Finale of Killers of the Flower Moon: Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” unfolds as a gripping epic, delving into betrayal, greed, and unsettling true events. Yet, amidst its three-and-a-half-hour narrative on the Osage Reign of Terror in 1920s Oklahoma, the film takes a poignant turn in its final moments.
Adapted from David Granns book, the storyline revolves around the systematic murders of wealthy Osage people by white settlers aiming to seize their valuable oil headrights. Scorsese skillfully intertwines crime drama and marital turmoil, focusing on the complex relationship between Osage woman Mollie (Lily Gladstone) and white man Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), who betrays her in collusion with his influential uncle William King Hale (Robert De Niro).
While the film scrutinizes American greed and violence, its concluding moments take an unexpected shift. (Mild spoilers ahead.) After Hale and Burkhart’s arrests, the narrative fast-forwards, revealing a group of all-white actors recording a radio play, dramatizing the Osage murders as a triumph for the FBI. The jubilant portrayal starkly contrasts the harrowing reality witnessed by the audience.
Onstage, the actors narrate the post-arrest fates of Ernest and Hale. Then, the tone shifts again as Scorsese himself steps in for a cameo, breaking the fourth wall to recount Mollie Burkhart’s subsequent life. In a somber yet resolute voice, he reveals Mollie’s divorce from Ernest and her quiet death from diabetes in 1937, with her obituary omitting any mention of the murders.
Speaking to EW, Scorsese and co-writer Eric Roth explain that the final scene evolved over time. They wanted the film to conclude in a nontraditional manner, reflecting on the responsibility of turning historical pain into entertainment. Originally envisioning a Hollywood film shoot as the ending, inspired by “The FBI Story” starring Jimmy Stewart, they later opted for a radio drama, providing depth and enrichment to the narrative.
We hope that its entertainment with some depth and enrichment that maybe can approach some kind of truth, says Scorsese.
Roth wrote the final tribute to Mollie Burkhart, expecting an actor to deliver the lines. However, Scorsese, in a unique move, volunteered to read it himself, infusing the film with a reflective, self-aware quality. Scorsese, known for making cameos, admits his appearance was born out of necessity and reflects on the emotional resonance of the moment.
The film’s closing scene becomes a poignant reflection on storytelling, responsibility, and the weight of historical narratives, ultimately offering a unique and thought-provoking conclusion.
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What happened at end of Killers of the Flower Moon?
At the conclusion of the film, the tribe has been nearly destroyed, leaving Mollie to mourn her slaughtered family members, and Ernest is captured and imprisoned, along with his uncle William King Hale, who is the leader of the group.
Did Mollie Burkhart survive?
Mollie, aged 44, could now freely use her money and was acknowledged as a fully-fledged American citizen, according to Grann’s book. Margie Burkhart, Mollie’s granddaughter, revealed to Grann that living on the Osage Reservation with Cobb was a joyful time for her. Sadly, Mollie passed away at the young age of 50 in 1937.
Whose house exploded in Killers of the Flower Moon?
Mollie’s family members are systematically killed in the film, allowing Hale and Ernest to claim their headrights. A destructive bomb takes out Reta and her family in an instant, leaving Mollie devastated when Ernest delivers the grim news after witnessing the destruction.
Who committed the murders in Killers of the Flower Moon?
Once the FBI had gathered enough proof to convict Hale, the trial became a sensation in the media, with numerous unexpected twists and turns. Ernest Burkhart confessed that his uncle, William Hale, was the mastermind behind the plot to profit from the killings of Osage people.