So ‘The Discovery’ is a recent film that has graced Netflix with it’s both mind-blowing and inventive philosophical ideas. I knew as soon as I read the premise, it was going to be a film I’d enjoy a lot and I definitely one hundred percent did!
Based around the concept of an afterlife, ‘The Discovery’ unravels (or discovers, should I say) a futuristic world where there is proof of life after death. Whilst the scientist Dr Harbor himself and many others are content with the news, remaining grounded in reality, others are so overwhelmed that they begin to take their own lives, just so that they can experience it. Will – the son of Dr Harbor – is intrigued but not entirely convinced by the discovery, and so it is the story of Will, alongside the stranger that is Isla, that presents how the Discovery really came about and whether the afterlife can actually be proved.
What I loved about this film from the beginning was the kind of interactions the characters had. There is a beginning scene where Will initially meets Isla and they speak of names and how names suit people up to a certain age and then they either grow into them or completely go against how they are as a person. Oddly enough, I found this quite an interesting conversation. It was just different to the usual meetings of strangers you see in films, where they introduce each other to their working life and hobbies and that’s about it. All the conversations seemed to have so much more depth to them in this movie, adding of course to the depth the movie has in itself, and I loved how the bonds progressed whilst also not really progressing at all.
At the start of the film, I guessed that the movie would end with one of the characters – probably Will – either waking up to an afterlife or falling into darkness. It seemed kind of predictable. However, there was an unexpected twist at the end which thankfully saved me from being right and the film being just mediocre.
I think the ending was probably a lot more confusing than it had to be, if I’m being honest. It took a bit of time for me to reflect on it because it happened so fast and it was all a bit jumbled, however once it had sunk in, it really was very well thought out. It’s something that gets you thinking for hours and days because the afterlife is something so uncertain that really any opinion on it you have is acceptable. One thing I liked about the film was that although the ending could be confusing to some, it does leave many interpretations open for the viewer. You can incorporate your own ideas into the conclusion or take what you see and analyse it.
In my opinion, the ending where Will ends up on the beach with Isla’s son is the greatest ending of the life he could have lead. By saving Isla’s son, he is in turn saving Isla because the only reason she wanted to commit suicide in the first place was because of him. Whilst they don’t recognise each other, there is a hint that perhaps Will does. He turns round at the last minute to look back at Isla and it seems like maybe there is something deep inside of him that remembers. However in my head, I think he turns back round because it’s so far down he can’t really reach it. But there is still a sense of hope. Although they couldn’t be together, they both remain alive in this life and I think that’s the ultimate message – to be alive is better than any of it.
Overall, I loved this movie purely because of its depth of meaning and because I’m always up for movies based on philosophical ideas and concepts. I think if you’re ready to think and be overwhelmed in the most interesting way, this movie is definitely for you. And I’d love it if you could let me know if you have watched it too! 🙂