Welcome to the Ending Explained for Stromboli, a new drama film that arrived on Netflix this weekend. The film is directed by Michiel van Erp and stars Elise Schaap, Tim McInnerny, Christian Hillborg, Pieter Embrechts, Anna Chancellor, and Neerja Naik. The film tells the story of Sara, a woman from Holland who has seemingly escaped from her life to the Italian island of Stromboli. There, she will meet a group of people who are just as lost as she is and who will try to find their way together.
Stromboli is a classic drama film that digs deeper into the psychology of its characters to try to explain why they are the way they are. The film falls into the self-help kind of discourse that has become so prevalent in movies in recent years, but that often proves to be very shallow in the execution of such methods. Here, we can only say that the movie will move you, and the chemistry that develops between the different characters is quite satisfying. It might not be the deepest movie dealing with trauma, but it is enough to pull your strings for an hour and a half.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Stromboli. Read at your own risk.
Why Is Sara In Stromboli?
The film begins with an introduction to Sara, our main character. She is a middle-aged woman, but she is still incredibly beautiful and knows it. She goes around flirting a bit with some men, and she is clearly drunk. Not only that, but she does manage to have sex with the bartender of the boat she is in. When the boat arrives, we realize we are on the island of Stromboli, in Italy. The island is the location of a famous volcano, and it constantly trembles, reminding the people that they are only allowed to live there thanks to the generosity of Mother Earth.
Sara rents a small cabin and ends up drinking more and more just right after she arrives. She goes to the beach and meets an old English man who looks very scared. This man is called Harold. They spend some time together, and when he needs to go back, Sara decides to go with him. They drink some more on the road, but then they say goodbye as he arrives at his destination. Sara goes back to her cabin but almost burns the place down, and the owner throws her away.
Sara also discovers she has lost her bag and has no money. She becomes lost as she roams the streets of the city and then finds herself in a church. There, she meets a man named Jens, whom Harold mentioned last night. Jens offers his helping hand and takes Sara to the same place Harold stayed the night. Sara is given a room and spends the night with a roof over her head. It becomes clear that the place is a sort of retreat or healing facility, and Jens, along with a woman named Thandi, are running the place.
The next morning during breakfast, Harold and Sara meet each other again, and he introduces her to other members of the group. The place is indeed a healing facility, as it becomes clear that every person in it has some sort of problem that has been ruining their lives. We discover that Sara escaped from her life in Holland because she had a huge fight with her daughter. The situation has triggered something awful inside Sara, and she doesn’t know how to deal with it.
Can Jens And Thandi Help Sara With Her Problems?
Sara starts participating with others in the activities that Jens has planned for them. The activities range from simple workouts to detailed reenactments of situations some of the members of the group lived. Jens is holding no punches, and sometimes he has to go the rough way to get the results he needs from his patients. Sara breaks down crying during a breathing session, and it becomes clear her problems run deep within her consciousness.
Sara begins to get closer to a man named Hans, also from Holland. They have sex, but something happens in the middle of it, and Hans ends up leaving. Sara doesn’t know what happened, but she begins to be a bit hostile against Hans. Jens then confronts Sara, and he exposes her as a rape survivor. She denies it, but then Jens also reveals that Hans is a survivor as well. Jens seems to have read their precise situation on their faces, as they never revealed that information to him.
Hans and Sara talk, and it seems that they are more similar than they thought. Jens then quantifies a sort of play where Sara can talk to their parents about what happened to her by proxy. It is a very powerful scene, and Sara says everything she ever needs to say. It seems that this is the final step of healing in Jens’s program, and all the members help in the healing of others. Sara calls her daughter, and they plan to see each other soon to talk.
As they say goodbye to Jens and Thandi on the harbor, Harold promises he will visit Sara in Holland very soon. Sara leaves Stromboli with peace of mind and a man by her side, as it seems Hans and her have decided to start a relationship.