Lilya 4-ever Movie Ending Explained (In Detail)

Lukas Moodysson’s pessimistic and depressive film is reminiscent of films from the early post-Soviet period. The plot of the film Lilya 4-ever (Lilya Forever) tells the story of an ordinary, not fully matured person who is trying to arrange a somewhat decent life for himself and find his place in it. Lilya 4-ever (2002): plot analysis, meaning of the film, explanation of the ending, similar movies.

This is also a movie about how external circumstances break even the best person – because sometimes it happens that faith in a wonderful future is not enough…

Country: Sweden, Denmark

Genre: drama, crime

Year of production: 2002

Director: Lukas Moodysson

Actors: Oksana Akinshina, Artem Bogucharsky, Lyubov Agapova

What is the movie about

A brief description of the contents of the painting Lilya 4-ever. The film begins with a teenage girl running down the street while the song of the band “Rammstein” plays in the background. She eventually reaches the bridge and stands on the railing. After this, the plot of the film returns to her past and a long flashback begins.

Oksana Akinshina of the film Lilya 4-ever
Oksana Akinshina starred as Lily. Still from the film Lilya 4-ever

The main character of the film, minor Lilya Mikhailova, is accompanied to the United States by her mother, who promises that she will soon return for her. She leaves the girl a cozy apartment. However, her aunt, who is also Lily’s guardian, moves her to another apartment, a more modest one. Having essentially abandoned her niece, she does not help her in any way, but Lilya hopes for the best and is waiting for news from her mother.

Soon the utility workers turn off the electricity in the apartment, and a little later Lilya discovers that her aunt has taken up permanent residence in her and her mother’s apartment. After some time, social service employees call the girl. The fact is that Lily’s mother finally sent a letter from the USA, but its meaning is terrible: she informs the authorities that she is renouncing her rights to her daughter.

Lilya doesn’t know how to live next. Soon she meets her childhood friend Natasha, who gives her an idea: she can make a living through prostitution. Natasha claims that there is nothing “like that” in this and she herself provides herself with a more or less well-fed life in precisely this way. Lilya refuses.

Soon Natasha’s father finds money earned by his daughter in the house. She, scared to death, gives her interpretation: this is the money of Lily, who is engaged in prostitution – they say, she gave it to Natasha for temporary storage. After this, everyone who knows her begins to call Lilya a prostitute.

Artyom Bogucharsky of the film Lilya 4-ever
Artyom Bogucharsky played the role of Volodya. Still from the film Lilya 4-ever

The girl finally finds herself without a livelihood and, having dropped out of school, actually begins to engage in prostitution. Because of this, several guys with whom she seemed to be friends until recently break into her home and rape her. The only one who does not stigmatize Lilya is the boy Volodya. Like her, he is lonely and rejected by everyone, including his alcoholic father. The girl begins a very tender, touching friendship with him.

One day, a young man Andrei appears in Lily’s life and invites her to Sweden with him. Volodya doesn’t like him, but Lilya, after thinking about it, agrees to go with him. The boy is trying with all his might to dissuade his friend from taking a rash step: firstly, she will have to fly to Sweden using a false passport, and secondly, the job that Andrey offers Lila is irrelevant at this time of year. Realizing that Volodya is right, Lilya nevertheless turns a blind eye to everything. On the day of departure, Andrei unexpectedly refuses to go with her, citing the fact that his grandmother is very ill and she needs his help. The terrible solution to the guy’s strange behavior will appear a little later…

Volodya, not accepting his friend’s departure, commits suicide by swallowing pills. Knowing nothing about this, Lilya still goes abroad, where she is met by a man who introduces himself as Andrei’s friend. In fact, this is a Polish pimp. Having raped the girl, he literally sends her into sexual slavery.

Lilya finds salvation only in dreams in which Volodya comes to her. Conversations with her dead friend help the girl understand that she can no longer live like this – and she decides to run away…

Lilya 4-ever Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. Towards the end, Lilya, trying to escape from her pursuers, ends up on a bridge and climbs onto the railing. The spirit of Volodya appears and tries to dissuade the girl from taking a terrible step, but she does not listen to him and jumps…

The doctors of the arriving ambulance are trying to save Lilya, and Volodya, who is nearby, puts his hand on her head. Opening her eyes, the girl suddenly finds herself at home and meets Andrey again. But this time she, having responded to his proposal with a categorical refusal, goes with Volodya to the roof of the house. The guys play with a basketball and smile sweetly at each other.

