‘Rewind’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Is John Dead?

A woman tragically dying in a car accident and her husband or boyfriend magically going back in time to save her—how many times have we seen a plot like that? Doctor Strange would say an infinite number of times, but that can’t stop Netflix from bringing out this new movie, Rewind, which has the exact same plot. Although there’s still an appeal to stories that involve the concept of time-traveling, what’s the harm in cashing in on that? Absolutely nothing, but Mae Cruz-Alvair’s Filipino movie is both banal and bland. Not everyone can be Richard Curtis pulling off something like About Time (2013), after all!

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Spoilers Ahead


What Happens In The Movie?

Blame it on Netflix for giving away the main plot in the description itself, which effectively makes the first hour of the movie pointless. You know what’s going to happen to John and Mary already, so why not just get into that? And like I’ve said already, it’s not particularly interesting to watch anyway, unless you’re really into watching the same basic, worn-out love story over and over.

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Who Are John And Mary?

Childhood sweethearts John and Mary are the heart of the story. Although their love story was nothing short of picture-perfect, their marriage has turned sort of sour. The reason for that is that John is a typical entitled male character who doesn’t have time for his wife and son because of “work.” John is eyeing a promotion at his office, which would be a huge career boost, and that seems to be the only thing that matters to him. Mary, on the other hand, is a supremely talented chef who has an acceptance letter from a great culinary institute rotting inside the cupboard because she has made her life all about John. Their son, Austin, is a budding pianist, but all John cares about is Austin getting into football. John has a strained relationship with his father for abandoning him as a kid, and no matter how much he tries to fix things, John refuses to patch things up.


Does John Get The Promotion?

Of course, he doesn’t. The guy is not only a workaholic; he has severe anger issues as well. John’s boss, Hermie, appreciates his work, but obviously he doesn’t think promoting John is a good idea, and looking at John’s activity, I’ve got to agree with Hermie. Not only does John not get the promotion, he has to witness his work rival Vivian getting it. While it seems like John absolutely can’t stand Vivian, there’s a sexual tension between them that is kept just for the sake of adding a dramatic flair to the plot. So after not getting what he wanted, John takes it out on Harmie, who also happens to be his godfather, and announces his resignation. Before storming out of his office, a really drunk John passionately makes out with Vivian at his office. His secretary, Hannah, sneakily captures it.

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How Does Mary Die?

A car accident, of course—which happens in the morning after John gets fired. While going to attend Austin’s school play, John and Mary get into an argument over everything (read : him being a pile of crap), and that reaches its peak when Hannah sends Mary the video of John and Vivian. Mary was okay with him being a typical husband, but she’s understandably furious about John being a typical “cheating” husband. John’s defense is the same old “it doesn’t mean anything,” but right when all this is happening in the car, a horrific accident happens, and Mary pays the price. 


Who Is Lodz, And What Does He Offer?

Lodz is an electrician named Jess, and he’s the personification of Christ himself in this very Christian movie. So a grief-stricken, remorseful John finds Lodz right at home, as he’s there to fix some light that Mary commissioned before her death, and the two of them start to drink together—upon John’s insistence. It soon gets pretty clear that Jess is not just a regular electrician; he is, in fact, the almighty. The name Lodz is what many kids (including Austin) affectionately call him. Seeing John in such a terrible state, Lodz comes up with a solution: he will make sure John goes back in time, to just the day before the accident. This will subsequently allow him to fix all the wrong things that he did and effectively save Mary’s life. But the solution has a catch: somebody (John knows) has to die in place of Mary, and John has to decide who that would be. Failing to pick anyone he knows, John ends up asking for Mary’s life in exchange for his own. This also implies that, despite all his actions, John is inherently a good person after all.

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How Does It Go For John The Second Time Around?

Rewind wouldn’t have made any sense if it didn’t work for John after traveling back in time, so it goes exactly as you would imagine. John doesn’t get mad at his boss after Vivian gets the promotion; instead, he tells Hermie that there are more important things than a job and a promotion in this life. Hermie is surprised, but John clearly means it. And this time around, he rejects Vivian’s advances, thankfully. At home, John managed to turn things around with Mary, who was surprised to see this sudden but welcome change in her husband. John takes Mary out on a late-night date, making sure that Mary gets to be with the man she fell in love with—at least for a night. He also mends the fences with his estranged father by telling him that he doesn’t have the time to be angry with him anymore.

John makes sure to tell Austin that he should only pursue something that he truly likes, which is clearly piano and not football. Austin is visibly overjoyed, as getting encouragement from his father clearly means a lot to him. Just when everything looks okay from John’s perspective, he stumbles on the truth about Mary getting accepted at the culinary institute in Singapore. Upon being confronted, Mary tells him that even Austin has been accepted at a great music school in Singapore, and they actually plan to move after John’s birthday. Realizing this basically means Mary was planning to leave him, John gets infuriated, and the whole deal that he made with Lodz feels like a scam to him. As a matter of fact, Lodz arrives at his house at the exact same moment, and seeing him, John loses his temper again and demands an answer. Lodz pretends to be only an electrician in front of Mary, but when she’s away, he tells John that if he still hasn’t learned from his mistakes, then there’s no point in getting a second chance. 

After a while, while driving to Austin’s school play, John realizes that all he wants is for Mary to be alive and well, and he is the one who’s standing in the middle of that. He makes one final prayer to the Lord, telling him that he’s willing to honor the deal. But this time around, John manages to prevent the fatal car crash, thanks to him keeping his eye on the road. He’s still surprised to find himself alive and well, though.


What Happens To John And Mary?

I think the whole point of Rewind is to establish that you get rewarded for your good deeds. If John was spared in the end by Lodz, then that would have been a miracle, but Rewind is more about getting a chance to fix the mistakes that have been made than getting a miracle in the end. John’s reward for all he did during his second chance is that his wife and son would have a great life while always seeing John as an inspiration. If he hadn’t gotten the chance from Lodz, Mary would have stayed dead, and Austin would have lived his whole life being depressed and unmotivated. Instead, Mary went on to become a celebrated chef who eventually opened a restaurant. Austin, on the other hand, grows up to be a successful pianist who dedicates all his concerts to his father, John.

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During Rewind‘s ending, John does get to see his son’s play and hands him over his father’s watch, a gift that would mean a lot to Austin throughout his life. He has a moment of despair and begs Lodz to spare him, but Lodz makes him realize that his death is a necessity, although I see no valid reason behind that now that John has become a much more evolved human being. In the epilogue of the movie, we see glimpses of the lives of Mary and Austin. Years have gone by, and Austin has a son now, who is called John-John. Mary, although successful in her life, still dearly misses the love of her life, John. 


Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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