Welcome to the Ending Explained for ‘Beatriz at Dinner,’ a drama film written by Mike White and directed by Miguel Arteta. The film stars Salma Hayek, John Lithgow, Connie Britton, Jay Duplass, and Chloë Sevigny. The film is a collection of conversations surrounding different topics, and it very much feels like it could be a better theater play than a movie. It all happens in one location, enhancing the sensation of watching a play instead of a movie. However, the cast manages to overcome this limitation and offers some great performances.
The movie deals with many topics, but sadly, none of them are explored in depth, and thus, they only become mentions or references to the topics in question. It makes the movie feel very superficial and even scared of going all the way. The actors are doing their best, but the many conversations don’t seem to have a point, and when one of the characters seems to be going somewhere, they just stop and move on with the next topic, thus leaving everything in the air. It could be argued that this take on the story only serves to reflect real life, but it makes for a very unsatisfying movie.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for ‘Beatriz at Dinner.’ Read at your own risk.
Why is Beatriz having a bad day?
The movie begins with the introduction of our main character, the titular Beatriz. She is a Mexican woman who is entering her middle age. She seems nice and kind, but sadness shows in her eyes. She wakes up and gets ready for her morning. She has no husband or kids; she lives alone with her dogs and a Goat.
This morning, Beatriz discovers that her goat has died. However, she suspects that it was not an accident or natural cause. She suspects it was her neighbor. Beatriz seems to be in tune with nature; she loves animals, so this discovery shakes her to her core.
She goes to work at a health center that specializes in providing therapy for patients with cancer and other conditions. Beatriz seems to be liked by her peers at the center and her patients. She works hard and with pleasure. She seems to be a natural healer. Not only that, but she leaves work and prepares to deal with her private clients. She mostly works as a massage therapist.
On this occasion, she is called to the house of an old client, Kathy. Kathy is getting ready for a business party with her husband and partners and wants a massage before the rest of the evening. Beatriz does her job.
However, while exchanging stories, Beatriz reveals the death of her goat, for which she is very sad. The massage concludes, but when she goes to ignite her car, it doesn’t. Beatriz calls a friend who can take the car to his shop and fix it, but it won’t be here until the evening. Kathy suggests that Beatriz should stay for dinner, and she talks to her husband about it. Beatriz is invited to dinner, so she doesn’t have to wait alone outside in her car. She is given a chair on the table and introduces herself to the first arrivals.
Apparently, Kathy’s husband and her partners have closed a very important deal. It’s a deal that will make them all pretty rich. Beatriz makes idle conversation with the people as more arrive. She tries to talk about something else, but these people are completely invested in their own moment. It is a celebration of the deal closing, so it makes sense that this is all they have in their minds. They go to the backyard, where Beatriz is introduced to the big boss, a man named Doug. Beatriz is sure she has seen Doug somewhere before.
Does Beatriz kill Doug?
Dinner finally arrives, and everyone is pretty excited. However, Beatriz hijacks one of the moments and begins to talk about herself, but no one is really paying attention, especially because her stories go on forever. She cannot read the room and tell she is making people uncomfortable. As the conversation moves away from her, we learn that Doug is a hotel owner, and this triggers Beatriz, who, back in Mexico, had her life taken by a man building a hotel just like Doug. She begins to suspect that Dough is the owner of that hotel.
We learn that Beatriz got close to the family by being the therapist of Kathy’s daughter, who had cancer when she was a kid but is now better. Beatriz begins to question Doug about his properties but cannot pinpoint if this is the man who took her family’s lands.
Later, Doug smiles and boasts about killing a Rhyno in Africa. Beatriz gets triggered again and throws the phone at Doug. Beatriz apologizes to Kathy, who suggests she should go to bed and stay the night. One way to keep her away from the party.
However, in Tara’s room, Beatriz checks Doug on the internet and realizes that while he is not the man she has an act of revenge towards, it might as well be. Doug is a man who hurts, destroys, and steals for profit and loves it. Beatriz once again confronts Doug after singing a song and tells him that anyone can destroy something, but healing or making something is hard. This seems to reach Doug, at least for a moment. Kathy’s husband takes Beatriz away, calling someone to pick her up. Beatriz agrees that she should leave.
While waiting for the car to pick her up, Doug approaches Beatriz and tells her that, indeed, the world is dying, they are dying, everyone is dying, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. He suggests that she should just have a good time while she is on this Earth.
The car arrives, but Beatriz says she forgot something. She returns inside, picks up a knife, and kills Doug with it. However, this is all on her mind. Beatriz goes back to the car and leaves the house. On the road, she asks for the car to stop, and we see Beatriz descending a cliff to the beach and then into the ocean. She goes for a swim at night. The movie doesn’t explain what has happened to Beatriz after going into the ocean.
However, the possibility that Beatriz has had enough is quite high. She doesn’t seem to have a close family; her look at the world is just incredibly doomed. So, there is the possibility that Beatriz just went into the ocean, committing suicide that way. She cannot live in a world dominated by men like Doug, who just take and take, and no one can stop them.