That's What You Get When You Let Your Heart Win (10 Movies With "Bleak" Endings)
- By lucidunicorn
- On 08/05/2018
- 0 comments
Okay, okay it’s been awhile since I’ve done a recommendations list of top 10 movies, so I have decided to gift you guys with this list of awesome movies with what some might call “bleak” or “unhappy” endings-ish (p.s there will be typos/grammar mistakes). I had to dig deep into my memory of films that I’ve seen in my entire 24 years of existence so that I can compile this list of movies that had characters listen to their hearts and well that didn’t end very well (and sometimes it wasn’t their hearts just circumstances).
A film about the disintegration of a relationship will surely be heart wrenching, Blue Valentine’s themes are further enhanced by the heartbreaking performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling. The film makes us watch Ryan and Michelle’s characters who have a somewhat unbreakable relationship, that seemingly dissolves right in front of our eyes and the destruction of the love becomes embedded deep into our minds. The ending of this film often replays itself in my head when I least expect it and I end up crying randomly.
Alright I know, we cancelled Roman because he is a shitty human being but he did give us this 60’s classic. The reason why I placed this film on the list is because the ending qualifies it. I mean what would you do if you learned that you gave birth to the spawn of Satan? That’s the very real moment that Rosemary (Mia Farrow) is faced with, as she has to make a choice, would she kill her baby or become a mother to the antichrist? Well Rosemary picks the latter choosing to listen to her heart and love her baby that will grow up to bring about the end of the world.
Here we have this masterpiece by John Trengove that has an ending that haunted me for days after watching it. Inxeba has become one of the most controversial films to ever come out of South Africa and to this day the film still has the nation divided. What makes the ending of Inxeba bleak, is how heartbreaking it truly is, also how it just ends and it just sticks with you, leaving you broken and shook at the same time. How the main character Xolani does something so inhumane to protect a love and also his masculinity, ugh man iconic.
“What’s in the box? What’s in the box?” Do I really need to talk about this films ending? A modern classic of the psychological-thriller genre, Se7en inspired so many that came after it but the film is often remembered for the iconic performance from asshole Kevin Spacy and the murder scenes, it has however gained popularity over the years for the unbelievably bleak ending. An ending so brilliant that I don’t think anyone will ever top the sheer impact it had not only to the characters themselves but to the audiences also.
This film is probably one of Bong Joon-ho’s finer works and the ending oh my god! The last act still has me shook and angry. This is one of those films where our heroes defeat the big bad monster but at what cost? We spent much of the film rooting for a character only to have the character die, throwing everyone including the audience into emotional turmoil. The death had me asking the film what was it all for, why did you have me root for this character only for you to kill my soul? Sure they get the monster but the final scene will always remind us of the life lost and no matter what you try to replace it with, the reminder of death will always be there.
#5. Grave of the Fireflies directed by Isao Takahata.
This 1988 anime film is really of the most painful films I have ever watched and I think it really ranks up there in terms of anime greats. The film is set during World War II and we follow two siblings who struggle to survive after being separated from their parents. The film is extremely heartbreaking at almost every turn but the moments when Seita tries to cook for Setsuko who is suffering from malnutrition but before he could even feed her, she dies - a so close but so far moment that will break you. Typing this has me teary eyed already.
#4. Dancer in the Dark directed by Lars von Trier.
Only Lars von Trier who gave us the “Depression Trilogy” can turn a musical into a bleak cinematic tale. This underrated gem which stars music icon Björk is melodramatic and with an ending that’s very painful to watch. Trier makes us watch as Björk’s character walks the gallows all terrified and full of fear because her incoming death, Trier then makes us watch she is hanged while singing a song in which she never finishes. There’s nothing you can do but hold your chest real tight as the feels flood in.
#3. La vita è bella (Life Is Beautiful) directed by Roberto Benigni.
The film follows a Jewish bookshop owner who tries to shield his son from the horrors and trauma of a Nazi concentration camp. Roberto Benigni’s classic is one of those films that has an extremely serious subject matter coated in comedy, so it’s basically like an Infinity War, you know stakes are high but let’s throw in a joke here and there. Despite all that the film has a very bleak ending which sees the bookshop owner get killed, while his son hides thinking they’re still playing a game. Yikes right?
#2. Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father directed by Kurt Kuenne.
This documentary from Kurt is very sad considering it looks into a murder but the heart breaking and bleak moments come when the killer isn’t jailed and the family must deal with the death, though there is a bit of redemption at the end, one cannot take away the bleakness of it all. I mean a life has been lost and no matter what you do, that can never be reversed. It being a documentary opens up this realism factor and you see how evil/deranged people can be.
#1. 21 Grams directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Part of Iñárritu’s “Death Trilogy” of course this film will be bleak and heartbreaking AF! Why I picked this film instead of the two films which are equally great, I just found this film to be more impactful. The ending might show a glimmer of hope a bit that doesn’t take away from the tragedy and chaos that happens beforehand, the death and sadness of it all. I really don’t want to say much about this one other than please watch it.
Ok guys check these films out and as always if you’d like us to compile a top whatever list let us know, and also lets us know which films you think deserved to be here.