Not too long ago frequent reader Sadie asked (editor’s note: the following is sexily paraphrased),
“I am naked right now. I have many ice cubes to play with but I can’t get into the mood because I am confused. What the hell is up with the ending for Premonition?”Never fear Sadie, because I am here to satisfy your curiosities. I rented Premonition to figure out just what the hell happened and I have an answer for you, though I can’t guarantee you’ll like it.
First, a brief back-story for everyone who wants to ruin the movie for themselves.
Linda (Sandra Bullock) time-travels in her sleep from past to present and back again in a near Groundhog Day reenactment. The major difference is that she does not repeat any day twice but instead moves through a single week from Friday to Monday to Saturday to Tuesday, and so on. As she flips through the days, she comes to understand the many strange conditions surrounding her husband’s death (which happened in the middle of the same week).
And now the explanations.
Very simply, the entire film can be summed up with a very famous expression.
“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Most of the details surrounding Linda’s husband’s (aka Jim) death are simply red herrings and the main focus of the movie is on Linda’s relationship to her husband. The crow, the daughter’s cuts, and the strangely prophetic police officer are ultimately unimportant to the film’s resolution. They exist solely to create confusion and raise the movie’s tension, which they succeed at quite well.
Now let's look at the final scene.
Jim is dead (and boy is he!) once and for all, and Linda looks strangely happy. This is supposed to make the audience question the outcome. Did Jim somehow survive that incredible fireball and limp his burned, adulterous little feet back to his loving wife and two darling children? Nope. He’s dead, baby. Linda’s content because she finally accepted her love for her husband and even though she basically killed him, she killed him with love. This may seem like a weak sentiment, but the film actually took great pains to explain it - remember how the priest explains to Linda that it was never too late for
Linda decided that she did love her husband and even though he died, she is at peace with herself. The fact that she’s pregnant is a cinematic cop-out. Instead of trusting the audience to realize that Linda’s husband “lives on” inside her, the filmmakers (and Sandra Bullock) decided to take the notion literally. It’s silly and unnecessary and weakens what could have been a dramatic ending. The filmmakers simply got overwhelmed with the complexity of the idea and not only had to introduce a weak character to explain the entire premise (the priest), but they had to tack on a fetus to drive the point home.
Hope that explanation gets you in the mood, Sadie. I know talking about fetuses always does the trick for me.