• PG-13, 1 hr. 32 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Mike Cahill
    In Theaters:
    Jul 22, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Nov 29, 2011
  • Fox Searchlight

The last scene of Another Earth

I haven't read anyone online who quite shares my interpretation of the last scene (spoiler alert, of course). I'd like to know what other folks think.

Rhoda2 is there because on Earth2 she does NOT give her ticket to John2. Everything else is the same (on Earth2 she killed his family, cleaned his house, won the contest, etc.)

For me, this revealed the message of the film. The difference between two of our potential realities is NOT that tragic stuff (e.g. car wreck) happens in one and not in the other. Tragedy happens in both. Where realities split is the moment we have a real moral choice. Does she give the ticket, out of love and hope, or use it herself, out of selfishness and escapism? Our realities bifurcate at such a moment.

In the last scene she sees the version of herself that made the other choice.
Rob Ely
01-12-2013 11:11 PM

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Rob Ely

Rob Ely

Hmm... I think there's a problem with these interpretations that the crash didn't happen to Rhoda2. In such a case, why would Rhoda2 enter the space trip competition? After all, the reason Rhoda1 entered the competition was to deal with her ruptured life because of the crash. Without the crash, Rhoda isn't at all the kind of person who would go to the other earth.

I think it's more meaningful to interpret the bifurcation as happening when she had a serious moral decision to make (near the end), NOT when the tragic event happened. This mirrors the soul-searching she was doing near the end anyway, asking what the difference is between the Rhoda who gives the ticket away and the Rhoda who keeps it...

Oct 3 - 10:47 PM

Maurice Melvin Moran

Maurice Melvin Moran

I tend to agree with John Campbell's theory from below. As said in the movie, synchronization split when they first saw Earth2. So millions of possibilities could have happened to every living person during the span of those years. The accident might not have happened in Earth2 so John1 would see his family there. And Rhoda2 would have been a successful astronomer.

Aug 2 - 08:22 PM

Algis K.

Algis Kaupas

I think it's a dystopian ending. Rhoda 1 is happy about herself, having allowed John 1 to go to Earth 2 and possibly reunite with his (still-living) family. Plot problem-how does one deal with two Johns on the same planet. But I digress ...
Rhoda 1 is happy about herself, and then she sees Rhoda 2, who is evidently as unhappy with her life, despite her well-dressedness, as Rhoda 1 - enough so that she wants to travel to her "alternate earth."

Jun 19 - 11:36 PM

Walter Bohm

Walter Bohm

My guess: John goes to Earth2 and find that there the accident never happened, and sees himself happy with his family. Having had an impossible love affair with Rhoda1 in Earth1, he approaches Rhoda2 and tells her what happened on Earth1. Rhoda2 wants, or is convinced by John1, to forgive herself (same thing Rhoda1 wanted, but she couldn't), so she decides to go to Earth1 to try to bring peace in Rhoda1. Maybe it's an attempt by John1 to be grateful to Rhoda1 for her trying to relief his life on Earth1 and for giving him the ticket to Earth2, but he still couldn't forgive Rhoda1 so he decides to make this indirectly.

Another hypothesis would be John1 wanting to continue his life with Rhoda2, she agrees, and he bring her back to Earth1, since he restarted living thanks to Rhoda1 but he still can't forgive her mistake. Eventually, Rhoda2 comes to Rhoda1's home to try to redeem her.

Apr 26 - 04:10 PM

John Campbell

John Campbell

I think the film clearly indicates the earth similarity ended before the crash; i.e. in the other earth the crash will not have happened.

So Rhoda2 continued her studies, went to university and became a professional normal woman - who won the competition there to come to earth1, perhaps because of her childhood interest in stars etc.. Some people believe that she would have become an astronaut because of those interests, making it more likely she would have been chosen for the trip to earth.

So the heart-stopping last moment is Rhoda 1; traumatised and life pushed way of course by the crash, meeting Rhoda 2; normal life path.

Mar 18 - 02:55 PM

John Campbell

John Campbell

No I think th film clearly indicates the earth simolarity ended before the crash; i.e. in the other earth the crash will not have happened. So Rhoda continued her studies, went to university and became a professional normal woman - who won the lottery there to come to earth, perhaps because of her childhood interest in stars etc.. Some people believe that she would have become an astronaut because of those interestes, making it more likely she would have been chosen for the trip to earth.

So the heart-stopping last moment is Rhoda 1; traumatised and life pushed way of course by the crash, meeting Rhoda 2; normal.

Mar 18 - 02:54 PM

Jennifer A.

Jennifer Allwood

Yeah, I saw the focus of the end a little bit differently to you. I thought it was more about confronting your guilt in a situation. Yes, the Earth2 version of her made the decision to come to earth, but I think the point is that she made a mistake and had to confront it; first her own family and then the composer etc, and in the end she still had to confront herself. As in forgive herself for what she did...if that makes sense.

Jan 16 - 06:52 AM

Rob Ely

Rob Ely

Ah, so do you see it as once she finishes confronting her mistake and dealing with her guilt, she finds herself (which the movie represents as her actually meeting herself)?

Jan 30 - 09:41 AM

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