The ending to some movies have been dubbed ‘rage-inducing’ since they tend to end on an incomplete note that a lot of people can’t stand. The need that a lot of people have to experience a definitive end to a story isn’t hard to understand, but there is something alluring about an open ending that tricks people into believing what they experienced for the past hour and a half was really what was happening. The truth about Black Butterfly, spoiler alert, is that it was all a dream, something imagined by the main character played by Antonio Banderas. And believe it or not, a lot of writers prefer this type of ending since it leaves so many possibilities that could occur afterward, or it could torture the readers since it leaves them wondering what in the world the story was about in the first place. The rage tends to come from feeling as though a person has been tricked into believing something that was a bunch of nonsense from the beginning, an unrealized idea that was teased but then tossed away with ease.
As a psychological thriller, it does feel that this movie was passed over, which is regrettable since it had a sound premise and a good cast to work with. A writer on his own in a remote location where no one can bother him and he’s as close to being cut off from the world is a story that has a lot of promise to it. And the fact that he meets a drifter that defends him from an unruly truck driver and then stays at his home adds to the tension and the possibility of a confrontation. Tack on the fact that the drifter started becoming a little too familiar with the writer’s manuscripts and his home and it becomes a recipe for a tale that’s designed to unnerve the audience with the idea that something like this could happen given the right circumstances. Some might call that a lot of nonsense, but since there’s nothing even remotely supernatural about this movie it feels accurate to say that this could happen.
But despite what happens throughout the movie, and how terrifying it becomes at certain moments, the ending is what upset a lot of people since the abrupt and disorienting nature of it makes one realize that people might state that they put a lot of stock in dreams, but the reaction to the fact that this movie was one long dream negates that idea rather quickly. The whole idea of ‘it was just a dream’ as it plays out in movies has been something that has bothered people for a long time now, as a lot of moviegoers feel cheated when they come to realize that the entire movie was just the dream of the main character or someone else. In a bizarre twist, people tend to not like the fact that some movies will fake them out in a big way by revealing that the series of events that led to the end of a movie was just a dream that was experienced by the main character.
Some folks even find themselves hoping that the more horrific scenes in various movies are just part of a dream, but will change their tune rather quickly when it comes to a different movie. In other words, movie fans like things the way they like them. There’s a reason why the ending to Black Butterfly is just fine the way it is, and it’s not because it’s fun to antagonize some folks, though it is amusing that people get so bent out of shape about a simple ending. What’s fun about this ending is that the writer’s mind has put him through hell and back during the course of a nap only to deposit him back in reality, where the events of the dream might be about to happen, or might have been fabricated altogether. The sense of not knowing whether or not the writer was paying such close attention to every detail in his dream to prevent the possible future or simply to create a worthwhile story is great since believe it or not, this is highly inspirational.
There are plenty of people out there that would say that I’m nuts for thinking in such a way, but after writing for so many years it becomes intriguing to sit back and watch how the minds of others work and how some can grasp the various points of a movie and how others simply react to their likes and dislikes. Black Butterfly is the type of story that’s not overly complicated, and yet had enough intrigue built into it that keeps people watching even during the slow points in the movie. But the ending is one of the best parts, without question.