The Strays Ending Explained

The ending of the movie “The Strays” takes an unexpected turn, revealing the true nature of the main character, Neve. Throughout the film, Neve appears to be a victim and is portrayed as trying to escape her past. However, the ending exposes her hidden secrets and internalized prejudices.

Overview of the movie

Contents show

The Strays” is a psychological thriller that delves into the complexities of race, class separation, and identity in modern-day Britain. The story follows the life of Cheryl, a Black woman who escapes an abusive relationship and starts a new life in the suburbs under the name Neve. Neve marries a white man, Ian, and together they have two children. However, her carefully constructed life is disrupted when her abandoned Black children, Carl and Dione, track her down.

The ending of “The Strays” raises difficult questions about how people adapt to life in a society that still harbors deeply-rooted prejudices. Neve’s attempt to suppress her true identity and fit into a predominantly white community ultimately leads to tragic consequences. The film serves as a commentary on the lingering effects of colonialism and the challenges faced by marginalized communities in finding acceptance and belonging.

II. Neve’s journey throughout the movie

Neve’s initial dissatisfaction and abandonment of her previous life

In the movie “The Strays,” Neve, a light-skinned Black woman, begins her journey in a run-down room, expressing her dissatisfaction with her current life situation. Tired of relying on government assistance and feeling judged by others, Neve decides to leave behind her two young Black children, Carl and Dione, and start a new life in an affluent all-white suburban neighborhood. This decision is driven by her desire for a better life and the opportunity to escape poverty and racial prejudice.

Neve’s new life in an affluent white neighborhood

Neve successfully integrates into her new life, becoming the deputy headmistress at a private school that her children attend. She actively participates in her community, organizing fundraising events for underprivileged children and enjoying tea with her white friends. Neve’s new life appears idyllic and completely detached from her previous struggles.

The facade starting to fade and the return of her past

However, Neve’s carefully constructed facade begins to crumble. She starts seeing glimpses of a Black man who may be a stalker or a figment of her imagination. In her backyard fundraiser, Carl and Dione unexpectedly show up, shocking Neve and bringing her past back into her present life. The movie ends with all four children abandoned, standing together, listening to the sound of a motorbike driving away, leaving Neve shattered and forced to confront the consequences of her choices.

To fully grasp the complexity of Neve’s journey and the movie’s ending, it’s important to watch “The Strays” and experience the emotional depth and twists for yourself.

III. The significance of hair in The Strays

The motif of hair throughout the movie

Throughout the movie, hair plays a significant role as a visual motif in The Strays. From the very beginning, the film uses hair as a symbol to convey deeper meaning and reflect the characters’ identities and struggles. Here are some key points regarding the motif of hair in the movie:

  • The characters’ hair serves as a metaphor for their inner selves and the idea of hiding or suppressing their true identities.
  • Cheryl, later known as Neve, consistently hides her natural hair under sleek and well-maintained wigs to fit into the white society she has joined. This reflects her desire to assimilate and the lengths she goes to suppress her blackness.
  • Neve’s nervous itch and discomfort when she sees her own natural hair underneath her wig highlight the ongoing internal conflict she experiences.
  • In one of the hallucination scenes, Neve is attacked by her own hair, symbolizing the hold it has over her life and the need to confront her true self.

Neve’s relationship with her own hair and its symbolism

Neve’s relationship with her hair not only reflects her struggle with racial identity but also highlights her desire to conform and escape her past. Here are some key points regarding Neve’s relationship with her own hair and its symbolism:

  • Neve views her natural hair in a negative light, associating it with her troubled past and the reasons she feels marginalized in society.
  • The constant use of wigs allows Neve to cover up her true self, both physically and metaphorically.
  • Her insistence on hiding her hair under wigs reflects her desire to maintain a certain image and fit into the white society she has married into.
  • Neve’s discomfort with her daughter Mary’s hairstyles further reveals her unresolved issues with her own identity and heritage.

These thematic elements involving hair contribute to the overall depth and symbolism in The Strays, provoking thought and enhancing the movie’s exploration of race, identity, and trauma. 

IV. The return of Carl and Dione

After a long absence, Carl and Dione, Neve’s abandoned children, resurface in her new life. Their unexpected return shakes the foundation of Neve’s carefully constructed world, and they have plans of their own.

