‘Joyride’ (2023) Ending, Explained: Why Joy Never Wanted Children? Did She End Up Being A Committed Mother?

Some stories are like half-full coffee cups in the middle of the night, helping us to detangle our jostled minds. “Joyride,” a beautiful coming-of-age comedy-drama, is also not unique in this regard. Directed by Emer Reynolds and screenplay by Ailbhe Keogan, this journey saga is all about Mully (Charlie Reid) and Joy (Olivia Colman). Two people, of different ages, backgrounds, interests, and circumstances, living under the same sky, suddenly come across and get seat-belted. They are not alone, though; a cute neonate is also their companion on this voyage. Little do they realize how dramatically their lives will alter throughout the journey. So let’s buckle up and explore this “Joyride” cheerfully.


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Mully and Joy Meet? What Are These Two Running From?

The tale unfolds its wings with Mully, a 13-year-old lad who recently lost his mother to cancer. He is seen to be stealing four thousand pounds from his father and taking off. James (Lochlann O’Mearáin), his father, who already stole that money in the first place, wants to keep all of the funds to himself rather than repay them. The money was raised through a hospice fundraising effort for the purpose of treating his mother. He tries to trick Mully into believing he wants this money for the family while actually wanting to use it to pay off his debt. Mully, who had a strong bond with his mother, is not amused by the idea. He follows his instinct and flees from his father. Eventually, he takes hold of a wayside taxi’s steering wheel and continues. But eventually, he realizes there are people in this taxi. They are Joy and an adorable toddler. Joy is a lawyer and a new mother who has no idea what is happening to her child or even to her. She observes that Mully enjoys spending time with children, and he is knowledgeable about the requirements and care procedures for toddlers. It is because Mully takes care of his infant niece in a loving, fatherly manner. Joy is a determined individual who intends to run away from Lisbert. She appears to be escaping from something else as well. She threatens Mully with charges of kidnapping if he doesn’t accompany her to Droleen and watch over her infant daughter. Mully agrees because he has no other choice and drives to Droleen in his car, which was probably sold to pay for his mother’s medical bills. He drives on backroads to avoid legal scuffles because he is not a licensed driver.


Their Journey Begins, Life Changes

Since they both reside in the same township, we learn that they are somewhat familiar with each other. Joy might go to Mully’s pub, so Mully knows that her preferred drink is vodka tonic. Joy has also heard him sing a ridiculous song. Like the majority of kids, Mully is interested in the baby. He gets distracted while asking about the baby and accidentally runs over a jackal, and Joy reverse-slashes it to certify its demise. She defends her actions by saying that she didn’t just want to leave the suffering creature alone. Once the fuel tank is empty, they begin to walk towards a petrol pump. Mully learns at this point that Joy is giving her child to her sister Mags. He tries to persuade her to stay with the baby and, at the very least, tell the father, but Joy claims she is acting legally because she does not want to retain the child and does not know who the father is. Joy, a pragmatic and self-centered lady, continues to argue that there is no need to drag an unwanted child, so it is better to give the baby to a family who needs it, so that the baby will have a wonderful future as well. She thinks the infant more closely resembles her mother, who passed away nine months ago and has returned to complete the cycle of life. Mully also admits to stealing the money and gives an explanation for why he did it.

At the petrol station, Joy becomes extremely anxious to hold the baby and, as Mully had taught her, checks to see if the infant is warm. Joy also tries to loosen her clothing as she feels the heat. Most likely, it is her first act towards the newborn. Mully eventually gets in touch with his father, who once more coerces him into returning with the cash. He instructs his son to go to the ferry station, where he will be picked up. Joy, however, declines to take a turn to head to the Ferry. She kicks Mully out of the car after a brief disagreement over the driver’s seat but subsequently regrets hurting him. Mully urges Joy to breastfeed rather than give her a commercial milk product after noticing that her breasts are dripping. Joy irately informs him that the baby doesn’t want her. They reach the jetty after making a spectacular getaway from a police checkpoint. Like her own mother, Mully assists her in all difficult circumstances, even during her first breastfeeding session, and he travels with her on the ship. Mully admits that despite his inability to swim, he likes going to beaches because his mother took him there frequently. When he feels down, he regularly goes to the beach and sits there. Although Joy doesn’t like beaches, she reveals that she used to know Rita, his mother, and that Rita gave him a happy childhood that deserves to be told. After spotting a Robin bird, Joy chooses the name Robin for the baby. Mully envisions his mother as a Robin bird as well. Thus, unintentionally, this lovely bird serves as the first connection between these two grieving people.


