‘Basma’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happens In Netflix Drama Film?

A father and daughter share a special bond where the former is always ready to make sacrifices to keep his daughter happy and safe from all perils. In the movie Basma, we see this clearly. Here, Basma decides to take care of her father, who suffers from mental illness. His episodes can make him feel isolated and misunderstood, but Basma doesn’t give up on him. Even when other family members lose patience, she stays by his side, understanding that he needs her support now more than ever. The question is: can she help her father get better, or is it a losing battle? The Netflix Turkish drama film explores the emotional journey through its titular character, played by Fatima AlBanawi, who has written and directed the film. So, without further ado, let’s explore the film’s story and see what happens in the end.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why did Basma think of moving in with her father?

As the film begins, we see Basma as a bright young woman who lives away from home in Los Angeles. Basma is currently pursuing her master’s degree and wants to do a PhD in environmental engineering. The opening sequence establishes that Basma has such a big heart that she even donated her long hair to cancer patients. It shows how much she cares for others. Her friends and family love her for her warm and lively personality. After two years, Basma finally decided to return to her home town in Saudi Arabia to celebrate Eid with her family. Naturally, Basma was excited to see her family again, but she didn’t know that her family had been hiding a big secret from her. When Basma arrived at the airport, her brother Waleed picked her up with a warm welcome. All her relatives had arrived at the airport except for Basma’s parents, because of which she was quite eager to meet her mother and father. However, as soon as she reached home, Basma’s father wasn’t there. It was when her family dropped the news: her parents had divorced, and her father had moved back to their old home in Salama. She was shocked. She had always known there were strains in her parents’ relationship, mainly due to her father’s mental illness, paranoid depression disorder. They had had problems, and they had even started sleeping in separate bedrooms. But still, they were together, right? That was enough for her. Coming home after so long and hearing this news shattered her. Without hesitation, she went to see her father in their old home. However, even though her father knew she was there to visit, he didn’t bother to come out of his house. Saying he “didn’t bother” would be too harsh; he was just too scared to show his vulnerable state to his daughter. Maybe he was waiting to feel somewhat sane before talking to her properly.

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Basma started to realize why her family members called him a “dangerous monster.” They just didn’t know when he would have one of his episodes, and they would have no idea how to handle him. On top of that, he refused to take his medication. Being a scientist himself, he knew the side effects of the medicine and believed it would make him more insane instead of helping him. But during the Eid celebration family gathering, we got a clearer picture of their family dynamics. Everyone seemed awkward seeing her father come into the house for the celebration. They were all kind of afraid of him. Her father, especially, had some sort of feud with his brother, thinking he was always against him and mocking him for his illness. After their mother died, Basma’s grandfather left everything to Basma’s uncle because his father didn’t trust him and believed his mental illness would get the best of him. We could see how Basma’s grandfather also suffered from depression, so maybe it was genetic. But Basma’s uncle didn’t help the situation either. He commented that his father was getting better through medication, which helps him cure his depression, but Basma’s father just had so much arrogance that he just refused to take his medication. So you can imagine how Basma’s father felt after hearing that. He was already ashamed enough; on top of that, shaming him about this was too hurtful to him. So he left there, thinking he should never have come in the first place. Basma understood what her father was going through. She also realized that her family members might be having a hard time understanding his issues and situation. She believed that if he stayed alone in his home, his condition would only worsen. So, she decided to move in with him to help him get better.


Why did Basma decide to move away from his house? 

When Basma decided to live at her father’s house, everyone opposed the idea. I think it was understandable. When Basma entered his house, we got a glimpse of how this man actually lived and how his surroundings reflected his inner turmoil. He was so scared of bacteria infecting the house that he’d taped the air ducts with paper and stapled newspapers over the windows to hide from the outside world. He didn’t let sunlight in, and the house was filthy—God knows how long it had been since it was last cleaned. Basma took it upon herself to clean the house and make it livable. In doing so, she discovered many hidden things, like old pictures, which brought back good old memories for her. She realized the situation was not always like this, and if she tried, she could bring back those good old days. But she also saw how irritated her father got with seeing the doctor.

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The doctor often asked personal questions, which he didn’t like, making him feel too exposed. For a man who had always hidden from the world, this was understandable. He wasn’t just a private man; he was afraid people would look down on him because of his mental illness, and that fear kept him from seeking proper treatment. Despite all this, he was grateful for his daughter’s presence. He realized that even if no one else understood him, Basma did. So, he started listening to her. Together, they spent more time cooking, cleaning, and planting trees around the house to make the surroundings more lively. I think he was happy because Basma treated him like a normal human being rather than a sick person. They started going to the fish market like they used to when Basma was little, and he even began meeting his son Waleed and spending time with his grandson. They were finally happy, and Basma thought it was the best decision she had ever made to come back and spend time with her father. Just when Basma thought everything was returning to normal and her father was finally getting better without those awful medications, she decided it was time to tear down the papers on the windows. She believed he shouldn’t be ashamed to accept his reality and let everyone see him for who he was. But her father didn’t approve. He started to think Basma was getting too far into his personal space. It’s quite understandable, considering when he needed his loved ones the most, they weren’t there—not even Basma, as she was in LA studying. So, to him, it felt like she had no right to dictate his life now. Basma realized that, no matter what she did, she could never really help her father because she couldn’t fully understand what he was thinking. She understood how hard it was for him to accept his state. So, she decided to move away from his house. It shows how difficult it can be to truly support someone with a mental illness, no matter how much you love them. 

At the end of the movie, we see Basma’s father getting seriously ill and having to be taken to the hospital—so much for avoiding doctors and medications, huh! Basma loved her father so much that she started blaming everyone around her: her mother, her uncle, everyone. She accused them of being too selfish to be there for her father. But then, after talking to her family members about her father’s situation, she started to realize how her uncle had been there for his brother at every stage and how her mother had waited until Waleed’s marriage and Basma’s move to LA before coming to terms with the decision to divorce. Her father had wanted to end the marriage much earlier, but it was her mother who kept it going, trying to make the relationship work until she realized it was a lost cause. Basma could relate to this. It was the same thing happening to her. She realized that her love and efforts couldn’t help her father if he wasn’t willing to accept the help and get the treatment he needed. Staying there wasn’t going to change anything. So, Basma made the difficult decision to move back to LA. It thematically shows the harsh reality that sometimes, no matter how much we love someone, we can’t save them unless they want to be saved. We hope that Basma’s father accepts the help he needs and recovers from his illness soon. Separating himself and staying away from his loved ones won’t do him any good, and he must understand that. It’s our hope that he realizes the importance of connection and support in his journey towards healing.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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