‘Spaceman’ Ending Explained & Movie Spoilers: Why Does Lenka Want To Leave Jakub?

Spaceman, the latest “big” film from the Netflix stable, boasts a cast that includes Adam Sandler, Carey Mulligan, Kunal Nayyar, Isabella Rossellini, and the ever-so-amazing Paul Dano as alien. The film centers on a journey of self-realization for Sandler’s cosmonaut character, Jakub, where he is aided by the alien, Hanus. The alien looks mostly like the giant spider from Enemy (2013), only less threatening mainly due to a pair of cute googly eyes. Despite mostly great performances by the star cast, stunningly beautiful cinematography, and a meditative soundtrack from Max Ritcher, Spaceman doesn’t quite manage to land. That, I suppose, is mainly because of the idea not being particularly original and a really bland screenplay that doesn’t let the film soar high. It doesn’t have the dazzling impact of Interstellar, the emotional gut-punch of Ad Astra, or even the restrained but deeply evocative melancholy of First Man. Sandler is terrific, and so is Mulligan, but the whole thing feels like a bloated, pretentious mess with a few noteworthy moments here and there—where you actually get to feel something for the characters. However, the ending of Spaceman has a sense of ambiguity that needs to be addressed, I guess.

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Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Movie?

Pardon me for saying Spaceman has nothing original. Unlike most space films, this one doesn’t have any involvement with America. The hero country here is the Czech Republic, and their rival in achieving space glory is South Korea. That is mainly because the film is adapted from the Czech novel Spaceman for Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar. However, other than that, the film follows your usual American space film template.

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Who Is Jakub Procházka, And What Is His Mission?

There’s a mysterious neon cloud in the sky, and commander Jakub Procházka is out on a solo space mission to investigate what’s going on there and hopefully collect some dust to examine it. It has already been six months, and Jakub is clearly worn out but still keeps it together and assures his ground control team that everything is going as per the schedule. There’s a problem though, as a toilet malfunction issue keeps troubling Jakub, and in spite of complaining about it so much, his communication guy down on earth, Peter, is unable to do anything about it due to a lack of clearance from the higher authority.


Is There Anything Else Troubling Jakub?

Even though Jakub refuses to admit that he is the loneliest man during the Q&A session arranged by his control room, we all know for a fact that he’s not doing that well mentally. And the reason for that happens to be the strained relationship with his very pregnant wife, Lenka. What he doesn’t know yet is that Lenka has already decided to leave him. She has sent him a message that Peter and Jakub’s commanding officer, Tuma, haven’t delivered it to Jakub- as they’re also concerned about the spaceman’s well-being.

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Who Is Hanus, And What Does He Want?

Spaceman never makes it clear whether Hanus is real or not. The cosmonaut is obviously shocked after discovering this giant spider-looking thing inside his spaceship. His first thought is that he might be losing his mind, but when, even after running a deep contamination process, he sees the giant spider, Jakub realizes that it is here to stay. Hanus assures, in a very soothing Paul Dano voice, that he’s not going to harm Jakub. In fact, like Jakub, he’s also there to examine the Chopra cloud (yes, that’s what the Earth is calling the thing in the sky). Hanus, who has been drawn to the spaceship thanks to the constant annoying sound from the toilet, only wants to observe Jakub and learn about humankind.

Even though Jakub is skeptical at first, he slowly warms up to Hanus, and soon we see him sharing a spoon of Nutella with the spider, which Hanus finds really creamy and rich. The name “Hanus” is also given by Jakub, after a Czech clockmaker about whom he heard from his father. While the bond between Jakub and Hanus grows stronger by the day, Jakub keeps thinking about Lenka and his memories with her—both good and bad. Hanus happens to sense his thoughts and tries to make Jakub realize what he’s really missing in his life. Despite all the good intentions of the alien spider, Jakub shuts him out. This frustrates Hanus, and he eventually tells Jakub that he has lost interest in him, and nobody can actually help Jakub.

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Why Does Lenka Want To Leave Jakub?

It is rather sad to see someone of the stature of Carey Mulligan having to subject herself to a character as underdeveloped as Lenka. I haven’t read the book, so I wouldn’t know if Lenka has any substance as a character there, but the film has reduced her to the same old long-suffering wife getting ignored by a narcissistic husband who’s too busy with his own thing. There’s a severe tragedy here, though, as Lenka had a miscarriage before, and instead of being there for her, Jakub was too busy with his work. And to think he had to go on this solo mission right when she was pregnant again! Lenka has every right to leave Jakub, no matter how heavenly the past seems. So Lenka leaves and moves into her mother’s house for the time being, while Jakub lives up in space in deep agony!


Do Hanus And Jakub Make Up?

It’s only after Hanus’ departure that Jakub finally starts to realize his mistakes. It’s not that he doesn’t love his wife, but he’s someone who has always been wrapped up in his own stuff. And while doing so, he is on the verge of losing the only one that really matters: Lenka. Who else?

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Hanus was never supposed to go away, so he does come back, of course. And while Jakub grapples with his realization and asks Peter to go to Lenka to give her a message for him, the spaceship gets closer to the Chopra Cloud. A particle that looks like a pink firefly gets into the spaceship, but Jakub doesn’t manage to contain it in a glass jar. Hanus tells him that it can’t be contained like that. He explains that the Chopra cloud is the ending and beginning of things, a cosmic phenomenon that is one of its kind.


What Happens To Jakub?

Despite the alien, all the space travel, and everything else, Spaceman was always about Jakub and his love for Lenka, and while the entirety of the film failed to create an impact, the ending of it seemed rather fitting. If it was anything other than Jakub and Lenka truly finding each other again, then it wouldn’t have made any sense. Jakub’s message to Lenka was heartfelt and honest, in which he apologized to her without any justification. He even goes on to say that he doesn’t deserve her. It becomes quite evident that it’s all Lenka has ever wanted from him—the man who once used to be her soulmate—and the two were inseparable.

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The other inevitable thing was Hanus’ fate, which became quite clear when he gave hints about not particularly doing great health-wise. When his planets were attacked by the Gorompeds (which, I believe, are a non-friendly kind of alien), Hanus managed to escape, but not without a life-threatening injury. With not much of his life left, Hanus intends to get into the Chopra cloud and get out of the spaceship. Seeing his friend outside, Jakub doesn’t hesitate to risk his life, and he goes after him. The two of them get inside the Chopra cloud as the meaning of life becomes clear to Jakub. I’m specifically referring to his life here, which clearly starts and ends with Lenka alone. 

The biggest question, however, is: does Jakub survive at the end of Spaceman? I do believe he does. Although most of what we see on the screen might just be happening inside his head, which includes the very existence of Hanus, Maybe the reason Hanus is going away is that Jakub doesn’t need him anymore, as he probably created Hanus to battle with the loneliness that he has been suffering from! I would like to believe Hanus was real, though, as you don’t get to see many Nutella-loving aliens that look like monstrous spiders. That’s very rare, and also very original, I must say!

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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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