Helmed by Lee Toland Krieger of ‘The Vicious Kind’ fame, ‘The Age of Adaline’ is a 2015 film that quirky and poignant fantasy-infused period romance movie for all ages. Adaline lives a reasonably low-key life in downtown San Francisco with her canine companion. However, the premise gets more convoluted as we know that Adaline was born on New Year’s Eve of 1908. After 29, she did not age further and has been stuck in her late youth for eight long decades.
Along comes charming hero Ellis, and curious chemistry begins to brew. In the meantime, we understand more about Adaline’s curious case while she must take a life-altering decision. While the movie, unfortunately, evoked mixed emotions from critics and fans, Blake Lively and Harrison Ford’s performance makes the journey of the 2015 movie spirited. You must seek to explore the finale from closer quarters, and that is where we come in. SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Age of Adaline Plot Synopsis
The tale begins towards the end of 2013 in San Francisco, where Adaline Bowman lives a low-key life with a dog. She heads to a guy who has made some fake ID per Adaline’s request. While Adaline thanks the guy, she is disappointed in him because she thinks his talents have a better use. She takes the cab to her Chinatown home and later gets to work. Adaline heads to the records room and plays a mysterious tape on the projector. The projector gradually reveals the past of Adaline Bowman, the first child born on New Year’s Eve, 1908. She got hitched and birthed a daughter, naming her Flemming.
When Adaline’s husband died in a tragic accident during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937, she was heartbroken. However, ten months later, Adaline had an accident of her own and almost died in the lake when struck by a lightning bolt discharging half a billion volts of electricity. After two whole minutes, Adaline’s heart started beating again, and she became immortal instantly. Since then, Adaline has maintained the age of 29 for quite a few decades, fleeing from place to place, assuming fake identities, and learning new languages. Since then, she has lived a life on the run, meeting his daughter in secret, who keeps aging at an average pace. On New Year’s Eve of 2014, Adaline meets Ellis Jones in the elevator on her way out of a party.
Ellis is kind and flirtatious, and Adaline introduces herself as Jennifer. The guy asks for her address, but Adaline leaves the conversation abruptly. She again meets Ellis, however, and they grow fond of each other. Adaline accepts to go out on a date with Ellis, but their budding romance gets a scratch following the death of Adaline’s dog. After a while, Adaline feels sorry for Ellis and agrees to meet Ellis’ parents with him. However, she is in for a shock as she meets Ellis’ father, William, who instantly recognizes her and addresses her as Adaline. The memories come rushing back to Adaline while she struggles to keep her real identity a secret.
The Age of Adaline Ending: Do Ellis and Adaline End up Together?
In Ellis’ house, things heat up as William reminisces his past with Adaline, recalling how they were “very close.” While the recollection marks a dent in his forty-year-old marriage, Adaline seemingly severely impacted William’s life. Williams shares with his family how Adaline encouraged her to complete his degree. His proudest achievement is the discovery of a comet that was supposed to pass by earth in 1981, but the day has not come. Adaline is stunned to know that William named his comet after her, “Della C 1981,” while William has lied to his family that he has christened the comet after Della, a fictional aunt of Ellis. While the character of Ellis’ sister remains underdeveloped, we get to know more about William’s past stint with Adaline.
At a ripe young age, William headed to England, where he met Adaline outside London. William fixed Adaline’s car, spending a week together. Adaline also reciprocated the romance, as William was among the few to know Adaline’s real name. She also had a photo taken with William while she chose to hide her face. At present, William looks at the picture and concludes that the resemblance is uncanny. At the same time, William accidentally sees Adaline’s scar that he stitched. While Adaline hurriedly retreats, William discerns that mother and daughter may look alike but can never have the same scar. After the epiphany, William follows Adaline, which leads to a confrontation. Adaline also admits the truth, apologizing to William.
Adaline leaves after the discovery, as she has always done so. Ellis is dumbfounded to find her letter, but William encourages his son to follow Adaline. Meanwhile, Adaline crashes her car for the second time in her life. A situation similar to the event that made her immortal follows, but Adaline does not die. Thanks to Ellis, Adaline ends up in a hospital. In the hospital bed, she tells Ellis everything about her curious case. When Flemming comes to meet Adaline, she introduces herself as Adaline’s grandmother. However, Adaline tells her that Ellis knows the truth. In the end, Adaline and Ellis go out on a date. Flemming blesses them, and with the happy conjecture, we feel that Ellis and Adaline decide to spend some more time together.
How Did Adaline Stop Aging? Does Adaline Begin Aging Again?
Adaline stopped aging when she had a grave accident ten months following the death of her husband. At the movie’s beginning, her car falls into a water body, and simultaneously, a lightning bolt of immense power strikes her. The shock acts as a defibrillator and brings Adaline back to life. Von Mymen’s principle of electron compression deoxyribonucleic acid, which humans would discover in 2035, stops her age for eight decades. The substance and Von Mymen are both fictional for those confused, but Adaline stops aging nonetheless. The costume designer gets to delve into era-appropriate clothing, but it makes a terrible case for Adaline. In contrast, she has eternal youth, her daughter ages way faster.
While Ellis and Adaline’s final fate may entice some of us, it also makes us wonder about their prospects. If Adaline does not age and Ellis does, that puts them in a tricky situation. If Adaline stays immortal, Ellis may age naturally like Flemming, and Adaline may end up alone after his death. However, the final scene holds another twist, which is somewhat predictable if you have seen films that keep a character in a time loop or a temporal flux. The last accident seemingly reverses the effects of the past accident, and Adaline starts aging again. When the movie’s finale reopens after a year, Adaline discovers a strand of white hair indicative of natural aging. Therefore, in the end, Adaline begins aging again.
Who is the Narrator?
The movie begins with a male narrator speaking of a woman in a yellow taxi while the camera descends from the clouds. The narrator is an omniscient presence who knows everything about her. Furthermore, he may also be the authorial voice, or in other words, the orchestrator of Adaline’s fate. If you do not know, the movie is inspired by ‘Amelie,’ which uses a similar narrative voice. Moreover, the screenwriters were influenced by Alfonso Cuaron‘s 2001 movie ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ and Sidney Lumet’s 1976 movie ‘Network.’ The narrator curiously holds more knowledge about Adaline’s condition than herself and seemingly speaks from the future. The voice almost controls time and wisdom itself as it creates its myth. Therefore, the agent is not any character but is practically a divine presence in the movie.
Read More: Is The Age of Adaline Based on a Book?