GirlMovie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

In the Belgian-Dutch drama GIRL A young teenager finds herself despite all odds. The fact that director Lukas Dhont hardly puts any obstacles in her way is an exciting approach that he consistently pursues at the beginning. But in the second half the film turns to kitsch of concern. We reveal more about this in our review.

The Plot Summary

Lara (Victor Polster) is 15 and has a dream: She wants to become a ballet dancer. When she is accepted with reservations at a renowned academy, she moves to Brussels with her father (Arieh Worthalter) and her little brother. Meanwhile, Lara is trying to win a second battle: she wants to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Outwardly she is already a girl, but her body is still that of a boy. Her father supports her in her project, accompanies his daughter every step of the way and is there for her, just like psychologists and doctors. But the pressure on the young ballerina to perform is enormous and Lara is thrown into the hot and cold waters of puberty by her classmates. The strenuous training ultimately forces Lara to chastise herself, which in turn puts her operation at risk. Her two big dreams seem to contradict each other more and more. When the doctors finally forbid her from ballet, Lara makes a momentous decision with which she wants to finally become a woman…

Movie explanation of the ending

A rethink is currently taking place in the film business. It’s not just women and men who should finally be treated equally; it’s also members of marginalized groups who should finally be given natural consideration when assigning roles. “Black Panther” was an exception this year as the first blockbuster with a black superhero and, largely due to its powerful success, is considered a pioneer in the field of casting African Americans in big-budget productions; both in front of and behind the camera. The same applies to the US RomCom “Crazy Rich”, whose ensemble consists almost exclusively of Asian actors. This change, which is worth advocating, also changes the sensitivity of the audience. We only remember the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson, about whom a shitstorm initially erupted because she was given the lead role in “Ghost in The Shell,” which was actually of Asian descent (keyword: whitewashing), and then from the project on her own initiative “Rub & Tug” stepped down when she was supposed to play a transsexual role where audiences would have preferred to see an actual transsexual actor. 27-year-old Lukas Dhont didn’t cast a transsexual actor for his simply titled drama “Girl” about a ballet dancer born in the wrong body, but he did cast a trained male dancer. The delicate physique and feminine charisma of 16-year-old acting debutant Victor Polster still make him look like the ideal choice. What’s more: Polster puts himself fully into the service of his role without any fear of contact and was rightly awarded “Best Actor” in the “Un Certain Regard” section at Cannes. This means that his performance is a step ahead of the actual film, because it starts off strong and ultimately turns into the usual dismay cinema with a finale that you can find either courageous or completely unsuccessful.


Lara (Victor Polster) also finds friends in her dance colleagues…

What makes “Girl” so special is the immediacy with which Lukas Dhont approaches his main character. In doing so, he does not make his drama a general transgender study, but rather tells primarily a very intimate individual fate. Here, the script by Lukas Dhont and Angelo Tijssens (his first script for a feature film) manages for long stretches without any tried-and-true generalities. Lara’s family has long since come to terms with her plans to undergo gender reassignment surgery and supports her wholeheartedly in her plan. Lara doesn’t have to deal with the supposedly typical problems of a boy in the wrong body – and the fact that she has long been perceived as a girl is never questioned by the film; Although there are also unpleasant situations in “Girl” in which the main character has to deal with bullying and human ignorance, the makers primarily describe an emotional conflict that takes place internally. As was the case at the beginning of the year in the teen romance “Love, Simon”, in which the coming out of a gay boy was not made into a problem and only then did it really become clear why people still have inhibitions about themselves even in 2018 To acknowledge herself and her sexuality, “Girl” also focuses entirely on the struggle that Lara has to face with herself. And this is primarily due to a strong impatience that encourages the young trans woman to do more harm to her body than to follow her doctors’ instructions.

The respect with which Dhont approaches his character and at the same time builds up an incredible closeness to her – additionally underlined by Frank van den Eeden’s camera work, who always stays very calmly very close to Victor Polster and does not give up this calm even in the more dynamic dance scenes – is quite impressive remarkable. The director and author’s sincerity towards the subject (Dhont developed an interest in it after reading about such a fate in the newspaper) is also noticeable at all times. For a long time, Dhont refrained from making any comments and simply let the calm fate speak for itself. This gives the viewer the opportunity to deal with the topic individually and prevents any fear of contact from arising in the first place; Everything that happens in “Girl” is the most normal thing in the world for those responsible – but it almost seems as if the Belgian native doesn’t trust the undeniable strengths of his film. This doesn’t just result from a finale that can be described as both sensational and shockingly consistent. Above all, it suddenly puts the protagonist in a light that plays into the hands of those people who believe that the desire for gender reassignment is just a whim, if not outright hysteria. This intention stands in such a strong contrast to the rest of the production (and ultimately somehow fits with the extremely subjective narrative style, because it ultimately only externalizes what has been going on inside Lara the whole time anyway) that it is by no means by Lukas Dhont may be intended. Accordingly, opinions will differ on the finale – but it will definitely leave a lasting impression.


Lara and her little brother argue a lot, but they are actually very close.

The monotony that sets in over time is even more negative than the finale. Again and again we see images of Lara, against the advice of her doctors, taping up her penis in order to hide it under her tight leotard. At some point in “Girl” there are also long shots of a (no doubt explainable) worried-looking young woman who take over; It’s as if the makers wanted to keep hammering the obvious into our heads, which in this form actually has the opposite effect. So it happens that the melancholy and sadness that corresponds to the main character’s state of mind eventually spreads across the entire film – and what is special about the story, namely the authenticity previously created by very individual circumstances, adapts to an average film drama. “Girl,” especially in the first half, so cleverly avoids everything you would expect from a film of this subject. But in the end, the makers also seem to want to satisfy the audience, who expect exactly that from a film like this. “Girl” could be great – especially because of the phenomenal cast, which is complemented by a harmonious ensemble (Arieh Worthalter is a real stunner as Lara’s understanding father!). And especially in small details, Dhont proves again and again how important it was to him to tell such a fate as close to life as possible. These include, for example, the conversations between Lara and her little brother, who sometimes calls Lara by her male name in order to hurt her. It’s a shame that Dhont loses his focus in the second half.

Conclusion: “Girl” falls into two parts. The first half shows the inner struggle of a young woman trapped in a male body in a remarkably authentic way and without tired clichés. The second half suddenly turns into interchangeable kitsch of dismay, which leads to a contentious finale that at least remains in the memory.

“Girl” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from October 18th.

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