‘Daughter’ (2023) Ending, Explained: What Happens To The Daughter? Does She Survive?

There are individuals who navigate the complexities of life in peculiar and twisted ways. While some find solace and fulfillment in embracing the natural rhythms and patterns of the universe, others vehemently reject conformity and march to the beat of their own drum. These individuals possess a unique perspective, often challenging societal norms and conventional wisdom and occasionally resorting to extreme measures to accomplish their objectives. Their mental landscapes are intricate and convoluted, shaped by a multitude of factors. Perhaps it is a reflection of their innate predispositions or a response to the pressures and contradictions of the world around them. The film Daughter delves into an intriguing exploration of a young girl’s life, which takes a dramatic turn when she becomes the captive of an individual known only as the Father. This character embodies the twisted dynamics mentioned earlier, displaying a peculiar blend of love and control over the girl’s life.

Spoilers Ahead 

Why Did ‘Father’ Want The Girl To Stay With Him?

In this unsettling tale, the girl is thrust into a harrowing situation as she awakens to find herself imprisoned in a house that appears ordinary on the surface. However, it soon becomes apparent that this family harbors a dark secret. The arrival of the Father introduces a chilling twist as he reveals his intent to keep her captive for an unsettling two-year duration, giving her the moniker Daughter. The Father’s motivations draw from the depths of a psychopathic and twisted ideology. His peculiar and indifferent behavior reflects a disturbed mindset, detached from society and driven by a sinister desire for control. The naming of the girl as Daughter further highlights his manipulative tendencies, as he seeks to mold her identity and assert dominance over her. 

The Daughter initially struggles to comprehend the Father’s unsettling intention of keeping her captive for a specific span of two years, promising an improvement thereafter. The Father justifies his actions by asserting that he aims to safeguard his non-biological son, a kidnapped child, from the perceived dangers of the outside world. Compounding the complexity of the situation, the woman posing as the Father’s wife (Mother) possesses full knowledge of his twisted motives but willingly aligns herself with his worldview. The woman, posing as the wife, presents an intriguing case of psychological entanglement. Her conscious awareness of the Father’s true motives raises questions about her own psyche and motivations. It is possible that she is driven by a deep-seated fear, codependency, or a shared belief system. 

Here, we encounter a person who experiences fear and unease in the presence of another individual. Despite these apprehensions, the Mother chooses to remain in the Father’s company and reluctantly agrees with or wants to believe his words. The underlying reason behind this behavior is a lack of belief in her own ability to escape from the situation. The Mother employs a strategic approach by consistently speaking to her in Vietnamese. She encourages the Daughter to maintain a sense of happiness, emphasizing that it will make things easier for her and serve as a protective shield against the Father’s unwarranted abuse. The Mother believes that the more the Daughter earns the Father’s trust, the greater her chances of experiencing freedom within the confines of the house without being constantly chained.

What Is The Father’s Ideology Regarding The Nature Of The World?

From the Father’s perspective, he holds the ideology that the soul is immortal, everlasting, and incorruptible. He believes that by protecting and preserving one’s soul, individuals can transcend the temporary and corruptible nature of the world. In his view, the world is filled with corruption and decay, and its existence is finite. However, the soul continues its eternal journey beyond the boundaries of earthly existence. The Father’s ideology emphasizes the consequences of corruption on the soul. He believes that individuals have the power to shape the state of their souls through their choices and actions. Those who allow corruption to infiltrate their souls are seen as eternally damned, trapped in a state of perpetual spiritual decay.

In line with this perspective, the Father emphasizes the need to prioritize the well-being of the soul over transient worldly gains. He sees the pursuit of material wealth and pleasure as trading the essence of one’s existence for temporary pleasures, which ultimately come at a cost. He believes that individuals who prioritize the temporal over the eternal will face the consequences of their choices. The Father perceives himself and others who share his ideology as guides or helpers for those in need. He believes that their understanding of the significance of the soul grants them a responsibility to assist others on their spiritual journeys. This perspective highlights a sense of empathy and a recognition of the interconnectedness of human experiences.

How Does The Son Interpret And Internalize His Father’s Teachings?

The Daughter is taken aback when she encounters her newly introduced brother and discovers the stark contrast in their perspectives. Unlike the Daughter, he has been sheltered from the realities of the outside world and holds a unique belief that the air flowing beyond their confines is impure, posing a lethal threat to people. This intriguing aspect delves into the consequences of prolonged isolation and indoctrination within a confined environment. The brother’s skewed perception of the outside world reflects the distorted information and ideology that he has been fed by his Father. It demonstrates how manipulation and limited exposure can change a person completely. 

In response to his Father’s teachings, the Son interprets and internalizes a perspective that considers the finite nature of life a mere transition into the infinite. He believes that the purpose of humanity is to transcend the limitations of earthly existence. The Son perceives their confined home as a representation of the finite world they have gained, and by ensuring its safety, he equates it to a world they have created for themselves. However, the Son also expresses concern about allowing others to suffer when they have the capacity to help. He recognizes that this neglect could have negative consequences for their souls. This response highlights the Son’s empathy and  sense of moral responsibility toward alleviating the suffering of others. 

‘Daughter’ Ending Explained: Does The Daughter Survive?

In this gripping narrative, the Daughter gradually develops a close bond with the Son yet remains cautious in her actions. She becomes perplexed by the Father’s peculiar habit of storing the boy’s blood and creating packages out of it. While the Son claims that the boy is the future savior of the world, the Daughter suspects that he may be selling the blood for monetary gain. Together, the Daughter and Son devise a surprise play for the Mother and Father on the Son’s birthday. However, the Father remains unmoved by the spectacle of sparkly lights and dance. In a moment of desperation, the Father begins to physically assault the Daughter. In a courageous act, the Mother intervenes, striking the Father to protect her child.

Seizing the opportunity, the Mother warns the Son, and she manages to escape from the house. Meanwhile, the Father realizes the consequences of his actions and tries to prevent the others from leaving. However, before he can take further action, the Son, driven by his care for the girl, accidentally strikes the Father with a hammer, resulting in his demise. In the film’s concluding moments, the Daughter guides the Son outside to show him that the air will not bring harm to him. This symbolic act signifies their newfound freedom from the Father’s twisted dynamics and their embrace of the outside world’s possibilities.

In the thought-provoking ending of the film, a subtle hint is presented, suggesting two different possibilities for the Son’s future path. As the Son gazes at the hammer next to his leg inside the truck, the movie concludes, leaving room for interpretation and contemplation. One possibility is that the Son may choose to follow in his Father’s footsteps, succumbing to the dark legacy of violence and becoming a cold-hearted murderer. There is also a possibility that the Son may choose to trust his sister, breaking away from the legacy of his Father and seeking a different type of life. This alternative path suggests the transformative power of genuine connection and the potential for redemption and escape from the toxic influence of their past. 

The movie Daughter, highlights the complexities of human nature and the potential for both growth and regression, leaving room for speculation; the film also explores the distressing issue of Vietnamese girls being sold off as brides, and it is suggested that the character of the Mother may have experienced such a fate. This storyline raises concerns surrounding psychological problems, child abduction, and the pervasive issue of human exploitation. Daughter is a thought-provoking and captivating film that deeply impacts its viewers. It masterfully creates an atmosphere of anticipation, leading audiences to expect answers and resolutions to the complex themes and mysteries presented throughout the narrative. However, the film purposefully defies this expectation by challenging conventional storytelling.

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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