KIMBERLEY FRENCH/NETFLIX © 2021
After the gigantic success of Blindly, that film of psychological horror, rather optical, Netflix has again shot Sandra Bullock to go blind to visualizations. It is not about the aftermath of that bombshell – that task he has left it to Mario Casas-, but the drama that you just devoured, Unforgivable. If you have not seen it, run away, because we are going to analyze the ending with full spoilers.
A very brief summary of what you have seen: Ruth Slater (Bullock) spent 20 years in jail for covering up for her little sister, Katherine, who at just five years old shot the sheriff who was going to throw them out of their house. Later he grew up in an adoptive family oblivious to everything that happened. Ruth, upon leaving prison, tries to contact her without success, until Katherine’s adoptive sister helps her. The dead sheriff’s son wants revenge and kidnaps Katherine’s adoptive sister by mistake. His objective is to assassinate her in front of Ruth so that she suffers the same as him, but in the end he is not capable and they escape. In the last scene, Katherine, who has gone with her adoptive parents to rescue her sister, sees Ruth for the first time after those twenty years. They hug. End.
Everything seems very clear, a happy ending to a very hard tragedy in which family ties maintain their knots even when everything is against it. A story of brotherly love in a context of injustice and suffering. We say “it seems” because we can do two readings, one slightly psychopathic and the other much more interesting social.
The end of ‘Unforgivable’: the psycho theory
Look into the eyes of Katherine, the sister of the protagonist. In that photo it is all sweetness, also fragility. We know about her that she supposedly does not remember anything about her childhood, that she is traumatized, that can’t sleep at night, who needs medication but abandons it often so as not to impair her talent for playing the piano. Also that he has constant nightmares and outbursts of anger even with his adorable adoptive sister. Now we go to the surprise scene in which we discover that it was her, at five years old, who shot the sheriff. After that critical moment, in which it seems that she shot without too much contemplation, Ruth takes her out for some pancakes. In the brief conversation before the police arrive, Ruth tells him that she is sorry that he had to do what he has done. “The what?” Says the girl.
Two options: either the shock really made him block the situation and he really forgot his sister during all those years due to post-traumatic stress … Or he does remember. From the beginning. And more every time he plays the piano. In that case we would be talking about a person with psychopathic traits who assumes that his sister pays for his actions and is capable of pretending that he has forgotten everything to protect himself. In fact, at no time does he show interest in knowing his past. The final hug, which is not very expressive on his part, could somehow be interpreted as a ‘wow, you’re here’. Katherine approaches with her arms crossed, with more concern than joy on her face …
The end of ‘Unforgivable’: social criticism
Nothing, forget the above because it is a mental straw only suitable for ill-thought-out spectators. That there are, eye. But, in addition to worry, Katherine’s face gives off love, so forget it.
Looking at the film with a broader perspective, what it actually raises is a devastating criticism of the relationship of US administrations with their citizens. To the radical lack of protection suffered by the most vulnerable people. What is truly ‘unforgivable’ is that two orphaned sisters aged 5 and 20 are victims of an eviction, a subject we also know something about in these parts. That is the origin of the destruction of two families, because that of the sheriff is also marked by fire.
This lack of public protection is also reflected in the release of Sandra Bullock’s character from prison. The agent who monitors her probation, despite her good disposition, always makes her see that for society she will always be an ex-convict, condemned to live among other excluded people and to carry out extremely tough jobs that only accept immigrants or ex-convicts. Your rights are a nuisance that you should be careful not to exercise to avoid getting into more trouble.
Finally, it is also the umpteenth criticism of libre access to arms in the United States. But that battle, like the previous two, seems completely lost.
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The end of ‘Unforgivable’ (Netflix) explained: Did he remember or not?