The meaning of the ending of the filmLilya 4-ever is that the main character of the film died. Before her death, she regretted what she had done and imagined what would have happened if she had not contacted Andrei. In the finale, snow-white angel wings “grew” behind her and Volodya’s back – a symbol of innocence and purity…

The meaning of the film Lilya 4-ever

The picture opens with a scene of Lily running to the song “Mein herz brennt”. There is a hidden meaning in this mise-en-scène. The fact is that the central image of the song is a certain night fairy, whose image contains features of a character from creepy German folklore – the Sandman. However, unlike Zandman, who at his discretion gave both bad and good dreams, the night fairy sends only nightmares and feeds on the tears of frightened children. However, then she realizes that for some children the nightmare may be their last…

scrawled inscription of the film Lilya 4-ever
Still from the film Lilya 4-ever

However, for Lily, the real nightmare was the reality in which she found herself. The girl managed to wake up from it only after she jumped from the bridge.

Lilya 4-ever is a cold film, endlessly difficult and depressing… However, what else could there be a social drama shown through the eyes of a teenager? In general, Lily’s image seems amazing. Despite the dirt and horror surrounding her, from the very beginning she is and continues to be kind, naive and trusting. She believes in people and therefore seeks in them salvation from a frightening reality.

A young girl is engaged in prostitution, but can one blame her – especially for those who have never been in such a situation; who has never starved, found himself without a means of subsistence, or lived in a gloomy, cold, dark cell? Lilya was captured by a much more terrible monster than the night fairy. She was captivated by Leviathan, who took on the image of a Sologubov province with a gradually degrading population.

Abandoned by her mother, unnecessary to her, she found herself in a vicious circle, from which she managed to get out only by abandoning her principles and committing complete self-destruction. But this could not continue for long… The only normal way out of this cruel reality was death – and for Lila and Volodya it seemed like an excellent opportunity to take a break from the vicious world. Whatever one may say, it is very painful to watch.

In general, looking at the hopelessness of the situation in which Lilya found herself, you involuntarily refuse to believe that this is possible. Against this background, there is a temptation to reproach the director for implausibility and deliberate exaggeration of colors. But one has only to imagine how many such outbacks there are still in the post-Soviet space and how many people find themselves in the same situation, one becomes uneasy.

making money through prostitution of the film Lilya 4-ever
Still from the film.

In their analysis of the film, some viewers write that Lilya could have changed something. However, such rantings are nothing more than an empty sound, breaking against the walls of high-rise buildings, as gloomy and hostile as those who live there. Lilya is not the only one drowning in provincial hopelessness – there are tens of thousands like her. Therefore, we can say that her image reflects the history of an entire country, which since the late nineties has been waiting for a bright “tomorrow”.

However, it would be a mistake to believe that the essence of the film lies only in this. The fact is that almost all of Lukas Moodysson’s paintings are united by a common theme – the theme of a broken childhood. Lilya 4-ever is perhaps his darkest work.

This is due to the fact that, unlike the director’s other films, “Fucking Amal” and “Together,” everything here is completely hopeless – not least because there are no decent (or at least promising) adult characters in this film. The director seems to be making a conclusion: it is impossible to change the world around us for the better – faceless, gray and dull, it is a kind of branch of hell on Earth. The only thing you can still hope for in this case is the opportunity to go to heaven, to a better world where there is no pain.

And yet our world is shown in this film not only as disgustingly cruel and indifferent, but also as suffering. Yes, we are talking about the notorious “tear of a child” and in the interlinear passage you can easily see a logical question that worries many: where, exactly, is God?.. Lukas Moodysson could not answer it.

However, it is unlikely that the director put any deep philosophical meaning into his film. But it does have a constructive social message. And despite everything, I still somehow believe that thanks to this work, in particular, the world will heal and become better; the fact that people received the most powerful motivation to fight the types of evil that they saw here.

strong friendship of the film Lilya 4-ever
Still from the film Lilya 4-ever

Similar films

Here are several films similar in meaning and plot to the film Lilya 4-ever:

  • “Show me love” (Sweden, Denmark, 1998). Young Elin lives in the Swedish countryside. More than anything else, she dreams of escaping from provincial Omol…

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