‘Parallel’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Alex And Vanessa Kill Their Doppelgangers?

Parallel is a 2024 film that revolves around a woman named Vanessa who is trying to cope with the grief of losing her son. To ease her mind, she tries to wander off into the forest adjacent to their cottage but encounters her mysterious doppelganger, which makes her question everything. As the story progresses, she becomes more confused as she sees her husband, Alex, in the forest, but with distinct features that seem different. Little by little, she begins to understand that the forest holds secrets about connecting alternate universes, wherein in each universe there is Vanessa, her husband Alex, her husband’s brother Martel, and their son Obe, but in each, they have different realities and stories. Would Vanessa be lost in the jungle forever? Would she be able to cope with the grief of losing Obe? That’s what we are about to find out through this explanation!

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Spoilers Ahead


Did Alex And Martel Believe In Vanessa? 

Parallel‘s story starts with Vanessa staring out the window of their cozy cottage, lost in her thoughts. Suddenly, a bird crashes into the window sill, startling her. Her husband, Alex, tries to comfort her by saying that a dead bird means the end of one thing and the beginning of another. He knows Vanessa still blames herself for their son’s death, which continues to haunt her dreams. Despite Alex’s attempts to move on and be happy with Vanessa, she finds it hard to let go of the pain. Meanwhile, Alex’s brother, Martel, shows up and talks about rumors of strange experiments going on in the nearby jungle, leading to a factory closure. Vanessa remembers hearing similar stories from Alex’s dad but wonders if they’re just made up. In search of peace, Vanessa heads into the forest alone, where she comes across her mysterious doppelganger, who scares her with a gunshot. Disturbed by this encounter, she goes back home to talk to Alex, but he doesn’t believe her and insists she sees a doctor and takes her medicine. That night, while Martel cooks a barbecue, Vanessa joins him and Alex. Martel talks about regrets in life and how we can’t control everything, admitting his struggles with alcohol. Vanessa feels like Martel’s words are aimed at her and realizes neither he nor Alex believe her. When she tries to leave, Martel accidentally burns his hand while trying to stop her. When Vanessa came inside, she saw Martel and his burned hand, smelling of alcohol, which made her wonder why Martel was talking about quitting drinking. After noticing her, he walked out the door. But as she looked to the other side, she saw him holding his hand, wrapped in a bandage, tending to his burns. This left her bewildered, wondering who the other man was.

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What Plan Did Vanessa And Divorced Alex Make? 

One day, when Vanessa went into the forest, she stumbled upon a locked gate, signaling that part of the woods was off-limits. As she tried to explore beyond it, she found herself looping back to the same spot, despite moving forward. Even when she marked trees and left her scarf, they disappeared each time she returned. Confused and concerned, she shared her experience with her husband, but he dismissed her thoughts and told her to stop blaming herself for their son’s death, as she learned that her husband, not she, was driving when their son died. It made her wonder if the man she was talking to was really her husband. Later, when her brother-in-law Martel showed up, she noticed his burn on the other hand, which made her even more uneasy, and she realized that after coming home from the forest, she was not in her home but someplace else that looked like her home, and it had her husband and her brother-in-law but their features, mannerisms, and stories were all different.

Vanessa ran into the forest seeking answers, where she encountered a man who looked just like her husband, Alex. She thought he had followed her, but he revealed he was actually a divorced man searching for his wife, Vanessa. He explained he was a physicist and understood the eerie environment they were in because, in each universe, there was a different version of Alex with varying scars, stories, and habits. He described these universes as fragmented spaces connected like a conspiracy loop, similar to the multiverse theory. He has been through many universes to find his wife, has experienced various times and spaces, and has found out about their dead son somewhere. He is either dead or nonexistent, but there is a possibility that in some place he might still be alive. To navigate this complexity, they decided to mark places and trees with fishing wire. If the divorced Alex found Vanessa after traveling through other universes and returning to the forest, they would utter, “Room 1111, Bed 8.” If Vanessa and Alex found their own universes, they would destroy the gate in the forest, acting as a portal between universes and resolving the tangled mess and complexities once and for all.

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Why Did Alex And Vanessa Kill Their Doppelgangers? 

After the divorce, Alex went searching for his wife in another universe. Vanessa found her home, but her husband and her brother-in-law were all looking sad. When she tried to tell them she was alive, her husband, Alex got frustrated and claimed she couldn’t be alive because he’d killed his wife. She tried explaining the idea of different universes, suggesting he might have killed another version of Vanessa. But he got more upset and ended up shooting himself, with Martel doing the same. Feeling crushed by the loss of her family, Vanessa returned to the forest, realizing she couldn’t find her home because it didn’t exist anymore. On her way back, she found a dead Alex, which confused her. Then she heard the fishing wire moving and found another Alex wearing a ring, saying he’d found his home in some universe. This made her realize that the divorced Alex had killed the other Alex to pretend to be happily married. On his way to destroy the gate, the connector of the universes, Alex said she should do the same to find peace. Meanwhile, in the forest, Vanessa met the divorced Alex’s wife, who had a gun, and said one of them had to die. Vanessa tried to get her to go back to her husband, but she refused. In a moment of panic, Vanessa hit her with a rock, accidentally killing her.

During Parallel‘s ending, Vanessa comes to the cottage in another universe, which can’t be her original home since Alex is still alive. The next day, when she wakes up, there’s still a dead bird, and Alex tells her the same story about how it signifies the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. After breakfast, when she goes to her kid’s room, she sees toys scattered around and hears her child’s voice—it’s Obe. He’s alive in this universe. This means she has finally found her true home—her universe. Finally, she can be happy, forget her grief, and give life a second chance to become a happy family once again.

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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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