Mully refuses to leave Joy alone due to her feeble physical condition when James arrives to take him and the money. They provide Joy with a ride and take her to his aunt’s house. Joy, who is obviously experiencing postpartum psychosis, finds solace in Mully’s heart. James tries to trick Mully once more in order to get the money. Additionally, he urges him to invent a tale about being attacked and having the money stolen by the attackers. Mully cannot be sued since he is a minor, he adds. Joy eventually overhears this evil conspiracy of James that deeply saddens her. Mully, being always affectionate towards his father, gives him all the money. Later that evening, Joy calls her sister Mags to let her know she is unsure whether or not she should retain the child. Mags has been informed that Joy unknowingly developed a bond with the infant and that she even breastfed the child twice. She seemed incredibly pleased to tell Mags that she had chosen the baby’s name. This is when it becomes clear that Joy has a difficult relationship with her parents, particularly her mother, and that this makes her allergic to parenthood.

‘Joyride’ Ending Explained: Why Does Joy Not Want To Be A Mother? What Terrifies Her?

Joy explains that her parents separated when she was very young. One day, her mother took her to visit her father, and she noticed another woman with her father. She had previously told Mully this narrative in the boat, but it does not end here at all. That time, little Joy asked her mother to take her to the beach so she could go swimming in the ocean. She recalls being extremely deep in the water, nearly drowning, and calling her mother frantically, but she saw her mother standing still and looking here and there. Joy never forgets how her mother not only watched her child’s struggle in potentially fatal circumstances but also did not come to her rescue. Despite being saved, she always carries this trauma in her thoughts. She believes she cannot be a good mother because she was never wanted as a child. She ends up choosing to be childless as a result of the entire trauma. Due to her unavoidable genetic inheritance, she worries that she might resemble her cruel mother. But Joy’s thinking is puzzled by Mully and his unceasing love. The young boy shows up in her life as an angel to assist her in realizing her true worth. Joy is finally ready to be a mother. She is aware of how Rita, Mully’s wonderful mother, was adored by everyone. She applies Rita’s lipstick and kisses Mully’s gorgeous cheek in the manner her mother did. But Mully believes that she is attempting to occupy her mother’s chair. He was pushed by Joy to come with her and not to succumb to his father’s nefarious scheme. Mully, who is already angry with her, tells Joy that she shouldn’t discuss parenting since she is leaving her child, but his father is not doing so.


The two sad souls are split off once more. Joy departs for Lanzarote by plane, leaving the infant in the care of her sister. Suddenly, Mully discovers a kiss mark on his cheek. He leaves once more and visits the beach. Joy also succeeds in eluding the plane, and she arrives at the shore in pursuit of Mully. James eventually joins them there, and he and Joy get into a fight. Out of sheer contempt, Mully throws the money to his father and runs for the high waves. As long as James gets the money, he doesn’t worry about his child’s safety. However, it is Joy who rushes to save the defenseless Mully from drowning. She eventually takes the most significant parenting action her mother never took: in contrast to Mully’s own father, she prioritizes Mully. Joy was previously indecisive about whether to leave the baby or become a loving mother, but she ultimately decides against it and becomes a responsible mother to Mully, whom she adopts later.

Final Words: The Blissful Tale of A Mother and A Son

“Joyride” is a vivid illustration of the beauty of a “reckless” mother and her “half orphan” son. The moviemaker does a fantastic job of showing how a 13-year-old boy grows up to be so responsible following his mother’s tragic death. He does not neglect his family despite knowing what is good and bad. Mully treats his niece with the love of a father. Despite knowing his father is a gold-digger, he never deserts him. These characteristics aptly demonstrate how his mother raised him to be the ideal man. We are heartbroken by the scenario in which a young boy calms a distressed woman who is bleeding and experiencing postpartum depression but not his father, who is an adult. Joy, a bewildered new mother experiencing her worst mood swings, is now a content mother—all because of Mully.

It is evident that “Joyride” does not check all the boxes for an excellent movie. Although the songs and background score are excellent additions, the characters and plot development are poorly thought out. The comedy is applaudable, but sometimes the fiction might be so overdone that you can mistake it for a fairy tale. But despite everything, if you just want to “take a chill pill” without any critical thinking, you may definitely take this “Joyride.”

“Joyride” is a 2023 Drama film directed by Emer Reynolds.

Aratrika Roy
Aratrika Roy
Aratrika is an upcoming forensic scientist who dreams to write a bestseller someday. Though she was filling her diaries from a tender age, her interest piqued after she visited a theatre and began working there as a script writer. Along with penning poems and singing Rabindra Sangeet, she enjoys exploring the World of Cinema because one day she sees herself behind the lenses.

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