Directed by David Casademunt, Netflix’s Spanish horror film ‘The Wasteland’ centers around Diego and his family, who live away from the terrors and hardships of the wars. As their secluded lives move forward, they encounter an injured man in the nearby creek, which turns their lives around. Even though Salvador, Diego’s papa, nurses him to health, he dies tragically. The man’s death forces Salvador to leave his isolated shack and embark on a journey to find the dead man’s family to hand over the body. If you are wondering about what happens to Diego’s papa, we have the answers! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Diego’s Papa Salvador Dead or Alive?
Diego’s Papa Salvador is dead. After rummaging through the dead man’s sack, Salvador finds the man’s family photograph. He ponders about what to do with the dead body and realizes that his family must be looking for him. The attachment he had with his sister sways him to find the family of the dead man, irrespective of the risk he has to take by leaving his secluded abode. He decides to leave to the outlands with the corpse and bids farewell to his son and wife. Even though Diego and Lucía try their best to change his mind, Salvador leaves.
As days go by without Salvador’s return, Lucía’s hope also diminishes. On a turbulent night, Salvador’s horse returns to their shack without Salvador and with an empty gun. When Diego starts looking for him, Lucía tells her son that his father is not alive anymore. Salvador meets the same fate as the dead man, running out of bullets amid the horrifying war in the outlands. He fails to protect himself with the six bullets he had in his gun and most likely gets killed as he passes through the brutal war.
Salvador’s death causes severe distress in Lucía. Whatever hope that remained in her gets eliminated when she gets assured of Salvador’s death. The grieve and fear incite extreme psychological angst in her, which eventually leads to delusion. She realizes that she and Diego are on their own in order to survive. The fear that follows conquers her sanity and she gradually becomes suicidal. Her understanding that her husband will never return anymore affects her mental health badly and she even attempts suicide, only to get saved by Diego.
The death of Salvador also affects Diego severely. As a child, who can’t even step out of his abode at night without his papa to urinate, Salvador’s absence and eventual death create disastrous terror in him. His mental health is further affected by Lucía’s paranoia and suicidal tendencies. The fear of loneliness most likely incarnates in the form of the Beast, which haunts him psychologically.
The tragedy that befalls Salvador marks the extremity of Diego and Lucía’s sufferings. When they realize that he is not alive, their fears and trepidation get the better of their sanity and push them to a horrendous state of existence.
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