‘The Magic Flute’ (2023) Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Did Tim Get To Be Prince Tamino?

Love conquers all. But it’s not really that simple, is it? Love should be true and a conscious choice. The Magic Flute weaves this theme of love and friendship into the narrative and tries to recreate a magical universe the likes of which we have seen in movies like Harry Potter. There is a naive young protagonist, and he goes to a music school after his father dies. There, he meets his friends and enemies, but most importantly, he discovers the magic present in the world. Through a fairy tale, he learns what’s important in life and how to go about achieving greatness. The movie is a musical where characters sing in moments that overwhelm them. Based on the opera by Mozart himself, who is credited as one of the film’s writers as well, this is one of the most famous fairy tales ever, and the film infuses the story with an enchanted presence, inspired by films like Narnia. Florian Sigl, the director of the film, has some simple ideas with this film, like borrowing archetypes from high school movies, that don’t do it justice. The Magic Flute is an enjoyable film, though, with decent performances.

Spoilers Ahead


Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

After Tim Walker’s father dies, he is graciously allowed admission into the legendary Mozart School of Music in Austria. Tim leaves his mother for his studies, as he wishes to be a singer just like his father. When he reaches Mozart, he finds it is not a very easy school. The headmaster is a man named Dr. Longbow, who criticizes his singing style, despite it being good. Greatness seemed to be the aim for Dr. Longbow, and he made it his mission to see that every budding singer and musician had the discipline to achieve that aim. Tim didn’t want to waste the opportunity he was given to join the school very late after the start of the semester due to his father’s ill health. It seemed Tim had come just in time to audition for the opera The Magic Flute, which was going to be performed at the end of the year. The Magic Flute is a two-act opera written by Mozart himself, and Tim got the chance to go through a portal into the actual opera’s magical landscape and play the part of the protagonist, Prince Tamino, who was the only one who could save the opera’s heroine, Princess Pamina.


Why Did Paolo Not See Tim As His Friend?

The fairytale was a place where Tim felt freer and more important as well, which is probably why he was so fiercely taken in by it. In school, he was disliked by everyone because he was seen as an outsider. He had joined quite late and was yet to make his mark and get acquainted with the school’s ways. A boy named Benjamin was Paolo’s roommate before Tim arrived. Paolo seemed to be a timid soul, but his story was a bit different from the rest. Paolo had lost his best friend. Their friendship began when he joined the school, and they became roommates. Then, after a lot of teasing and bullying by Anton Milanesi, famous opera singer Enrico Milanesi’s son, Benjamin, had to leave the school, and soon Paolo learned that he had died. Tim was so busy with his fairytale and his quest to save Princess Pamina that when Paolo was at his most vulnerable, Tim abandoned him and chose to go through the portal. This gesture left Paolo a little heartbroken, which is why he confronted Tim. Tim thought Paolo had shown him around the school, so they must be friends, but Tim was mistaken. The friendship had no real foundation except that they were roommates. Friends listen to one another, and Tim seems to be interested in only himself. Paolo didn’t know about his quest, which is why he thought that Tim hadn’t been a friend to him. It was only later that Paolo got to know about the portal, and Tim listened to him and talked to him about the feeling of loss. They became friends.


Which Test Was The Hardest?

The portal opened at 3 o’clock. Three was a recurring number in the opera. There were three spirits that had guided Tim to the portal and helped him in the magical land. There were three ladies in the opera who guided Tim to meet the Queen of the Night, Pamina’s mother. Prince Tamino had to go through three trials or tests, and each would test his nature to make sure that he was the perfect candidate for Pamina’s hand in marriage. The first two tests were clear. ‘The Vow of Silence’ tested Tim’s patience. Pamina begged for him to speak, but Tim kept silent, and so he passed. ‘The Fire and Water’ tested Tim’s valor, and he passed that as well. The third test was the hidden one. It was a choice. He loved Sophie, Dr. Longbow’s daughter, and couldn’t have told Pamina that his heart yearned for her when, in fact, it did so for Sophie. Against the fear of losing Pamina, he made a choice to stay true to his heart and passed the third trial as well.


What Did The Queen Of The Night Want? Did Tim Get To Be Prince Tamino?

The Queen of the Night’s plan was to engulf the land with the Eternal Night. Sarstro was standing in her way and hence she wanted Sarastro dead. Sarastro was a good man, but he had kept Pamina with him to keep her away from the evil of the Queen. Thinking Tim was the prince, she made it look like Sarastro was keeping Pamina caged. Thanks to the good minds of Tim and his helper, Papageno, he didn’t attack Sarastro. If he had killed him, then the Queen would have engulfed the whole land in the Eternal Night. When Tim failed, the Queen of the Night arrived and asked Pamina to do the dirty job herself. But Pamina also sided with Sarastro. She hoped Tamino would marry her, and ultimately, her wish came true.

Tim had wonderfully played the part in the magical land of the opera. As far as the real world was concerned, the role of Prince Tamino had been grabbed by Anton Milanesi. If it hadn’t been for Paolo, Anton would have never had the catharsis he needed to be able to accept that he was responsible for Benjamin’s death, albeit indirectly. Paolo was forgiving, and this helped in the long run, as Anton felt freer to accept that he didn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps and be a singer. His passion was drumming, but the school had made him morph into someone he really wasn’t. On the day of the performance, Anton asked Tim to play the part, as he knew that he wanted to play the role much more than anybody else.

Tim must have thought that the role had slipped out of his hands because Dr. Longbow saw him with his daughter Sophie, but in the end, he agreed to let him play the part. He had no other choice. Enrico was proud of his son, even if he wasn’t going to be a singer. Dr. Longbow had to give Tim the part, and after living the part in the magical land, where he was Prince Tamino and could have died playing the role, he knew how to depict the part perfectly on stage. Even Pamina knew that the fairytale was’make-believe,’ but Tim’s love for Sophie was real. True love and friendship ensured that everything was all right in the end. The Eternal Night was avoided, and Tim played the part on stage with Sophie by his side.


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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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