supposed to feel at the end of it.
Old 05-15-2012, 02:34 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Such a great movie.

It's not about the ending, it's about that moment in the shelter where the wife is trying to convince the husband that everything is going to be okay. At that point, you're not sure if it's a movie about coping with a family member with a mental illness, or a science ficition-lite movie about someone with precognition. The dialogue is absolutely spot on - what DO you say that is going to support your husband, but remain entrenched in reality? What happens if he doesn't believe you, and YOU'RE the one that has to open that door while he cowers in the corner?

She, of course, convinces him to open it up, and he sees that everything is in his head, and the climax of the film has reached its crescendo. We wind it down, see that the husband is off to seek help with his mental affliction, and we get a final scene to show us that everything is going to be okay.

But it's not going to be okay - the nightmare is real. HOLY SHIT! End credits.

It's a ride. The ending is meant to manipulate you - it forces you to accept both realities over the course of the movie. And it does it in a way where it's not a cheat by the writer/director.
Old 05-15-2012, 02:46 PM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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I also just saw the movie this past week. I think Munch's analysis is as good as I could come up with.
Old 05-21-2012, 10:20 AM
BomTek BomTek is offline
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Very well said, Munch. Thanks so much for that.
Old 05-21-2012, 12:04 PM
randwill randwill is offline
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So he's crazy AND the apocalypse is upon us?
Old 05-21-2012, 12:33 PM
woodstockbirdybird woodstockbirdybird is offline
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Originally Posted by randwill View Post
So he's crazy AND the apocalypse is upon us?
My take from the end was that he turned out not to be crazy after all, despite everyone else (including himself after the storm shelter scene) believing it was all in his head.
Old 05-21-2012, 01:24 PM
Labdad Labdad is offline
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Good thread. I just rewatched "Take Shelter" on Bluray last night.

Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing "Take Shelter" for the first time at the Roger Ebert Film Festival. Fortunately, I knew next to nothing about the film, but I had met the director, Jeff Nichols, back in 2008 when his debut film "Shotgun Stories" played at Ebertfest. "Shotgun Stories" also starred Michael Shannon, who was amazing in "Take Shelter."

The great thing about seeing it at the festival was that both Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon were onstage to discuss the film and answer questions afterward. Later, I had the pleasure of having a beer with writer/director Jeff Nichols to discuss the film one on one. I told him I'd never been so terrified watching a movie where nobody died! He gave me a BIG grin, and said that's what he was going for.

He was deliberately vague about the ending. Suffice to say Munch pretty well nailed it. Munch, you weren't standing there having a beer with us, were you?
Old 05-22-2013, 12:00 AM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is online now
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Just got around to watching this on DVD. I was very frustrated during the first hour, to the point of debating whether or not to stick with it. I'm glad I did. Man, that last scene blew me away, and the earlier scene in the storm shelter was intense. It would make an interesting pairing with The Shining, I think. I don't think there was any deep meaning to it, just a bit of magical realism--maybe--very well acted and written.

I didn't really know much about Michael Shannon until recently, when I saw him reading that infamous sorority girl email. Now I'll have to watch that again.

Oh yeah, braaiiiins, etc.
Old 05-22-2013, 01:02 AM
Tangent Tangent is offline
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I'm looking forward to Michael Shannon as General Zod in the upcoming Superman movie.
Old 05-22-2013, 07:51 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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Jeff Nichols' new film, Mud, is very, very good as well.

Last edited by Human Action; 05-22-2013 at 07:51 AM.
Old 05-22-2013, 09:07 AM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is online now
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I really wish I'd seen take shelter in the theater. I'm glad I saw it, but it didn't lend itself to DVD.
Old 05-22-2013, 01:35 PM
Equipoise Equipoise is offline
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Those who like Michael Shannon should seek out his newest movie, in theaters as I type, called The Iceman. It's based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, a colder-than-ice, killer/hitman, thought to have murdered at least 100 people, not all on spec. He was also a generous and loving family man, who adored his wife and two daughters, who had no idea what he actually did for a living until the day he was arrested. Shannon is amazing as a man with a double life, and deserves an Oscar nomination.

I agree about Take Shelter and Mud both being terrific.
Old 05-23-2013, 12:16 PM
gallows fodder gallows fodder is offline
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I saw Mud this weekend (and Take Shelter when it came out) -- Michael Shannon is very quickly becoming one of my favorite characters to watch. Has he ever given a bad performance?

He was playing against type in Mud and it took me a while to convince myself that that guy really was Michael Shannon, because I'm not used to seeing him play harmless.
Old 05-23-2013, 12:41 PM
knifebreaker knifebreaker is offline
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So, I also love this movie, but I have a question about the ending. I think Munch has summarized the plot nicely, but there's one more element to consider.

The look they give each other..... The dreams were real, and they are now miles and miles from the safe haven he created. I interpreted this to mean "You were right, the end is here, and now we are going to die". As a couple, there was some small moment of comfort in knowing that all that came before was not a lie or a delusion, in spite of the grim reality they now faced.

My friend interprets is more as "You were right, quick, back to the storm shelter".

Old 05-23-2013, 12:52 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Originally Posted by knifebreaker View Post
My friend interprets is more as "You were right, quick, back to the storm shelter".
They were on vacation far away - what shelter does your friend think they were going to run back to? No - they're toast.
Old 05-23-2013, 02:41 PM
Munch Munch is offline
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Here's that final scene. What I bet everyone misses on the first time through is how far the ocean has receded in that last final glimpse - that means tsunami. There isn't a shelter they could possible get to in time that would save them.
Old 05-23-2013, 04:08 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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You can see the tsunami coming in the distance at the very end. It's very clever because you stop hearing the sound of the sea long before you see that the sea has withdrawn.
Old 12-11-2016, 05:47 PM
Sweetwater12 Sweetwater12 is offline
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My interpretation - it is a dream

The last storm is actually his dream. Remember...they didn't have money to afford beach. The dream is different from the first that instead of being alone and scared, his family is with him and they feel/see the storm (his mental illness). The meaning here is that they understand his oncoming mental disease and are with him as a family unit. It can be taken other ways, but a pretty cool ending considering it to be a dream.


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