‘Good Madam’ Ending, Explained: Who Is Diane? Is Mavis Bound To The House?

It is not really possible to make do with a spooky atmosphere when making a horror film. If the plot isn’t portrayed clearly, especially one that tries to accumulate this much material, the atmosphere, made of everyday utensils, only makes things confusing. “Good Madam,” with all its symbolism and supernatural roots, isn’t able to pull off what it intended due to a lack of a clear portrayal of the characters, which would have made clear the symbolism as well.

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Overall, one will have to wait till almost the very end and keep on guessing to realize, if at all, what the motive behind the events is. However, that is not to say that the film doesn’t fulfill its purpose. The symbolism does reveal itself slowly, and the way the creators incorporate the supernatural element is also commendable. However, a film is as much for the eyes as it is for the mind. And “Good Madam,” in trying to go for the mind, overlooks the eyes.


What Happens In ‘Good Madam’ Film?

When Tsidi, and her daughter Winnie, begin living with her Tsidi’s mother Mavis at the house where she works as a maid for the white owner, Diane, Tsidi isn’t really able to appreciate her new accommodation, although her daughter likes it a lot. However, Mavis has worked for Diane her whole life, and there is nothing else for her to do if not take care of Diane, who is bedridden. Despite the house being luxurious, Mavis has confined herself to a small room where she sleeps. This contrast is uncomfortable for Tsidi as well as the viewers.

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With time, Tsidi begins to experience the spookiness of the large house. The fact that the owner doesn’t leave her bedroom has had its effect on the whole place and has her morose presence felt everywhere. Hallucinations and nightmares begin to take over Tsidi. What’s even weirder is that the previous servants of the house were buried nearby along with their masters.

As the film progresses, it is made clear to the viewers that Tsidi’s disdain towards the house is, in turn, making the house despise her back. What follows is how Tsidi tries to come out of the mental trauma and the horrors of the house.

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Spoilers Ahead


Slavery and Apartheid

The first thing that strikes the mind about a sense of oppression is when Mavis tells Tsidi that there can be no running, no making noise, no touching the refrigerator, and most importantly, no entering Diane’s room. Later on, the breaking of the cups after falling from Winnie’s hands and Mavis’s reaction to it as if a crime had been committed, further stresses the rules they are bound by, again a reminder of apartheid.

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To talk about Diane’s house, the whole house symbolizes slavery. Mavis, like many other people in the black community before her, has been enslaved to take care of a house owned by a white family. However, neither she nor any other black person is allowed to use the luxuries of the house. They belong exclusively to the white community. The room in which Mavis has been living all this time is more like a reward in return for her services to Diane, something that she should thank her good fortune for being allowed to do. The stress on isolated body parts, like eyes, lips, arms, and teeth (not only of real people but of the showpieces too) is shown to tell us that the black community was no less than a collection of body parts whose only purpose was to perform dedicated tasks. 

Gcinumzi, Tsidi’s half-brother, was brought up in this house. He was more like an adoptive son to Diane’s family. His name, “Stuart,” is clearly white in nature. That he can enter Diane’s room if he so chooses is only possible because he is more white than black. He may be black by birth, but he is white by culture. This is another way in which the film shows how apartheid existed.

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Tsidi symbolizes the revolt against slavery and apartheid. She even mentions to Mavis that the way she is being treated by Diane is basically apartheid. She tries very hard to not fall into the trap of the house and its apparently supernatural roots (which we will talk about in a few). However, there are times when she subconsciously begins to act like an oppressed black woman when she begins to clean the floor with her toothbrush as well as when she shreds her palms while trying to scrub the floor.


The Supernatural

As the film reaches its end and we see Diane’s health deteriorate, the supernatural theme slowly starts creeping in and completely embraces the film till the time it reaches its climax. Tsidi finds a book that contains a spell. This spell seemingly binds Mavis to Diane and binds the previous black servants with their white masters.

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The fact that it was Gcinumzi who was going to sacrifice Tsidi’s hands proves that he, too, had been subjected to the spell and was ready to make the sacrifice to prove his allegiance to “his mistress,” who had given him shelter. This again is proof of how the film brings together apartheid and the supernatural themes. When Gcinumzi tells Mavis that she needs to rest, it might mean that the curse now requires a stronger pair of hands to serve Diane.


‘Good Madam’ Ending Explained: Is Diane Real?

At the end of the film, Diane’s ghastly form, again symbolic of oppression taking over, tries to strangle Tsidi and make her give in, but it is Mavis, whose love for Tsidi ultimately kicks in and helps her “break free” and save Tsidi. At the end of the film, we see that Diane has been shifted to the room where Mavis had been living all this time. It shows the change in the power dynamic of the house. Mavis and Tsidi keep her in the house and use her more as a formality, which will enable them to live in the house on their own accord.

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Diane is real, but it is up to us to accept if her ghastly form is real or a figment of Tsidi’s imagination. We see her pray to her lord about how she has been feeling about the house, and she prays for protection. It is not unusual in psychological horror films to join the real and the supernatural. It is the inability to differentiate one from the other that forms the basis upon which the plot thrives. Be that as it may, it is only because of the prior dynamic of the house, between Diane and Mavis, that perhaps made Tsidi paranoid. It can be really uncomfortable for the viewers too. However, with Diane having moved to Mavis’s room, it seems that Mavis and Tsidi, and her daughter Minnie, have overcome their oppressed selves to come closer to each other and live happily.


“Good Madam” is a 2022 Drama Horror film directed by Jenna Cato Bass.

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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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