Take Me to the River Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

The meaning of the film “Take Me to the River” and the explanation of the ending A family holiday instantly turns into a living hell when a homosexual teenager appears in the house, who has to hide his sexual orientation. He expects ridicule and bullying from his amazing Nebraska cousins. Unfortunately, something much worse is happening.

Everything is not as it seems at first glance. The protagonist is anxious and expects a trick from all sides, but nothing more than the surprise of the village guys who stared at his short shorts prevented a feast and a peaceful family holiday. However, the boy still remains on the sidelines and sets off to explore the nearest barn after the girl, who runs away from him with a piercing scream. She, turning to her father, expects the application of measures against her offender.

In fact, nothing is clear at all, and the guests, together with Ryder, have to guess the reason for the cry of a nine-year-old girl. She, cruelly framing the young man, upset the solemn family holiday and turned everyone against the guest, whom no one is happy about. Ryder himself is also not happy with the fact that he will have to sleep separately from everyone in a secluded place.

Molly’s behavior will remain a mystery, and her father’s reaction will be perceived as a threat that intensifies the tension in the development of a strange plot, consisting of only one suspicion and one suspect who is on the verge of reprisal.

Apparently, the film “Take Me to the River” was perceived by our audience in a very strange way, since few left their reviews, at least remotely conveying the events on the screen. On average, the reviews write about a teenager with a non-traditional sexual orientation who went with his parents to a family holiday in the village to visit relatives who are farmers. He diligently tries to hide his orientation, because of which he has to lie a lot, which leads to confusion and suspicions towards the boy, in a crime that was not committed by him.

Logan Miller, who plays Ryder, plays the victim perfectly, perfectly conveying the surprise and dismay at the circumstances that drove him to a standstill. Ryder is a victim who is unable to explain and prove his innocence and purity, which keeps the film in a state of shaky peace, in anticipation of war. In fact, that the teenager, that the girl’s father just want clarity, so the second arranges an investigation and interrogation with criminal experiments.

Clarity can only be expected from the girl herself, who confused Ryder with her ideas. In the mind of a teenage gay boy, role-playing games with Molly do not fit into the logic, and the logic of his father, who harbors a grudge and is inclined to interpret the interests of the sexes only through his own paradigm, is also not clear.

The meaning of the film “Take me to the river”

Let’s start with the fact that the gay teenager’s name is Ryder, played by the wonderful actor Logan Miller. At the beginning of the film, a boy asks his parents if they have told their relatives that he is gay. They have to travel from California to Nebraska to meet a huge family at a family celebration. Parents gently but clearly convey to the boy that there is no place and no time for such conversations. Ryder is disappointed, of course, but takes it for granted. A teenager does not doubt his orientation, he has no doubts and torments. The boy’s family is adequate with calm parents. Although at first glance it may seem that the film is about the torment and reflections of a homosexual in a conservative family, but it is not. The “conservative society” will still show itself in a beautiful light.

So where does the orientation of a teenager have to do with it? This is clearly not the case when you need to introduce a representative of minorities for the sake of tolerance. In Take Me to the River, the story of the character’s sexual orientation plays an important role, bringing clarity to the ambiguity that the teenager was victim of, but the main problem here is the silence that seems to give rise to the explanation of the actions taking place in the film. So the picture is built – some unpleasant and strange action takes place, but it is not completely clear what exactly and even threatening landscapes look frightening.

Urban strangers and local rural ones are a frequent device in American filmmaking, when civility is shown against the backdrop of rural uncouthness. This leitmotif is also present in the film Take Me to the River. The farmer relatives from Nebraska seem like a whole horde with numerous offspring, uncles and aunts, compared to the Ryder family, and put pressure on them already with their numbers. Relatives refer to the “urban” with provincial arrogance, it is expressed in sarcastic barbs and banter at the appearance of Ryder: his short shorts and vintage sunglasses are ridiculed, which are too brightly perceived by the villagers.

Nevertheless, the family celebration seems to last forever and no skirmishes can interrupt it. The holiday is interrupted by the scream of a nine-year-old girl named Molly, this is the main mystery of the film. Suspicions immediately fall on Ryder, since it was he who went into the barn with her and generally seems to relatives a strange boy in ridiculous red shorts that look like underwear, in their opinion. For the fact that the boy is somehow not like that, is too different from them, and therefore it is he who immediately begins to be accused of an obscene act, even after it turned out that nothing irreparable had happened to Molly.

As the scandal arose, it was quickly settled and the holiday continues on. But the sediment and the question remains in the air, tension between relatives is felt. The boy is immediately made an outcast in the family, but he cannot escape anywhere, which would mean that he would admit his guilt. The meeting of relatives goes on as usual, despite the fact that Ryder is ordered to spend the night in an abandoned barn, and not like everyone else in the house.

The frenzy of what is happening is reminiscent of the film of Danish origin Thomas Vinterberg’s “Celebration” and “The Hunt” (where in the first case an ongoing holiday is shown, from which it was most reasonable to leave in different directions, and not continue a tense family celebration, in the second film an unfair accusation is shown, which makes pariah from man). The feeling of paranoia does not end there, the director pumps up the atmosphere in the film, revealing the theme of child sexuality. The girl Molly turns out to be an incomprehensible metaphor, whose behavior confuses both the viewer and Ryder himself. Molly is a completely uncontrollable and very obsessive creature, perfectly conveying all the “seduction” chips that clearly do not correspond to the behavior of a nine-year-old girl.

Movie ending explanation

Moral of the film: tolerance is evil, which is a perversion of spiritual values.

“Take me to the river” is a detective story that will not be investigated and no one will be punished for the crime, but the meaning of what is happening is clear only in the finale and can be conveyed in one word, which is only implied and an affirmative question asked with a chilling smile: “you do you remember?”

The finale sheds light on what happened and at the same time radically changes the meaning of the whole story, but does not give a clear answer to who Molly really is. It is only clear that this girl is not sorry and partly wants to beat her.

1 thought on “Take Me to the River Ending Explained & Plot Analysis”

  1. It does not make sense as to why this family that is being treated so rudely; does not get in their car and leave. Instead they put their child through further humiliation?

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