Breaking (2022) Movie Ending, Explained
Based on the true story of the unfortunate fate of Brian Brown Easley, Breakup (2022) appears as a bank robbery and soon turns into a tragedy disguised under the veil of a thriller. The film presents an ex-marine’s cry for help through the vision of writer/director Abi Damaris Corbin and touches on, if not dives directly into, several very sensitive and courageously political issues. John Boyega’s phenomenal commitment to portraying a black man at the extremities of poverty caused by the American government he had served loyally is an incredibly painful experience to behold. The justified predictability of history is often inducing subconscious prayer; please don’t let the inevitable happen.
Breaking (2022) Plot Summary and Movie Synopsis
A note containing “I’ve got a bomb” is passed during a seemingly pleasant conversation between bank clerk Rosa (Selenis Leyva) and ex-marine Brian (John Boyega), and the tone is set. When it comes to the Veterans Administration’s negligence and duplicity, Brian is on the brink of homelessness after his honorable discharge from the military. Everything about him indicates that he is a decent, mild-mannered guy who has reached his breaking point after being thrown to the floor and handcuffed in the VA office when he only wants the money he is owed. What bothers him even more than his impending homelessness is his inability to give his daughter the life she deserves.
The quiet start to the hostage situation at the bank sees its terrifying true face in Rosa’s immediate panic and Director Estel’s (Nicole Beharie) quick action to get all the civilians out. Brian assures them that all they have to do is call the police and the news networks, as he needs the reality of the situation to reach as many people as possible. The suicidal mission to get his money back seems to be motivated by an episode of PTSD fueled even more by his obsession with the truth.
Despite the obvious gravity of the circumstances, Brian’s empathetic nature seeped through the constant and heartfelt reassurances and apologies he offered to the two hostages. The incompetence of the police department causes panic and fear to escalate, and he must hear the very triggering phrase “Hold on”. After realizing he has to take matters into his own hands if he wants to get his word out, Brian calls WSB tv’s Lisa Larson (Connie Britton) and hopes for a realistic portrayal of him on the news while he waits for the arrival of the police negotiator. Unable to provide him with facetime on TV, Lisa does her best to keep him engaged until he can talk to the negotiator.
Sergeant Eli Bernard (Michael K Williams) calls Brian hoping to convince him let the hostages go. There is a change in the usual dynamic of negotiators and hostage takers when Ex-Marine Eli also learns of Brian’s struggles since his release and realizes that his intention is not to harm the hostages at all. . There is an unstated understanding of the shared racial discrimination the two face; one in the form of inevitable death as a black criminal and another in the form of disrespect from his underling. All Brian wants is the amount the VA owes him and for the country to know how badly the people who serve it are treated. Eli’s frustration is real when he’s unable to help Brian due to systemic incompetence.
When Brian finally manages to get in touch with his ex-wife, it takes him some time to come to terms with the reality of the situation, and it provides another testament to his usual good nature. He treats Rosa and Estel only with the utmost respect, trusts them to be alone, and promises them that the only death that will occur will be his own. Brian’s high moral character and stubbornness do not allow him to withdraw the money Estel offers him out of genuine concern for his well-being.
Eli’s success in convincing Brian to let a hostage go in exchange for a pack of Newport cigarettes provides an opportunity for Rosa and Estel’s kindness to come through as neither wants freedom by leaving another behind. . They don’t even want Brian to meet death. The lack of active interference or effort to resolve the horrific situation is perhaps even more tense than the moment Brian is seen waving the remote erratically to threaten an explosion.
Breaking (2022) Movie Review
Corbin’s treatment of Brian’s tragedy will certainly evoke sympathy, but the melodramatic storytelling eliminates any possibility of a sad aspect and ends up trivializing it to some extent. The assisted, almost authoritarian way of dramatizing it with cued dialogues ruins the natural emergence of feelings. The second-hand misery audiences are meant to feel is too spoon-fed to feel authentic. The tension of the circumstances was well captured and the great writing of the characters almost brings the film closer to its purpose.
Breaking (2022), however, falls into the must-have category for the incredible performance of John Boyega herself. His near-perfect performance is the only thing that does justice to his appalling emotional torment of Brian. Every instance of the war going on within Brian is brilliantly on display in Boyega’s body language. Michael K. Williams also does a phenomenal job in the final performance of his career and, unfortunately, his life.
The characters of Rosa and Estel were smart additions to the story because the world needed to know how two people on the brink of danger would feel for someone in Brian’s position. Any possibility of misinterpretation of Brian’s intentions was avoided thanks to the result of the time he spent locked up in the bank with them. While the intent of Brian’s interactions with his daughter was also the same, in this case the unease lay in the overly dramatized and heavily emotional writing that didn’t feel real. Perhaps the film would have succeeded in its endeavor had it been a one-location set and eyes hadn’t been taken so far from Brian.
Breaking (2022): The Ending Explained
Did Brian get his due?
Brian’s fate was decided the moment he set foot in the bank. There is no turning back on such an extreme decision. His motive is not only driven by VA money, but primarily by his persistent urge to open the eyes of his countrymen to the unfortunate conclusions that people who serve the country end up facing.
Eli and Brian’s bond is one of trust and mutual understanding strengthened by a similar shared past and their experiences of discrimination. A friendly conversation between the two convinces Brian to let go of one of the hostages in exchange for a pack of cigarettes. Although he still doesn’t receive the money, Brian agrees to the deal simply out of the goodness of his heart. His death is certain because he knows how the police treat black criminals.
Another warm example of kindness comes in the form of Rosa and Estel, who don’t want to leave each other. Brian’s naivety and inexperience with criminal activities is evident when he leaves them alone and goes to the bathroom to talk to his daughter. Their phone call carries the somber tone of goodbye in the form of shared comfort, reassurances, his emotional breakdown, and the reading of a Bible verse. Even in a desperate situation, Brian does not let go of his fatherly duties and makes sure his daughter is well.
Estel’s expected action of taking charge of the situation and trying to convince Rosa to escape fails as she stays for Rosa, who is too panicked to move a muscle. Estel’s fearless functionality in the face of a crisis, in contrast to Rosa’s absolutely panicked but stable state, is interesting to observe, as well as the recognition of the goodness both women possess.
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In a moment of relative calm, a sniper shot, blood on Rosa’s clothes and Estel’s state of panic herald the dreaded outcome. Brian is shot and the painful knowledge that he still doesn’t get the money lingers as a horrified Rosa and Estel are led out of the bank. The shock on Eli’s face suggests that he had brought himself to believe the word he gave Brian. The FBI agents are made aware of what happened, and instead of comforting his ex-wife and daughter, they leave them in terrible confusion despite all the pleas. As the bewildered little girl stares out the window at her mother, hoping for some clarity, everyone at the crime scene also finds themselves without a clear answer.
Unsurprisingly, no bomb is found in the backpack recovered from Brian’s lifeless body. His intention was never to hurt anyone but himself, and he knew that the bomb threat itself would attract enough attention without endangering civilians. There is an uncanny sense of comfort as Brian’s packet of Newport cigarettes and cross find a place in Eli’s home, where he will be remembered as a martyr.
Brian’s actual 911 call is heard at the end of the film. We learn that his family has not yet received the money. Only half of Brian’s wishes came true. The world has heard his side. Only a conscious denial to justify a tragedy that can make sense of such a great sacrifice for an outcome that resulted in no change. The system kicked and punched a broken man, made him feel worthless, as his statement in the film suggests, and ultimately drove him to commit suicide.