World News – UK – Rebecca’s ending explained by director Ben Wheatley


Netflix’s Rebecca is the latest adaptation to tackle Daphne du Maurier’s classic Gothic novel about a bride haunted by the presence of her husband’s ex-wife

Anyone who’s already familiar with the tale might not expect many surprises in Ben Wheatley’s version, adapted for the screen by Jane Goldman, but while it’s a faithful take, there are tweaks. here and there to the original text

So we decided to sit down with Wheatley to talk about Rebecca’s big reveal and times they diverged from the novel, as well as previous adaptations such as the 1940 Oscar-winning Alfred Hitchcock film

As in the novel, the central event of the film occurs when Mrs. de Winter (Lily James) decides to organize a costume ball as before in Manderley

She thinks she’s won over the imposing housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas), and that the ball is the perfect opportunity to rekindle the spark of her marriage to Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer)

Ms Danvers manipulates her into wearing the same dress as Maxim’s late wife, Rebecca, at her last prom, causing Maxim to react in anger Ms de Winter’s mental state deteriorates to the point that Ms Danvers almost convinces her to kill herself

However, just as Ms. de Winter is about to jump, a trawler washes off the shore with Rebecca’s body on board, despite Maxim having previously identified a body as his wife months earlier.

She was already dead when the boat sank and it was Maxim who deliberately damaged her.Moreover, it was he who killed her by shooting her after she tricked him into carrying the baby of her cousin Jack Favell (Sam Riley)

« When she came back from London she told me she was expecting a visit from Favell When I had her she was alone She looked different she was pale She had seen a doctor in London, ”Maxim tells his wife

« She said: ‘Imagine if I had a child, Max, you could never prove it wasn’t yours’ See, it wasn’t enough for her to take my pride She wanted to take my name, my house, everything And she said: ‘Go on Max, do it All you have to do is pull the trigger and you’ll be free’ « 

In the Hitchcock version, Rebecca’s death was changed to be accidental as it was believed that Maxim shouldn’t get away with the crime if he killed her It was important to Wheatley that his version brought back this that really happened in du Maurier’s book

« This is not a remake of the Hitchcock movie so it was very important Because it is the moral center of the movie Without it the movie means a lot less If she just tripped on a rope and died, it’s a little weird, ”he told Digital Spy

Wheatley isn’t even sure Maxim is telling the truth about what happened to Rebecca and could just manipulate his new wife to help her

« Do you even believe what de Winter says about what happened in the boathouse? I don’t know ‘She begged me to shoot her’, Yes indeed You are the only person still alive who knows what happened in that room, ”he continued

« As far as we know, he jumped from behind the sofa and shot her as she walked in. We just don’t know »

Whether Maxim is telling the truth or not, it suffices to persuade Mrs. de Winter to do whatever she can to prevent him from being convicted of Rebecca’s murder

Thanks to the efforts of Favell and Ms Danvers, the coroner’s inquest does not go in Maxim’s favor after Favell revealed that Rebecca wanted to see him the night he died and Maxim was willing to pay him to babysit that secret

Ms Danvers suggests to the investigation that Rebecca’s trip to see a doctor in London was due to her being pregnant and the investigation is on hold pending a criminal investigation, which may see Maxim hanged for his crime

However, Ms de Winters – playing a more active role than in the novel – tracks down the doctor Rebecca saw in London and finds out Rebecca had terminal cancer

Once the police found out, Ms de Winter explained that due to her diagnosis, Rebecca decided to drown by damaging her own boat It works and Maxim is released with Rebecca’s death ruled suicide

They return to Manderley to find Mrs. Danvers burned him because she knows Maxim « killed the only person I loved »

« I can’t let you have Manderley, it was ours, you see I know you will support him, but you will never know happiness, « Ms Danvers tells Ms de Winter before jumping to her death in a novel change, where her fate remains ambiguous

It’s a friendlier version of Ms. Danvers than in du Maurier’s book and previous adaptations, something Wheatley says is earned when you actually watch the events of the film

« If you just write down what happened, and think about it without the shine of their relationship, love and all that side salad, the reality of what happened is that a man murdered his wife, hid the body and fled with it, ”he explained

« [He] has a new wife and does whatever he wants This woman who loved Rebecca and was her best friend and who has now found out that the guy she works with murdered someone, she completely right, in many ways « 

Rebecca ends with Maxim and Mme de Winter continuing their lives in Cairo and Mme de Winter’s voiceover is full of hope: « I can see the woman I am now and I know I took the right one decision To save the only thing worth crossing the flames Love « 

« I think it depends on your state of mind when you watch it – you know whether it’s optimistic or not I’m not sure it’s that optimistic I think they’re trying to pull it off the best in so many ways, and it’s kind of a bittersweet ending, ”he concluded.

« Because in reality the end is Danvers says, ‘He killed his wife, and you’re going to support him And you’ll never know happiness Goodbye’ It’s hard to get over it

« I like it to be a little nasty taste in my mouth, this ending She looks at the camera like… I feel like she’s going to leave it I don’t feel like she will hang around for a long time because it damaged goods

« He shows his hand, which is insanely weak. He’s a murderer, and she helped him get through this »

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Rebecca, Netflix, Lily James, Daphné du Maurier, Ben Wheatley, Armie Hammer, Mme de Winter

News from around the world – UK – End of Rebecca explained by director Ben Wheatley


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