Aftersun Ending Explained [The Final Scene at the Airport]

The ending of a film can often provoke intense discussion and debate among viewers, as it is the final impression that lingers in their minds. One such film that has left audiences haunted and curious is “Aftersun.”

Directed by Charlotte Wells, this quiet and ambiguous film explores the relationship between father and daughter, Sophie and Callum, during a holiday in a Turkish resort. The ending of “Aftersun” has sparked numerous interpretations and theories, leaving viewers eager to uncover the true meaning behind it.

Aftersun Ending Explained [Short]

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The movie “Aftersun” concludes with an unexpected twist. David, the protagonist, who had been battling with unresolved emotional troubles, finally finds solace and closure. He comes to terms with his wife’s betrayal and his failed marriage and is able to move on.

The ending scene depicts him standing before the beautiful sunlit sea, signifying a new start in his life.
He decides to stay on the island, pouring his experiences into a book, which turns out to be a bestseller, symbolizing his triumph over grief and betrayal.

Through the plot arc, viewers witness not only his emotional evolution but also the beauty of self-rediscovery after a treacherous journey through pain and heartbreak.

The final shot of David contentedly watching the sunset suggests an era of peace and acceptance, emphasizing the film’s core theme: After every sunset, there is a sunrise, symbolizing a new beginning.

The Impact and Controversy of the Aftersun Ending

The ending of “Aftersun” is deliberately open to interpretation, which has both fascinated and frustrated audiences. It portrays loss, regret, and innocence in a hypnotic and haunting manner.

Without giving a definite answer, the film invites viewers to delve deeper into the hidden and not-so-hidden meanings, sparking discussions and debates about the fate of the characters and the weight of memories and loss.

Aftersun Ending Overview

Aftersun is a thought-provoking and ambiguous film that explores the complex relationship between father and daughter, Sophie and Calum, during a holiday in a Turkish resort.

Directed by Charlotte Wells and starring Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio, the film delves into themes of loss, regret, and innocence. The ending of Aftersun leaves viewers with unanswered questions, allowing for multiple interpretations.

A Brief Summary of the Film’s Storyline

The film follows Sophie and Calum as they spend time together on vacation. Throughout their trip, Calum exhibits moments of detachment and distraction, indicating that he may be struggling with mental health issues. As the days go on, Sophie grows concerned about her father’s state of mind.

In the film’s final scenes, an adult Sophie reflects on the holiday while watching videos she took during their time together. It becomes apparent that her father is no longer alive, suggesting that he may have died by suicide. The ending leaves Sophie filled with sadness and regret, as she realizes that she was unaware of her father’s inner struggles.

Key Characters and Their Relationships

  • Sophie: Sophie is the daughter of Calum and is portrayed by Frankie Corio. She experiences a bittersweet relationship with her father, characterized by moments of closeness and distance. As an adult, she reflects on their time together and grapples with the loss of her father.
  • Calum: Calum, played by Paul Mescal, is Sophie’s father. He exhibits signs of depression and mental health issues throughout the film. His interactions with Sophie are generally amicable, but there is an underlying sense of sadness and struggle.

These key characters and their complex relationship form the emotional core of the film. Aftersun aims to prompt discussions about mental health, parenting, aging, and the power of memories.

As with any ambiguous film, audience interpretations of the ending may vary. While Aftersun does not provide concrete answers, it invites viewers to explore themes of love, loss, and the lasting impact of memories.

The Final Scene at the Airport

The final scene in the movie Aftersun is a thought-provoking moment that leaves viewers with mixed emotions and various interpretations. In this poignant moment, Sophie and her father Calum are at the airport, and their interaction holds significant emotional weight.

Analyzing the Emotional Dynamics Between Calum and Sophie

As Sophie prepares to board the airplane, Calum captures the moment on a MiniDV camera. Their interaction reveals a bittersweet exchange, as Sophie continually runs back to be playful with her father, symbolizing their strong bond despite the distance that separates them.

The emotions conveyed in this scene suggest a deep connection and shared affection between the two characters.

Symbolism and Themes in the Airport Scene

The airport scene carries several symbolic and thematic elements. It represents their last moments of happiness together, emphasizing the nostalgia and longing for the past.

It also symbolizes the struggle to understand and reconcile with the past. Sophie cherishes the memories from the vacation they shared in Turkey, and through revisiting these memories, she hopes to gain insight into her father’s struggles.

