Endings Week: New Beginnings

Was thinking about endings and ran across this list of the 50 best movie endings. It's a fun list and I generally agree with their choices. My personal favorites are ones like Say Anything, Casablanca and The Silence of the Lambs.

It struck me that each of these movies actually has a similar ending, in that they each end with a beginning. Lloyd and Diane boarding a plane into the unknown. Rick and Louis embarking on a beautiful friendship. Hannibal Lector free and getting ready to have an old friend for dinner.

In each case, the story is complete in a satisfying way but the ending makes it clear that life goes on, these characters are still out there, still having adventures. I think it makes for a powerful ending, allowing the characters to live on in our imaginations.

And now that I think about it that's actually what I was trying to do with the ending to The Eleventh Plague. The world has completed one transformation and that has opened the door to a new world for the main characters. (Being just slightly vague for any of you that haven't read it) People have mixed feelings about it to be sure. By far the most frequent question I get in emails is along the lines of "But what happens next?!" and "Will there be a sequel where you tell us what happens next?"

I think people naturally want to have things tied up and all questions answered and can be a little frustrated when they don't get exactly what what they want, or all that they want. As a writer though you're sometimes in the position of, hopefully, giving them something that might be more satisfying in the long run.

What do you guys think? Any endings that frustrated you initially but you later realized worked really well?


Tere Kirkland said...

Ooh, this is a good list. I think one of the best twist endings is definitely The Usual Suspects.

When I was younger, I hated the way The Godfather ended, but now I think there's no other way for the movie to end.

I always like to take my endings full-circle, relate them to the beginning because I feel like it's more satisfying.

Great post!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I might get lynched by some people for this one, but I thought Mockingjay ended just as it needed to. I know it's not the pretty package lots of people wanted, but it was the story that had to be told and I love that Collins had the guts to write the story as it had to be.