Neve’s attempt to pay them off and their refusal

Neve, feeling cornered and desperate, tries to offer Carl and Dione a substantial sum of money to convince them to leave. She believes that money can solve any problem, but her offer is promptly rejected by her estranged children. Carl and Dione see through her manipulative tactics and refuse to be bought off.

Carl and Dione’s plan to integrate into Neve’s family

Unwilling to let Neve off the hook so easily, Carl and Dione take matters into their own hands. They decide to infiltrate Neve’s new life and integrate themselves into her family. Their ultimate goal is to expose the truth about their mother’s abandonment and make her face the consequences of her actions.

With their plan set in motion, the tension escalates as Carl and Dione become more and more involved in Neve’s life. The question remains: will their plan succeed, and what will be the consequences for Neve and her family?

To fully understand the intricacies of the ending and the fates of the characters, watch the thought-provoking film “The Strays” on Netflix.

V. The climax and resolution

The confrontation between Neve’s family and Carl and Dione

In the climactic ending of “The Strays,” Neve’s past finally catches up with her as Carl and Dione confront her and her family in their own home. Tensions escalate quickly as Neve is both shocked and fearful of their presence. The scene becomes intense as emotions run high and the truth behind Neve’s past is revealed.

The transformation of the movie from psychological thriller to tense thriller

“The Strays” takes a surprising turn in its climax, transforming from a psychological thriller into a tense thriller. The atmosphere becomes increasingly suspenseful as the characters navigate through uncertain territory. The director, Nathaniel Martello-White, successfully builds up the tension, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats.

The fate of Neve’s husband, Ian

In a shocking twist, the fate of Neve’s husband, Ian, is revealed. As tensions reach a boiling point, Carl decides that Ian must be eliminated for their plan to succeed. The scene turns disturbing as Carl uses brutal force, resulting in Ian’s tragic demise. This unexpected turn of events further heightens the suspense and leaves a lasting impact on the audience.

Overall, the ending of “The Strays” delivers a powerful and emotionally charged resolution, showcasing the consequences of Neve’s past actions and the lingering effects of generational trauma. The transformation of the movie from a psychological thriller to a tense thriller adds an extra layer of dimension and keeps viewers engaged until the very end

VI. Neve’s second abandonment and the cyclical nature of trauma

Neve’s decision to leave again

The ending of the film “The Strays” takes a dark turn as Neve, the main character, makes the shocking decision to leave her family once again. Despite her claims of wanting to escape an abusive relationship and starting a new life, it becomes clear that there is more to her motivations than what she initially revealed. Neve’s carefully crafted illusion of an ideal life is shattered when her past catches up to her, and she realizes that she cannot rectify the situation. This leads her to abandon her family, including her children Mary and Sebastian, in a tragic repetition of past trauma and abandonment.

A closer look at Neve’s motivations and the revelation of her true character

Throughout the film, it becomes apparent that Neve is not as honest as she first appears. She has gone to great lengths to assimilate into white society, often discriminating against people of color, including her own heritage. Her decision to leave once again exposes her true character and highlights the cyclical nature of trauma. Despite her victimhood, Neve becomes the perpetrator, repeating the cycle of abandonment and perpetuating the harm inflicted on her and her children.

The implications for the next generation, Mary and Sebastian

Mary and Sebastian are left to bear the consequences of Neve’s actions. The cycle of trauma continues as they become caught up in the mess that their mother has created. The film suggests that they will experience the same pain and abandonment that Neve and her estranged children, Carl and Dione, endured. It serves as a reminder of how generational trauma can affect the lives of those involved and the importance of breaking these destructive cycles.

Overall, the ending of “The Strays” provides a thought-provoking exploration of the cyclical nature of trauma and the profound impact it can have on individuals and families. It raises questions about the choices we make and the long-lasting consequences

VII. Analysis of the ending and its meaning

Neve as both victim and villain

In the ending of “The Strays,” the character of Neve (previously known as Cheryl) is revealed to be both a victim and a villain in her own story. Throughout the film, Neve is portrayed as a sympathetic character who has been abandoned and faced numerous hardships. However, her decision to leave her children behind and start a new life in an affluent, predominantly white neighborhood raises questions about her morality and the choices she made.

