At the end of Apocalypse Now...

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Kirkman1987, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Kirkman1987

    Kirkman1987 Commodore Commodore

    Mar 3, 2008
    Where do you think Willard went? I doubt he was interested in returning to the Army or to the US. Did he just seclude himself in the jungle like Kurtz? What about Lance?

    Also, Was the Kurtz compound victim to an airstrike after Willard left? It seems to be left a bit open for interpretation at the end, although I would wager that it survived.

    These two questions have stayed with me since watching the film again a fews nights ago (The full disclosure blu ray is excellent btw). I'm interested in what you guys think.
  2. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 11, 2008
    Washington State
    I hate to be a spoilsport and attempt to douse a discussion, but I think this is a case of the uncertainty being more interesting than any possible answer, much like where Rick and Renault head off to at the end of Casablanca.

    To answer your question, though... he goes home to his small town in a rural state. Repairs tractors. Is a bit of a loner.
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    ^ Yeah, I think ambiguity was the intent. The version of the movie I "grew up with" ended with the Kurtz compound destroyed in many slow-motion explosions. I always assumed that was Willard's airstrike, but apparently that was not Coppola's intention; he meant it as something more abstract and cut that ending from further releases.

    I think Lance had lost his mind, I don't think he had much of a future.

    For Willard, I think his faith in everything had been shattered; whether he stayed in the army, went home or whatever, he had a long way to go to feel like he "fit" in the world. I think the ambiguous ending for him is good in that way.

    FWIW, Marlow went home and spared Kurtz's fiancee the gory details, but he also gave a reporter the full story.

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  4. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    I've often speculated that the first few minutes of the film--up to and including the "Saigon...:censored:." sequence--is actually set after the main events of the film. I thought this after noticing the stone head in the sequence of images set to Jim Morrison. It's the same head we see in the very last Willard and Lance sail away.

    Anyway--in the opening sequence, Willard is completely drained, disenchanted, and very cynical. The events in the movie show him groing increasingly...drained, disenchanted, and cynical.

    And if you listen carefully to Willard's narration--during the opening sequence, it's in the present tense. For the rest of the film, it's in past tense.

    The "thinking back" begins, in my interperetation, with Willard doing the mok'bara (as it were) in his room (culminating in his injuring his hand--which the two soldiers take note of when they go to him, to take him to his briefing). Everything before that is set after the film's storyline.

    Just my $0.02. ;)
  5. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

    May 10, 2009
    Waverly, VA.
    Oh, snap.
  6. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 9, 2008
    They go for a drink with the dwarfs who got the plane ready.
  7. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network

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