Directed by Chung Mong-hong, Netflix’s Taiwanese film ‘The Falls’ centers around the mother-daughter relationship between Pin-Wen and Xiao Jing, who gets isolated in their apartment during the Covid-19 pandemic. Starring Alyssa Chia as Pin-Wen and Gingle Wang as Xiao Jing, the film offers an engrossing cinematic experience as the mother and daughter’s lives take a startling turn with Pin-Wen’s mental illness. The emotional drama ends astoundingly, leaving the characters’ fates ambiguous. If you are curious about the film’s enigmatic ending, let us share our detailed account of the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Falls Plot Synopsis
‘The Falls’ begins with Pin-Wen and her daughter Xiao Jing getting isolated in their apartment following Xiao Jing’s classmate testing Covid-19 positive. The mother and daughter, whose turbulent relationship is evident, start their quarantine in separate rooms. During the isolation, Xiao Jing keeps her distance from her mother and continues to stay in her room without interacting with Pin-Wen. She calls her ex-husband Qi-wen to talk about their daughter and expresses that she still has feelings for him irrespective of his current marriage.
On a rainy night, Pin-Wen goes out of her apartment to look for Xiao Jing, thinking her daughter has disappeared. She gets admitted into a hospital by the police, who calls Xiao Jing, who was in the apartment all along. The doctor informs Xiao Jing that her mother had a nervous breakdown. She also learns that her father did cheat on her mother with his current wife and she has a step-brother who was born even before their parents’ divorce. Meanwhile, Pin-Wen gets fired from her work due to her strange behavior.
After a few days, Pin-Wen and Xiao Jing’s apartment unit catches fire due to the former’s mental breakdown and the doctor confirms to Xiao Jing that her mother is suffering from psychosis. The daughter starts to take care of her mother and Pin-Wen finds a job in the nearby supermarket. They also sell their luxury apartment when they face foreclosure and move into a low-rent apartment. Xiao Jing starts to consider continuing her studies and Pin-Wen goes to a date with Mr. Chen, the manager of her supermarket.
The Falls Ending: Is Xiao Jing Dead or Alive?
Xiao Jing is alive. A few days after moving into a new apartment, Xiao Jing goes to a barbecue party with her classmates and friends, by a river. As she and her classmates enjoy their excursion, the river gets suddenly flooded due to dam water release, which sweeps Xiao Jing and some of her classmates away. Pin-Wen receives a call from one of her daughter’s teachers, who informs her of the tragedy. She anxiously tunes in the television news to know about her daughter. In the news, she watches rescue officials saving children.
Even though her face is blurred on television, we get to see that Xiao Jing is alive, identifiable through her clothes. Pin-Wen, who apprehensively awaits to see her daughter alive, gets to see that her daughter is saved and getting attended by paramedics. Even though the news takes her breath away for a short period, she recognizes her daughter, alive and in safe hands. Xiao Jing’s escape from death also saves her mother from another severe psychotic episode.
Does Pin-Wen Recover From Psychosis?
When Pin-Wen gets diagnosed with psychosis, Xiao Jing’s relationship with her mother changes. She starts to spend time and interact with her mother more than ever. She becomes an incredible support system for Pin-Wen, who suffers from severe economical crises, emotional turmoil after her divorce, and the newly diagnosed psychosis. Xiao Jing tries her best to lessen the burden from her mother’s mind in every way she can. More than everything, the warmth she brings in between herself and her mother does wonders in Pin-Wen.
The change in Xiao Jing does help Pin-Wen with her psychosis. Even though she does not and cannot recover from her mental illness in such a short span, Pin-Wen is on the road to recovery with the help of her daughter. Pin-Wen also finally moves on from her futile feelings for her ex-husband with the presence of Manager Chen. She realizes that Qi-wen, who cheated on her without her knowledge, is not returning to her life anymore as well. The realization also helps her mental health. Since Xiao Jing is alive and well, we can expect Pin-Wen to continue her journey to recovery with the support of her daughter.
Do Pin-Wen and Manager Chen End Up Together?
When Pin-Wen realizes that Qi-wen doesn’t have any intentions to come back to her life, she moves on from her expectations. At the time, Manager Chen walks into her life and asks her out. On their first date, she reveals to him that she is suffering from psychosis. She also adds that she lied about her husband passing away and her previous work experience to get a job at the supermarket. Rather than confronting Pin-Wen about the lies she had told him, Chen tries to understand her. He tries to hold her hands when she expects him to leave her.
Although Pin-Wen and Manager Chen have a long road ahead to end up together, his ability to understand and accept her does give him a chance to be with her. After the date night, he helps Pin-Wen and Xiao Jing to move into their new apartment. He promises his presence around her after helping the mother and daughter. Considering that the people around her, be it her ex-husband, former colleagues, or neighbors, have always isolated her, Manager Chen is an exception in Pin-Wen’s life. His empathy and compassion towards Pin-Wen affect her positively and we can expect them to build a life together.
Read More: Is The Falls Based on a True Story?