‘All The Names Of God’ Ending Explained: Does Santiago Survive The Bomb?

Daniel Calparsoro’s All the Names of God, or Todos los nombres de Dios shows a man’s determination to reunite with his family in the wake of a terrorist attack. The movie dispels the misconceptions that lead to Islamophobia, particularly in recent times. All the Names of God also peeks into the life of a Muslim family whose son is involved in the terrorist attack in the movie and how they’re at a crossroads with their own beliefs and society. 


Spoilers Ahead

What Is The Plot About?

All the Names of God portrays the story of Santiago Gomez Lasarte, a middle-aged cab driver living in Madrid with his wife and son. Santiago and his family are still mourning the death of his daughter, who succumbed to cancer a year ago. Since her passing, Santiago has become increasingly withdrawn, burying himself in his work as a coping mechanism. His family acknowledges his grief but struggles to connect with him. One fateful day, while on duty, Santiago drops off a passenger at the airport. Suddenly, a series of explosions plunges the airport into chaos. Santiago rushes to aid the injured, even helping a wounded individual back to his cab. However, unbeknownst to him, this passenger is one of the terrorists responsible for the attack. The terrorist, Hamza, hijacks the cab and wants him to take him out of the city.


Who Is Hamza?

Hamza Chait is a 19-year-old Spanish resident of Moroccan origin who has been radicalized into committing jihad by his operators. He is one of the three jihadists who were appointed to carry out the attack on Madrid airport; however, Hamza was not like the rest of the group and did not want to commit violence. He used to live in Madrid with his mother and sister, but ever since his last trip to Morocco last year, he has been acting strange. He wanted his sister to wear the hijab and had been going to the mosque every day, thinking he was being a good Muslim. According to the reports of the Spanish intelligence, he had been in Syria receiving military training during the time he was missing. Despite his involvement in the terrorist attack, his mother still believes that Hamza is not a violent man and has been tricked by those who are trying to weaponize Islam. 

After his fellow jihadists detonate their bombs, Hamza uses the chaos to run away from the scene of the attack. When Santiago helps him to the cab, he instead sees the opportunity to hijack the cab at gunpoint. Seeking safety, he forces Santiago to drive him outside the city.


How Does Hamza Die?

Fearing for his life, Santiago complies with Hamza’s demands and drives him outside Madrid. They make a stop at a gas station, where Santiago assists Hamza in disarming the bomb vest and removing it. After coercing Santiago into removing the GPS from his car, they resume their journey to the nearest dam, where Hamza disposes of the vest. Santiago sees an opportunity to immobilize Hamza but is swiftly overpowered by the boy, who is a skilled fighter.

As Hamza aims his gun at Santiago, he hesitates, unable to pull the trigger. Santiago realizes that Hamza is merely a teenager caught in a vicious web. Hamza no longer desires to be a terrorist; he simply longs to return to his family now. However, he’s now trapped by the threat of execution by his own operator for insubordination. Moved by compassion, Santiago decides to drive Hamza once more, this time of his own volition. Exhausted from the ordeal, Santiago drifts off to sleep while driving. The car veers off the road and plunges over a cliff. Miraculously, both Santiago and Hamza survive the crash, but Hamza sustains severe injuries. Santiago tries to seek help for the injured young man, but they are intercepted by Hamza’s operators, who fatally shoot Hamza and knock Santiago out.


Why Do The Terrorists Arm Santiago With The Bomb?

Santiago awakens in the restroom of a shopping mall, only to discover that a bomb similar to Hamza’s is now strapped to his vest. A call from Hamza’s operator confirms Santiago’s worst fears—he has become the unwilling successor to Hamza’s mission. The operator, viewing Santiago as a mere pawn, sees his involvement in the fundamentalist cause as a spectacle that will captivate millions. Adding to Santiago’s terror, the bomb is equipped with a motion sensor that requires constant movement to prevent detonation. As he steps out of the restroom, the mall descends into chaos. Santiago desperately implores bystanders to contact the authorities, urging them to call the police.

Ultimately, the Spanish Defense Ministry, led by Pilar Montero, the Military Police Commander, arrives at the venue to address the crisis at the mall. Pilar, who had been trying to help Santiago even prior to this incident, establishes communication with him. Santiago explains the entire situation to Pilar and her team, who express sympathy and understanding for his ordeal. However, the terrorist operator, aware of the unfolding situation, contacts Pilar directly. With chilling certainty, he threatens to detonate the bomb unless Santiago reaches Grand Vie within the next five minutes, intending for the entire world to witness the event live.

How Does Pilar Help Santiago?

This threat from the operator ensues chaos amongst the defense authorities, but Pilar is hellbent on saving Santiago so that he can go back to his family, who are still waiting at their HQ. She hatches a plan to use a secluded industrial area nearby as the location to disarm the bomb. To get there, he is to be transported in a truck equipped with a treadmill so that the bomb doesn’t go off. Meanwhile, the operator calls a terrorist who works at a mobile repair shop to activate the timer on Santiago’s vest. However, the call is traced by the intelligence authorities, prompting them to send their troops to capture the man, who is eventually hit by a truck. As he gets hit, the detonator to the bomb on Santiago’s chest is picked up by two kids, thinking it’s an ordinary cell phone. 

To trick the operator, Pilar and Gerardo, another high-ranking defense personnel, talk to a media agency to use AI to make a fake video to make it seem like Santiago is walking on Grand Vie, while in reality he has already been transported to the industrial area to have his bomb disarmed. The plan works initially when all the news channels broadcast the fake video instead. However, the operator figures out that something is wrong and calls his man to detonate the bomb, but the children have the phone instead. 


What Happens To Santiago?

As Santiago’s bomb is gradually disarmed, with each lock being carefully cut, a sudden panic ensues when a child accidentally triggers the bomb. Despite the escalating tension, the bomb squad continues their meticulous work. Unaware of the gravity of the situation, he hides the phone beneath his table. His mother later discovers it and, unknowingly, triggers a call to one of the contacts listed on the device. The ringing phone sets off the bomb attached to Santiago’s chest, plunging everyone into a state of terror.

In a race against time, the bomb squad manages to break the final lock and disarm the vest just as it is about to explode. The bomb detonates, but Santiago survives with only minor injuries, thanks to the swift actions of the bomb squad. In the aftermath, the terrorist operator abandons the operation and vanishes. Despite his physical recovery, Santiago continues to deal with the trauma of the experience. However, the horrifying incident serves as a catalyst for reuniting his fractured family, restoring the closeness they once shared before the loss of Santiago’s daughter.


During All the Names of God‘s ending, Santiago decides to visit Hamza’s family to deliver the misbaha entrusted to him by Hamza and return it to his family to show that Hamza, in the end, did not detonate the bomb. This gesture highlights the complex emotions that are at play here, shedding light on the individuals affected by the bitter grip of religious fundamentalism. The film concludes on a poignant note and shows the inner conflict faced by individuals like Hamza, who find themselves trapped in a web from which escape seems impossible.

Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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