After.Life Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Life Beyond tells the story of a schoolteacher who wakes up on a table in a funeral home, but is she really dead?


Anna Taylor, played by Christina Ricci, is in a relationship with boyfriend Paul, works. True, the girl does not consider herself happy, most of the time she is depressed and annoyed. Existence is a routine devoid of color.

In the evening, Paul invites Anna to dinner and announces that he is leaving for Chicago for work. The news infuriated the girl, she ran out of the restaurant, and Paul did not have time to make a marriage proposal. On the way, Anna does not follow the road and gets into an accident.

Waking up in the funeral home. Eliot Deacon, played by Liam Neeson, has the gift of communicating with the dead. The man tells Anna that she has died and gives a death certificate, but the main character does not want to believe. She tries to escape, throws things in the office, but her attempts are in vain.

Paul, having learned about the death of Anna, fell into despair, but suddenly her student Jack says that he saw her at night. Paul is shocked by the news, he wants to see Anna immediately, but Elliot does not allow this, which makes the guy even more suspicious.

The day of the funeral arrives, Eliot injects Anna with a paralyzing drug and places it in the coffin. Approaching the coffin, it seems to Paul that the girl’s hand moved, but he thought – it seemed. After the burial, Anna’s beloved cannot come to terms with her departure. Eliot says that the only way to find out the truth and be sure is to check it out yourself. Paul goes to Anna’s grave, we are shown that she is really alive, but later it turns out that Paul had an accident on the way to the cemetery. At the end of the movie, the hero lies on the table and Eliot says that he is dead.

The meaning of the film

The director of the film, Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Voslo, wanted to convey to the moviegoer that life’s journey is fleeting, every moment of it must be appreciated.

Anna Taylor is an ordinary person, like most city dwellers. The girl is sure: life is empty, full of problems, there is no reason for joy in it. Faced with death, she realized that she was wrong, but it is no longer possible to change fate.

Many of us are dead before we die. Physiological indicators cannot be called evidence to the contrary. A person should try to change something before it is too late.

Characteristics of heroes

Anna Taylor

Christina Ritchie’s character is a schoolteacher who is dating her fiancé Paul. Before the disaster, she seems dull. But having got to Eliot, the girl fights, clings to life, demonstrates strength of mind, perseverance. She is a strong and emotional person who failed to find life guidelines in time.


Works in a funeral service, preparing bodies for burial. Has the ability to understand dead people. An ambiguous character, as it is difficult for the viewer to understand whether he is negative or positive. Throughout the film, he has a dialogue with Anna and wants to prove to her that she is dead.


He is played by Justin Long. Anna’s fiancé. He loves the girl, tries to please her, but does not receive reciprocity. Anna’s death affects him and Paul tries to figure out what happened.


Anna’s student. The boy developed a trusting relationship with her. He is also able to communicate with the dead, so he noticed Anna at the window at night.

Photo: life beyond the film 2009 meaning


The film belongs to the category of philosophical. It raises the question of the value and meaning of existence. The end is interpreted in different ways:

  1. Anna is dead, Eliot has the ability to talk to the dead, and Paul has a car accident and dies.
  2. Anna is not dead, and Eliot is a maniac. He buries the living in order to rid the world of people whose existence is not endowed with meaning.

The ending gives ground for reflection, the viewer must decide for himself what exactly happened.

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