Anna in ‘Fingernails,’ Explained: How Did Anna Realize She’s In Love With Amir?

Christos Nikou’s Fingernails introduces Jessie Buckley’s character, Anna, as a woman in her mid-twenties living in a world where traditional romantic relationships exist with a unique twist. In this world, the existence of love between two people is determined through something called the love-testing exam. The rules state that if you score 50 percent, it means at least one person in the relationship is in love. A perfect 100 percent score suggests that both people are crazy for one another and should definitely get married. Sadly, there’s also the possibility of getting a 0 percent score, which means that neither person in the relationship is in love and they should split immediately. Such rules are put in place so people can only form meaningful relationships that have a future. Anna is in a relationship with her boyfriend Ryan (Jeremy Allen White), and like all the others, they also took the test and passed. For a couple of years, everything went well, but after that, Anna began doubting her feelings.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Anna Join The Love-Testing Institute?

Anna had been looking for a job for a while and decided to try her luck by applying to the love-testing institute. In addition, she also applied to a couple of elementary schools for a teacher’s job. Fortunately, she managed to secure both but chose to join the love-testing institute, probably because she wanted to learn how love works and help other people find out whether their significant other is the right one or not. This is where she met Amir (Riz Ahmed), one of the instructors who formed various challenges and exercises to help couples bond together. Anna tagged along with Amir to learn more about her job and soon began to feel the spark. With every passing day, Anna had found herself more and more attracted to Amir. She admired his talents for framing challenges and unique ways to test love. Anna wanted to be like him and wanted to help more and more people strengthen their bond so they could pass the test. She also suggested various ideas to Amir, which he dearly appreciated.

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Why Was Anna Looking For Red Flags In Her Relationship?

Since everyone knows that one cannot be in love with two people, Anna tried figuring out with whom she was actually in love. Anna wanted to confirm whether she was just infatuated with Amir or had real feelings. With Ryan, she noticed things were different lately. She started noticing hints that their relationship had lost some of its spark. One night, Anna drew a sketch of Ryan and asked him to do the same. Ryan didn’t, and she took that as a sign.

After a few days, she offered Ryan coffee, asking him to show up at work a bit late so they could have sex. But Ryan turned her down. That was another hint for her. Throughout the movie, we see Anna coming across similar situations that make her feel like something is off in her relationship with Ryan. But she couldn’t be sure if all these hints were real red flags. It was also possible that she was just seeing them that way because she was searching for a reason to choose between Amir and Ryan. The spark and excitement she felt while working with Amir were missing when Anna spent time with Ryan.

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Why Did Anna Force Ryan To Retake The Love Testing Exam?

Anna secretly used Amir’s fingernails, which he pulled himself during a previous love-testing exam, to determine the results. She was confident that the machine would give her its blessings (in this context, full marks). Unfortunately, something unexpected happened. The machine only gave out a 50% score. This means that her love, or infatuation, whatever she likes to call it, was probably one-sided. A normal person would’ve accepted the results, but Anna didn’t. She was hell-bent on finding out if her heart belonged to Amir or Ryan. As expected, she pressed Ryan to retake the test, and he agreed. Anna was convinced that the computer would give them only a 50 percent score since she was not in love with Ryan. But here, too, she was disappointed, as the machine gave the couple a perfect score. This meant that both parties—Anna and Ryan—were in love.


How Did Anna Realize She’s In Love With Amir?

Anna, stubborn as she was, confronted Amir and told him everything she had been doing for the last few days. This included trying to figure out where she stands with Ryan in their relationship and the secret fingernail test. To her surprise, it was actually Amir who was in love with her, and that’s why the score only went up to 50 percent. Like Anna, Amir was heartbroken as well, so much so that he took some time off work. Anna couldn’t stay away from Amir for long. She met him again and made it clear that no machine could tell her whether she was in love or not. She made it very clear that only she could truly know her own heart. If she was in love with Amir, no fancy scores or complex algorithms could make her think otherwise. This was the moment she finally understood how love works. Anna even tried pulling out her fingernails so she didn’t have to retake the test. In the end, Anna realized that depending on computers and algorithms for love is nothing but idiotic, and those who follow it are idiots, nothing else.

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Now, the pressing question is: was Anna ever in love with Ryan? If you ask me, no! If Anna was really in love with Ryan, she would’ve never fallen for Amir. However, it’s possible they were in love a couple of years ago before Anna met Amir. Or there’s another possibility that Anna was never in love with Ryan and just decided to honor the relationship because the machine said so. Until Amir walked into her life, Anna never had a reason to suspect otherwise. Amir, too, tried his luck with many women, like Natasha, but it didn’t work, probably because destiny had already booked him for Anna.


Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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