Loose ends irritate me. To finish a book and think: but what about…
The same applies to movies. I watched Devil’s Knot a few nights ago. It’s a biographical crime drama based on Mara Leveritt’s book by the same name.
‘In 1993, in the working class, deeply religious community of West Memphis, Arkansas, three eight-year-old boys – Stevie Branch, Christopher Byers, and Michael Moore – go missing from their neighborhood. After an extensive search, their bound and beaten bodies are found the next day.
The community and the police department are convinced that the murders are the work of a satanic cult, due to the violent and sexual natures of the crime. A month later, three teenagers – Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. – are arrested. They are taken to trial, where Baldwin and Misskelley are sentenced to life in prison, and Echols to death, all the while proclaiming their innocence.’ (Extract from Wikipedia)
The teenagers’ guilt is decided on circumstantial evidence, a coerced confession from Misskelley(one he later recanted), prejudice against the three misfits, and blatant incompetent police work.
In the end, after almost 20 years in jail, the three are released after a new trail. But – here is my bugbear – when the title cards finally stopped rolling you still do not know who killed the poor boys!
Once you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s,
you may do whatever you please.
Hermione Grainger, Harry Potter, JK Rowling.
Reality – life – does not guarantee a happy ending. Life is hard, unpredictable and at times, terribly perplexing.
It is full of loose ends.
So when I read – or watch a movie – I don’t want to be left with questions. I am not talking about a book duet, or a movie series, and the cliff-hangers that sometimes accompany them. No, I’m talking about the jaw-dropping, awful disbelief you’re left with with an unresolved ending.
So when I read, and for a brief period of time everything around me is suspended, I loose myself in the story. And I want a resolved ending. I want all i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
If it is romance, I want the hero and heroine to have the happy-ever-after. If it is a mystery, I want the guilty revealed.
What I do not want, are flipping loose ends!