The ending demonstrates the complexity of Neve’s character and highlights the internal conflicts she faced. On one hand, she is a victim of societal pressures that have made her feel ashamed of her poverty and Blackness. This pressure leads her to abandon her children and attempt to assimilate into a different social and racial identity. On the other hand, her actions also make her a villain, as she ultimately leaves her children once again, demonstrating a pattern of selfishness and abandonment.

The societal pressures and cyclical nature of trauma portrayed in the ending

The ending of “The Strays” also explores the cyclical nature of trauma and the impact of societal pressures on individuals. Neve’s decision to leave her children can be seen as a result of the trauma she experienced growing up in poverty and facing racial discrimination. However, her actions also perpetuate this cycle of trauma, as her children are left to navigate their own abandonment issues and struggle with their racial identity.

By portraying this cycle of trauma, “The Strays” highlights the larger societal issues of class separation, race, abandonment, and appropriation. Neve’s story serves as a commentary on the internalized prejudices and pressures that individuals face, and how these factors can lead to harmful behaviors and perpetuate systemic problems.

Overall, the ending of “The Strays” offers a thought-provoking analysis of Neve’s character and the societal factors that contribute to her actions. It encourages viewers to reflect on the complexities of human behavior and the impact of external influences on individual choices.

VIII. The Strays’ critical reception and audience reaction to the ending

Since its debut on Netflix, The Strays has garnered a mix of reviews from both critics and viewers. The movie’s ending, in particular, has sparked various interpretations and opinions. Here is a discussion of the movie’s reception and the audience reaction to the ending:

Discussion of the movie’s reception among critics and viewers

  • While some critics praised the film’s unique storytelling and thought-provoking themes, others found it lacking in execution and coherence.
  • The Strays has been commended for its exploration of race, class, abandonment, and trauma, with many praising its commentary on these social issues.
  • Critics have noted that the movie’s use of visual motifs, such as hair, adds depth to the narrative and enhances its symbolism.
  • However, some reviewers criticized the film for what they deemed as an inconsistent tone and pacing, which affected their overall enjoyment.

Different interpretations and opinions on the ending

  • The ending of The Strays has left viewers with mixed feelings, with some finding it satisfyingly unsettling and others feeling confused or unsatisfied.
  • Some viewers interpreted the ending as a commentary on the cyclical nature of trauma and the perpetuation of psychological wounds across generations.
  • Others saw the ending as a critique of societal structures that marginalize individuals based on race and class, with the protagonist ultimately trapped in a cycle of seeking acceptance and assimilation.
  • Different theories have emerged regarding Neve’s motivations for leaving and abandoning her children, with debates about whether she was a victim or a villain in the story.

Overall, The Strays’ ending has sparked discussions and debates among viewers, showcasing its ability to provoke thought and interpretation. The movie’s critical reception and audience reaction highlight the diverse perspectives it has elicited, making it a thought-provoking piece of cinema.

IX. Conclusion

Summary of the key points discussed

In this article, we explored the ending of the movie “The Strays” and discussed its implications within the context of the story. We examined the storyline of a mother who abandons her children in search of a better life and how her past comes back to haunt her. Key points discussed include:

  1. The initial setup of the story, where Cheryl (later known as Neve) leaves her previous life behind to start anew in an affluent suburb.
  2. The introduction of her abandoned children, Carl and Dione, who track her down and infiltrate her new life.
  3. The ending sequence, where Carl and Dione invade Neve’s home and confront her, leading to a tense and unsettling conclusion.

Final thoughts on the ending and its impact within the context of the movie

The ending of “The Strays” is a powerful and thought-provoking conclusion to the story. It explores themes of abandonment, racial identity, and the consequences of trying to escape one’s past. The movie delves into the complexities of privilege, class separation, and internalized racism within modern society.

Ultimately, the ending leaves the audience with a sense of unease and raises questions about the characters’ choices and the impact of their actions. It serves as a reflection of the realities and struggles faced by individuals who navigate issues of race, identity, and belonging.

“The Strays” is a chilling and intense film that offers a nuanced exploration of societal dynamics and personal struggles. It challenges viewers to confront uncomfortable truths and consider the implications of their own actions.


  • 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.

Leave a Comment