Overall, the airport scene serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities of memory, the weight of past experiences, and the search for understanding and closure. It encapsulates the film’s exploration of the father-daughter relationship and the profound impact it has on Sophie’s journey of self-discovery.

The Dance Sequence

One of the most poignant moments in the film Aftersun is the dance sequence between Sophie and her father, Calum. This scene holds significant symbolic meaning in understanding their relationship and the overall themes of the film.

The Dance as a Symbolic Representation of Their Relationship

The dance represents a moment of connection and intimacy between Sophie and Calum, a rare occurrence in their strained relationship. It reflects their desire to find joy and solace in each other’s presence, despite the challenges they face.

The dance serves as a metaphor for the fleeting moments of happiness they experience together, as they try to navigate their complex emotions and unresolved issues.

This symbolic dance also underscores the theme of loss and regret in the film. Sophie cherishes this memory of dancing with her father, as it represents a time when they were happy and connected. It highlights the bittersweet nature of their relationship and the longing for what could have been.

Interpreting the Imagined Rave in Sophie’s Memories

The imagined rave in Sophie’s memories adds another layer of interpretation to the film’s ending. It depicts Calum at a rave, which can be seen as a visualization of his internal struggles and mental health issues.

The strobe lights and frenetic atmosphere symbolize the darkness and chaos he may have been experiencing internally. The fact that Sophie imagines herself watching from a distance suggests that she was aware of her father’s inner turmoil.

The rave scene also foreshadows the film’s ambiguous ending, leaving viewers to interpret what truly happened to Calum. Some may see it as a representation of his untimely death by suicide, while others may view it as a metaphorical representation of his eventual departure from Sophie’s life.

The film intentionally leaves this open to interpretation, inviting viewers to reflect on their own experiences and perceptions of mental health issues and their impact on relationships.

Calum’s Mental Health and Depression

In the film Aftersun (2022), the character Calum is portrayed as someone who is dealing with mental health issues, particularly depression. Throughout the movie, there are subtle hints and clues that suggest Calum’s struggle with his inner demons.

These hints include his melancholic demeanor, moments of disassociation, and his propensity to retire early, leaving his daughter Sophie on her own.

Examining the Subtle Hints and Clues Throughout the Film

One of the key aspects that indicate Calum’s mental health struggles is his calm but distant behavior during his time with Sophie. He often appears distracted and disconnected, even though he clearly loves his daughter.

Additionally, there are flashbacks of Calum in a club at a rave, where he seems to be in a frenetic state. Sophie is seen watching him from a distance, implying a sense of observation and concern.

Furthermore, there are instances where Calum’s depression becomes more apparent. He refuses to participate in activities, such as singing karaoke with Sophie, despite her eagerness. He is also seen with a cast, suggesting a previous injury, which may further symbolize his physical and emotional pain.

Understanding the Possible Implications for Calum’s Fate

As the film reaches its conclusion, it becomes evident that Sophie is reflecting on her memories of her father, implying that he is no longer alive. The assumption arises that Calum may have taken his own life.

This interpretation is fueled by the sense of sadness, regret, and helplessness that Sophie feels in not recognizing her father’s illness. The final scenes, showcasing Sophie watching videos of their vacation, further support this implication.

It is important to remember that Aftersun is a fictional film, and any conclusions drawn about Calum’s fate are subject to personal interpretation. However, the portrayal of mental health issues and their impact on individuals and their relationships remains a prominent theme within the movie.

Overall, Aftersun offers a thought-provoking exploration of mental health, parenting, aging, and memories. It serves as a poignant reminder of the power of memories and the impact of mental health struggles on individuals and their loved ones.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we will delve into the director’s perspective and the themes of love and memory in Aftersun.

Sophie’s Desperation and Desire to Hold on to Memories

The ending of the film “Aftersun” leaves viewers with a sense of ambiguity and emotional resonance. As the film progresses, we witness Sophie’s desperate attempt to hold onto her memories and come to terms with her father’s emotional struggles.

The symbolism and nuanced storytelling leave room for interpretation, allowing the audience to delve into Sophie’s emotional journey and character development.

Throughout the film, Sophie’s desire to connect with her father and make sense of their complex relationship is evident. She recognizes the emotional brokenness within her father, and her attempts to understand and support him are heartbreaking.

Sophie’s frustration, anger, and longing are palpable, culminating in the final dance scene where she confronts her father’s inner turmoil. The lyrics of the song “Under Pressure” playing in the background resonate deeply, underscoring the tension and emotional weight of their relationship.

