Marc In ‘Beautiful Rebel’ Explained: Was Marc Real Or A Hallucination?

Gianna Nannini’s life has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Netflix’s latest docu-drama film on the celebrated Italian rockstar, Beautiful Rebel, takes us to the depths of her fears and anxieties. Suppressed by her father from a young age, Gianna grew up somewhat mentally ill, and she obsessed over being in control of her own life. Gianna’s days of being completely unstable and almost losing her career involved one person in the middle of it. Marc, aka Sixteen, Gianna’s lover and an alcoholic.


Spoilers Ahead

How does Gianna meet Marc?

A girl named Tina dies in the hotel Gianna used to live in after she left her home. Tina and Gianna grew close in no time, but she died of a drug overdose while listening to Gianna’s unfinished song recordings. At Tina’s funeral, Gianna first sees Marc while she’s on the piano. Marc clicks some pictures of her and notices she has eight fingers. Gianna tells him how she lost them in the battle in her dad’s Sienna bakery. Marc shows up again a couple of days later, this time outside a club Gianna is applying to sing for. While singing in the club, Gianna finds Marc once again, and this time they end up sleeping together. Their rendezvous in a hotel makes Gianna lose track of the time. When one morning she asks him the date, his reply lands him the nickname Sixteen. Sixteen would now be a recurring character in her life, causing her a great deal of suffering. 


How does Marc turn Gianna into a druggie?

After their hookup, Gianna sees Marc again at one of her concerts. This time, he introduces her to LSD and coke. She writes a song called Latin Lover for Marc, and she starts to grow affectionate for him. After Gianna comes to Cologne to produce her new album, she gets a break from Marc. But some days later, he shows up in Germany too, and both of them are back in a self-destructive relationship. Gianna doesn’t remember calling Marc, but he claims she did, and he threatens her to only do what she’s told. 

How does the accident change Gianna?

Gianna finds out that Marc doesn’t listen to any of her songs. While driving, she smells gas and bickers with Marc about him not knowing the lyrics to Latin Lover. Considering she wrote it for him, this is the least one could reciprocate, even if they hate the song. Gianna crashes her car while fighting with Marc, and she wakes up alone in the hospital. Marc’s absence doesn’t bother her, as she’s grown used to taking Marc for granted. But the accident changes that equation, and Gianna finds Marc writing about her activities in a day with time stamps. She suspects him of being a spy of Roger Kranz. Gianna starts experiencing hallucinations and smelling gas already, and this incident breaks her mental health in two pieces. Conny and his wife find Gianna trying to wake Marc up, and they see Gianna tending to the empty floor, thinking Marc is there. 


Was Marc Real Or A Hallucination?

Gianna’s dad takes her home to Milan, but her condition doesn’t seem to improve. She still sees Marc, who is everywhere around her. When a doctor tries to make Gianna understand that Marc isn’t real, he tries to convince Gianna that he is and stops her from taking the medicine. By now, Gianna has understood that Marc is nothing but a projection in her head, and she’s schizophrenic. The doctor tries to admit Gianna into a mental health facility, but Carla lies to the doctor and says the LSD in her system might be affecting her vision. Gianna eventually recovers from the boundaries Marc set around her and goes on to create a career that is celebrated in the world of rock to this day. 

Why does Gianna make Marc up?

Marc was a character Gianna’s brain created to cope with the pain life inflicted on her. When she lost Tina, a friend who she thought would be with her, she invented Marc to fill the gap. Gianna sees Carla remembering her songs, unlike Marc. Marc was made of all her worst fears and insecurities, and his behavior was abusive because of that. Gianna’s family and Carla helped her get back up from the traumatic projections of Marc. Marc’s awful demeanor and terrible treatment of Gianna were nothing but Gianna’s own head messing with her. Gianna became a self-destructive person pretty soon after moving to Milan, and Marc became the friend she needed to take her emotional dump on. All the real people in her life distanced themselves, but Marc never left because he was the only one Gianna could be an ass to. The relationship between Gianna and Marc was a nightmarish, abusive one, and it only shows how bad mental health can destroy a person and send them to the looney bin. 


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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