MOVIES

The Ending Of Poor Things Explained

“Poor Things” follows the journey of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), the Frankenstein-esque creation of Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Bella’s body comes from a woman who died by suicide, while her brain comes from that woman’s still-living baby. Observed by Godwin’s assistant Max McCandles (Ramy Youssef), Bella’s physical, verbal, and intellectual abilities mature at a rapid pace. Eventually, Max asks for her hand in marriage, which she accepts. But Bella wants to see the world, which her creator won’t allow, so she runs away — and has a lot of passionate sex — with a trouble-making lawyer named Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo) on a trip across Europe.

In Lisbon, Bella indulges her taste for sex and sweets while awkwardly failing to learn the rules of “polite society.” On a boat voyage, she learns of human suffering from the cynical Harry Astley (Jerrod Carmichael). Heartbroken at seeing the poverty in Alexandria, she takes all of Duncan’s money and gives it away — which Duncan isn’t happy about. Seemingly destitute in Paris, Bella views poverty as an “experiment,” finding work in a brothel. Choosing to stay there, she sends Duncan off with some emergency money she conveniently forgot to tell him about before, further driving him mad. Throughout this long journey, Bella communicates with Godwin and Max via postcards. But one day, she gets a postcard informing her that Godwin is dying of cancer, so she must return to London.

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