Exploring Sophie’s Emotional Journey and Character Development

Sophie’s character development throughout the film is striking. As a tween girl on vacation, she seeks fun and self-discovery while under her father’s less strict supervision. However, her experiences at the resort highlight her maturity, insight, and emotional depth.

Sophie’s interactions with other teenagers and her observations of her father’s struggles shape her own understanding of the world and her place in it.

The film’s fragmented narrative, shown through home videos and Sophie’s memories, emphasizes her limited comprehension of her father’s depression.

As an adult reflecting back on the trip, Sophie grapples with feelings of guilt, anger, and the heartbreaking realization that she couldn’t save him. The rave scenes and Sophie’s pursuit of her father’s fragmented presence symbolize her own journey to come to terms with his absence.

While the film intentionally leaves the ending open to interpretation, it strongly suggests that Calum, Sophie’s father, may have taken his own life.

The imagery and symbolism used throughout the film point towards the tragedy of his mental health struggles. Sophie’s possession of his camera and the Polaroid photo that never develops further indicate a painful resolution to their story.

Overall, “Aftersun” is a poignant exploration of memory, grief, and the complexities of familial relationships. It invites viewers to reflect on their own understandings of depression, loss, and the impact it has on those left behind.

The film’s emotional resonance and thought-provoking themes make it a compelling and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Aftersun 2022 | Ending scene (Underpressure)

Camcorder Footage and its Impact on the Ending

The ending of the film “Aftersun” is beautifully captured through the use of camcorder footage. The framing device of adult Sophie looking back at the videos she and her father, Calum, shot during their holiday adds a nostalgic and melancholic tone to the film.

The camcorder footage serves as a powerful tool to reflect on the past and explore the complexities of their relationship.

Interpreting the Final Moments Sophie Sees of Her Father

In the final moments of the film, Sophie watches the camcorder footage of her father, Calum, dancing at a rave. The strobe lights coming from behind the door imply that this becomes Sophie’s final active memory of her father.

The flickering lights and fragmented images symbolize the fading nature of memories and the difficulty of holding onto them as time passes.

The Meaning Behind Calum’s Decision to Return to the Rave

Calum’s decision to return to the rave in the final scene can be interpreted in different ways. It could represent his retreat into his own world of memories, escaping from the realities of life.

The strobe lights and the rave environment could symbolize a metaphorical journey into the realm of death or afterlife.

Calum’s choice to walk away from the camcorder and towards the rave suggests his acceptance of his fate and his ultimate desire to be remembered in Sophie’s memories.

Overall, the use of camcorder footage adds depth and emotional resonance to the ending of “Aftersun,” allowing viewers to reflect on the complexities of loss, memories, and the lasting impact of relationships.

Director’s Intentions and Audience Interpretations

The ending of the film “Aftersun” has left viewers with various interpretations and emotions. The writer and director, Charlotte Wells, deliberately crafted an ambiguous ending, allowing the audience to fill in the gaps and draw their own conclusions.

In interviews, Wells has emphasized her intention to leave room for different experiences and interpretations of the film.

Insights and Interviews with Director Charlotte Wells

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wells discussed the importance of ambiguity in “Aftersun.” She stated that the loss portrayed in the ending resonates deeply with viewers, regardless of how they interpret the specific events.

Wells also clarified that the relationship between the father and daughter in the film is not meant to be described as estranged but rather intimate and loving.

Wells expressed her devotion to maintaining the element of mystery throughout the film, resisting the urge to over-explain the ending.

She believes that viewers’ experiences of the film should not be denied or constrained by a single definitive explanation.

Examining Different Interpretations and Reactions to the Ending

The ending of “Aftersun” has sparked discussions and debates among audiences. Some viewers interpret the final scenes as a representation of the father’s guilt and regret for not being present enough in his daughter’s life.

They see the airport scene as a poignant moment of farewell and the father’s acceptance of his failures.

Others perceive the ending as a portrayal of the father’s mental health struggles, leading to feelings of isolation and ultimately his disappearance.

They interpret the final scenes as a merging of memories and the daughter’s attempt to hold on to her fading recollections of her father.

These varied interpretations showcase the power of the film in evoking emotional responses and inviting personal introspection.

“Aftersun” explores themes of mental health, parenting, aging, and memories, encouraging viewers to reflect on their own experiences and connections to the characters.

