do not let me gowhich began streaming on Amazon Prime Video immediately warns viewers that they won’t like the ending to this film.
“You’re not going to like the ending to this story,” says the protagonist, played by Mia Isaacs, in voiceover. “But I think you’ll like the story.”
Well, Mia Isaacs was right. I didn’t like the way do not let me go completed. Not a little. Mostly because it’s the darkest and most shocking ending of any movie I’ve seen this year. When the credits roll, I really only have one thing on my mind: What the hell?
I was totally on board for most of the film. Sure, it’s a bit like a predictable father-daughter movie, but in a reassuring way. The two leads – John Cho and Mia Isaac – are charming and likeable and worth watching, making every moment with them a joy. Their chemistry is intoxicating, the jokes are funny and the father-daughter bond is adorable. Then, quite unexpectedly, the do not let me go Ende grabbed my chest, ripped out my heart, stomped on it and spat in my face for safety. It’s trust, we were warned not to go in. But I didn’t think we were warned about it This.
Let’s get into that, shall we?
what is do not let me go around? do not let me go Plot Summary:
Single father Max Park (played by John Cho) learns from a doctor that he has an incurable tumor near his brain. There’s an operation that could save his life, but it’s risky – the odds he’ll die on the table are higher than the odds he’ll make it through. If he doesn’t have the surgery, the doctors give him about a year to live. Max decides not to have surgery. Right now, he’s the only support his teenage daughter Wally (Mia Isaac) has. But Max intends to change that by reuniting his daughter with her estranged mother.
Max invites (and then forces) his daughter to accompany him on a road trip, ostensibly to go to his college reunion. He secretly saw on Facebook that his former best friend and husband who stole his ex-wife will be present. He doesn’t tell Wally about the tumor or the fact that he’s taking her to her mother’s.
Of course, Wally doesn’t want to go on this road trip. She wants to spend the summer with her non-boyfriend, a guy who refuses to be “officially” with her, even though Wally adorably swoons when he kisses her on the soccer field. But Wally and Max clearly have a special bond, and Wally is a good daughter, so she’s leaving. Max also promises to teach her how to drive along the way.
Max and Wally take on the world on the open road. They sing Iggy Pop and almost get into car accidents together. Max helps Wally realize that she’s way too good for her non-boyfriend. At one point, Wally runs off to have a fun night out with some local teenagers, causing her father to go mad with worry, but it all works out.
Eventually they make it to the reunion, but Wally’s mother isn’t there. Max manages to track down her new address. He points out to Wally that he’s taking her to see her mother, but still hasn’t told her about the tumor. Unfortunately, the meeting doesn’t go well – Mom doesn’t want to see Wally, and Wally is understandably hurt. In the ensuing fight with her father, the truth about Max’s cancer comes to light.
What is the do not let me go end, explained?
Spoiler alert: stop reading this immediately if you don’t want to do not let me go Spoiler. Like, really big spoilers.
After the heart-to-heart heart-to-heart that built the whole film, Wally convinces her father to have surgery. He agrees. They go to a nearby bar for the celebratory karaoke, and Wally persuades her father – a former musician – to get up and sing. You don’t know if Max will make it through the surgery, but you do know that Wally will be fine. That’s all the happy endings one could ask for, for… right?
Apparently wrong. Here’s the big one do not let me go Plot twist: It’s not Max who dies, it’s Wally. While her father is singing Iggy Pop, Max suddenly passes out. Her father runs to her as the screen blurs. Wally comes off screen and reminds the audience that it’s her did warn us we wouldn’t like the ending. As it turned out, it wasn’t so adorable that she passed out in front of her non-boyfriend, or that she got dizzy when she did a keg stand, or that she sweated when she was nervous. Those were signs of an undiagnosed rare — and deadly — disease.
The next shot in the film is Wally’s funeral. It’s so abrupt and out of left field that it would be comical if it weren’t so terribly tragic. In the film’s final moments, we follow Max as he undergoes surgery and comes out alive. We see he’ll finally start living life to the fullest – but without his daughter by his side. Sure, you could find a glimmer of hope in Max’s ability to pull through after such a devastating loss, but also? A 16-year-old girl has just dropped dead unexpectedly. This is really damn dark!
According to director Hannah Marks in a previous interview with Decider, there was never any doubt that Wally would always die — even when the studios begged screenwriter Vera Herbert for a happier ending. “There was never a version of the script where Wally survived,” Marks said. “That was something that was really important to me, the screenwriter and all of our producers. There were many iterations of this film before I came on board because Vera wrote this film while she was still in college – 2012 I think. And of course, over the years, people would say, ‘What if you had a happier ending? What if you didn’t do it like that?’ A lot of studios would say that to make the film, but no one was willing to budge.”
Marks went on to say that she understands the ending will be disturbing for some, but “for me it made the story more empowering. It made it more of Wally’s story, and it made it more of Wally’s influence on Max, showing him how to live his best life. For me that was encouraging, even if it was a sad ending.”
I respect the commitment, but I’m also devastated. Raise your hand if you’ve personally fallen victim to Amazon’s supposedly adorable father-daughter film – because I certainly was.