Paradise (2023) Ending Explained – Do Max and Elena get their lives back?

Paradise Plot Summary

Aeon is a company promising that you can “Donate your time and start a new life.” Essentially, you give away your years of life in exchange for a lucrative cash sum. Those years can then be converted to a de-aging serum that is used for matching donors, allowing that person to de-age. Conversely, the donor then ages rapidly, losing the said number of years pledged but armed with extra cash.

Naturally, with any controversial procedure like this, there are some people against this. A terrorist group called Adam Organisation rise up, believing that Aeon is exploiting another system to allow the rich to get richer and the poor to eke out a (much shorter) living.

At the center of this world is Max, an Aeon employee who’s one of the company’s rising stars. However, when his apartment burns down one night, and the insurance refuses to pay out citing negligence, Max immediately finds himself thrust into 2.5 million euros worth of debt.

Unfortunately, his wife Elena is forced to give up 38 years of her life to pay this off. Max is livid, demanding justice – and his wife’s life back. This immediately puts him on a collision course with the CEO of Aeon, Sophie Theissen.

What does Max do to try and get justice?

With Elena’s life sucked away, Max is shocked when he learns Elena was also pregnant… and she had a miscarriage as a result of this procedure. When a much older-looking Elena leaves to stay with her parents, Max decides to get answers. He kidnaps Sophie Theissen at the cemetery, whom he believes has used Elena’s years to make herself look younger.

Nowak and Sophie’s bodyguard team up to track down Max, and bring back their boss. Meanwhile, Max and Elena recovene and intend to find a black market doctor in Lithuania. Their idea is to use him to take Sophie’s stolen years and return them rightly to Elena… only there’s a problem.

Is Marie actually Sophie’s daughter?

It turns out in Max’s hastiness, he’s stolen the wrong person. Instead of taking Sophie, he’s actually kidnapped her younger daughter Marie, explaining the shocking lack of security at the cemetery. Sophie’s younger daughter has been kept out the public eye, and we soon learn that Lucy is Sophie’s older daughter who died when she was very young.

Marie is against time donations and what her mother is doing, but when Adam Organisation get involved, things take a turn for the worst. In Lithuania, while waiting for the doctor, Lilith (the leader of Adam Organisation) shows up and kidnaps the trio.

It’s also confirmed here that this is definitely Marie, Sophie’s daughter, and not Sophie herself playing a trick on them all. While tied up, Lilith reveals that Sophie has been planning all of this for a long time.

What was Sophie’s master-plan?

Sophie intentionally made Max the Donation Manager overseeing Elena, knowing that the latter was a possible donor. She wanted to use Max as a puppet, convincing Elena to give up her years for the CEO. However, she didn’t account for Max falling in love and the pair ending up marrying.

Lilith continues, pointing out that the apartment, the bank, the life expectancy collateral; everything was a masterplan by Sophie to steal Elena’s years one way or another.

Lilith and the Adam Organisation intend to kidnap Sophie Theissen, making an example out of her. Sophie is still alive as uit tuyrns out, and has been withv her boyguard and the others from Aeon all this time. They’re searching for Marie.

What happens at the negotiation?

Aeon show up at the warehouse, where Max tries to broker a peace deal for Marie. Unaware that Adam Organisation are watching everything, the negotiation goes sideways when Max stalls on his words. A big firefight ensues, as Adam Organisation and Aeon begin shooting at one another. The police are noticeably absent through all of this, we may add!

In the carnage, Sophie is shot, Lilith is knocked down and Nowat is killed. Back inside, Max frees Marie and with Elena, the trio run away while Aeon and Adam Organisation get into a firefight. In the aftermath of this, it turns out Nowak was actually a double-agent, given he’s listed as “Judas” on the phone of Lilith who, as we know, is also killed in the conflict.

Why does Elena change her mind?

Elena has a change of heart in the car and decides to go and see the black market doctor. Despite knowing that Marie is innocent, Lilith earlier suggested Elena shoot the girl down in cold blood. She couldn’t do it. Here though, Marie takes the gun and doesn’t think twice about pulling the trigger. However, the gun is empty. This makes Elena’s mind up, as she decides to sacrifice Marie and take her years.

Max though, having not seen this confrontation given he was in the car searching for keys, knows that Marie isn’t Sophie and doesn’t want to go through with it. With Marie passed out on the backseats, Elena drives off alone after dropping Max off at the side of the road.

Elena heads to see the black market doctor, who forcibly injects Marie. The camera then cuts to see Sophie a bloody mess and found by a trucker at the side of the road. As for Max, he walks into a huge, sprawling refugee camp that stretches on as far as the eye can see.

How does Paradise end?

Marie is free to go nd returned to Sophie, who finds her way back to Aeon as the CEO. However, her daughter starts to age when she wakes up in bed the next day. Sophie refuses to give her daughter the years, believing they’re “so close” to their overall goal.

As the film closes out, Sophie’s bodyguard decides to leave for greener pastures, believing she’s done enough killing.

We then cut to a beach where some time has passed. Max is now the leader of the Adam Organisation, taking up Lilith’s position as leader. Elena is now younger too, confirming that she did take Marie’s years. Given her sudden changed mentality toward the end of the movie, she’s now found love with a different man. It’s unclear why Max and Elena haven’t reconciled or spoken, but the look they give each other on the beach, seems to hint that there’s a conversation we’re missing in the interim.

The entire film ends on a cliffhanger, with Max deciding that they need to stop Aeon once and for all. He puts on an Adam Organisation mask and drives off.

Is there a post-credit sequence?

Unfortunately not, no. Paradise doesn’t have a post-credit scene and we’re left no closer to the truth surrounding Aeon’s intentions in the future. We also don’t know how long Max has been the leader of Adam Organisation or how much time has passed in this flash forward. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if a sequel is greenlit for this one.


Read More: Paradise Movie Review

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