Welcome to the Ending Explained for True Spirit, the latest Netflix movie based on true-life events that is arriving on the streaming service this weekend. The movie is based on the real-life events that occurred between 2009 and 2010. It was there, departing from Australia, that 16-year-old Jessica Watson began sailing around the world. It was a truly fantastic event, not only because it is just such an amazing thing to do but also, of course, because of Jessica’s young age.
The movie tells the story in a very simple and comprehensive way, splitting the story in two by following Jessica’s parents as well as Jessica herself as she sails the Earth’s oceans. It is pretty entertaining but also somewhat shallow, as the movie never really tries to approach Jessica as a character from any point of view other than the one expected. By the end of the film, you will know Jessica likes sailing, but you will also know that the moment the movie starts.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for True Spirit. Read at your own risk.
Why Does Jessica Want To Sail Around The World?
The movie starts right away on the ocean. We meet Jessica Watson, all alone in her boat. We see how she checks her equipment while dancing to some music, and then she gets ready to sleep. We see her small boat all alone in the immensity of the ocean. However, the calmness of the moment is cut short as she gets awakened from her sleep in the middle of the night. The reason is that her boat just crashed against a massive shipping vessel. Jessica’s mast is destroyed, and she becomes stranded.
Jessica ends up calling Ben, his coach, using a satellite phone. She asked to be brought back to Australia. We learned that this was an attempt at her journey; thankfully, she was still very close to the coast. Ben picks her up, and then we meet Jessica’s parents. They are worried about their daughter like any parent would be, but at the same time, they support their daughter’s dream, even when she could lose her life while trying to achieve it. The movie never really explains how Jessica’s parents are okay with their underage daughter sailing around the world alone.
We interject the plot with flashbacks that show us how a younger Jessica struggled with her dyslexia and how her mother used to read her passages from a book called Lionheart by Jesse Martin. A man who, years prior, had become the youngest person to sail around the world. Jessica is fascinated by the story and decides she wants to do the same. We also see how she meets Ben, an old sailor, and recruits her to be her sailing coach.
We also see how the media has been covering Jessica’s attempt at sailing around the world. Many people think that it is just irresponsible from Jessica and her parents to even attempt this at such a young age. Many believe that she doesn’t have the necessary sailing experience to even try a shorter sail than the one she is planning. Jessica’s family suffers under media scrutiny, but they remain supportive of what some might call their daughter’s crazy dream.
Did Jessica Watson Manage To Sail Around The World?
Jessica gets ready to try once again, and this time she does it on a ship called the Ella’s Pink, or Pink for short. The media gathers to see her go, and her family establishes a control center in their living room so that they can communicate with her as much as possible. Ben runs the command center and basically moves with the family for the remainder of the mission. She parts, and we hope for the best. She also begins uploading to a blog she has online, and her family and other members of the community start following her journey.
The journey goes as expected, and we see how Jessica passes the time, reads, listens to music, and catches fish for food. It all seems pretty nice. However, as her journey moves along, she gets right in the middle of a storm and is knocked out. She wakes up hours later, but she says she is fine. She presses on, even as their parents are basically dying of stress at home.
Her journey continues, and as she gets closer to Cape Town, near South Africa, she finds herself trapped in the middle of a no-wind area. Her boat stops, and Jessica begins to become lost. She falls into depression as the loneliness starts to affect her. She even rejects many of her family’s calls. She finally answers and has one call with her mother that fixes everything. The wind comes back, and she continues her journey.
However, there is one final obstacle before she reaches Australia again. A massive collection of storms is on her way. Jessica dismisses Ben’s suggestion, and she runs straight into the storms. Her boat flips completely, and her family thinks the worst has happened because she cannot communicate back. It doesn’t matter, though, because somehow, her boat flips back and returns to the surface, and she can finish her journey. Everyone cheers for her accomplishments. Jessica’s sail around the world is not considered as such because she didn’t reach the necessary nautical miles for that classification.