Plot Analysis

Sophie’s reflection on a holiday with her father

– Sophie revisits memories of a vacation spent with her father, Calm, from two decades prior.- The film intertwines the innocence of childhood with adulthood’s complex awareness.- As adult Sophie, played by Celia Rowlson-Hall, delves into the past, critical moments resurface.

Exploration of shared joy and private melancholy

– The narrative oscillates between moments of shared happiness and private sorrows.- Calm, portrayed by Paul Mescal, is seen through Sophie’s adoring eyes yet carries his own silent struggles.- By toggling between timelines, Sophie’s journey uncovers layers of emotional intensity.

Cinematography and Visuals

Visual storytelling techniques

  • Breathtaking Cinematography: Aftersun features visually stunning shots that enhance the storytelling.
  • Authentic Locations: The film was shot across various countries, adding realism to each scene.
  • Production Design and Visual Effects: Commitment to quality is evident through the film’s superb production design and effects.

Impact of visual elements on storytelling

  • Complementing the Narrative: The film’s soundtrack amplifies the emotional weight of the story.
  • Visual Immersion: The movie’s visuals play a critical role in immersing the audience into its world.
  • Actors’ Performances: Enhanced by the visuals, the performances of the actors gain additional depth and nuance.
  • Pacing and Engagement: The visual elements contribute significantly to the film’s pacing, keeping viewers captivated.

Soundtrack and Music

Role of music in setting the tone

  • Evocative Soundtrack: Aftersun’s music, including its remix of iconic vocals, sets a poignant atmosphere that reflects the film’s themes.
  • Auditory Symbolism: The score bridges temporal and spatial gaps, mirroring the emotional journey of the characters.

Analysis of the musical score and its emotional impact

  • Haunting Remix: The innovative remix of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury’s vocals delivers a haunting resonance that anchors the film’s climax.
  • Synth and Strings Fusion: Combining modern synth with classical strings creates a timeless soundtrack that enhances the film’s narrative.

Critical Reception

Review of the movie by critics

Critics have praised “Aftersun” for its emotional depth and cinematic craftsmanship. The movie’s subtle narrative approach and character development received acclaim, as did the performances of its leads. Its nuanced portrayal of complex emotions and relationships set it apart as an example of outstanding filmmaking in contemporary cinema.

Audience reactions and ratings

Audience feedback highlights a strong emotional connection with “Aftersun.” Many viewers found the film to grow on them over time, with additional layers of meaning revealed upon reflection and subsequent viewings. Ratings reflect this profound impact, with a significant number of positive responses appreciating the film’s authenticity and thoughtful storytelling.


Aftersun (2022) is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film that explores the complexities of a father-daughter relationship. The ending of the film leaves viewers with a sense of ambiguity, allowing for multiple interpretations.

Whether it be the suggestion of suicide or the creation of false memories, the final scenes leave a lasting impact on audiences.

The Lasting Impact of Aftersun and its Ending

The ambiguous nature of the ending in Aftersun allows for individual interpretation and reflection. It raises questions about mental health, loss, and the depth of human emotions.

The portrayal of Sophie and Callum’s relationship, along with the haunting visuals, lingers in the minds of viewers long after the film concludes.

Final Thoughts and Reflections on the Film

Aftersun is a powerful debut film by Charlotte Wells, who draws from her own personal experiences to create a raw and impactful story. The film’s ability to evoke a range of emotions, from nostalgia to heartbreak, is a testament to its strong storytelling and execution.

While the ending may be challenging to fully comprehend, it invites viewers to reflect on the complexities of human relationships and the lasting impact of our actions.

In conclusion, Aftersun (2022) is a film that leaves an indelible mark on its viewers. Its exploration of grief, regret, and the delicate nature of memories is brought to life through mesmerizing performances and atmospheric cinematography.

The ending, though open to interpretation, leaves a lasting impact, prompting audiences to reflect on the invisible struggles we may encounter in our own lives.


  • Pravin Kumar

    HI, my name is Pravin Kumar. Whenever it comes to movies web series and entertainment, i become enthusiast. I always get inspire by cinema. When i was child I used to be very excited for movies. as i grown up, my love for cinema gone deeper. I have interest from Classic massterpiece to blobuster movies. I always keep myelf up to date. I not only enjyoj the movie but i also aprriciate the way it is made. From direction to cinematography to acting to script writing, I get excited about everything.

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