‘Triangle of Sadness’ is a satire that comments on several pertinent issues that today’s society faces. It starts as the story of two models who get a free ticket for a cruise ship in exchange for its promotion on Instagram, but by the end, it turns into a study of human behavior and who we all are when stripped to the basics. The whole story builds up to an unforgettable ending where the audience is left in charge of the fates of the characters, forcing them to think about what they would want for those characters. And more importantly, what does it say about the audience? The final scene of the film shows the main character, Carl, running frantically through the woods. If you are wondering what it means, then we’ve got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD
Why was Carl Running?
Just before we find Carl running through the forest, Abigail and Yaya end up in a very curious situation. The women had hiked through the hills and the forest and discovered that the island actually housed a luxury resort. This was potentially good news because it would mean that they would be saved. However, Abigail, who doesn’t want to let go of her newfound power only to go back to her miserable life, decides to kill Yaya with a rock. Whether or not she goes through with it is a matter of contention, and that’s where Carl comes in.
Considering all that happens before and during the time Abigail and Yaya leave the beach together, there are two possible explanations as to why Carl is in such a hurry. The first one is that he has anticipated Abigail’s plan. After she became the de facto leader of the group, Carl got into a romantic relationship with Abigail, in exchange for food and other favors. The night before, he talks to her about bringing their relationship out into the open rather than sneaking away every night. However, Abigail is a bit concerned about what Yaya will think.
Carl says that he will break up with Yaya, but Abigail changes the topic and the matter is not discussed further. Perhaps, Abigail thought that Carl breaking up with Yaya might cause friction in the group, which might lead others to challenge her authority. It would be much easier if Yaya died. Then Carl wouldn’t have to think too much about the status of their relationship. The next morning, opportunity knocks at her door when Yaya says that she wants to go on a hike. Abigail sees it as the perfect chance to murder her, and in time, Carl too realizes it. This is why he is running so that he can find them and save Yaya’s life.
Another train of thought from the same thread would lead us to think that perhaps, Carl was worried about what Abigail and Yaya might talk about on their own. He’d not yet broken up with Yaya, and he was concerned that Abigail might say something that might not sit well with his old girlfriend. He wanted to keep an eye on things, this is why he followed them through the forest. But then, he witnessed Abigail killing Yaya and realized just how dangerous a woman she was. He got scared and ran away. Considering this, it is possible that Carl was running away from them rather than toward them.
While both of these explanations are plausible, there is another possibility that holds more weight. Back at the beach, Therese meets a vendor, who is a local of the island. While there is a problem in establishing communication between the two of them, it isn’t unlikely that the vendor eventually figured out that Therese and the others were the survivors of a shipwreck. While we don’t see him talking to anyone else, it is possible that he met the others off-camera and told them about the resort. He offered to take them there, but Carl realized that Abigail and Yaya were not at the beach. He must have asked the vendor and the others to wait while he fetched them, and that’s why he is running so speedily through the forest. He wants to find them as soon as possible so that they can all go back to the beach and be escorted to the resort by the vendor.