The Beguiled is a 2017 movie based on a book of the same name that was originally called A Painted Devil. It was written by Thomas P. Cullinan. The book has been adapted into two movies of the same name. Thereby, we have The Beguiled, a 1971 movie. The movie is in the Southern Gothic genre. This genre is a subgenre within Gothic literature and mainly consists of fiction that takes place in the southern part of America. The 2017 film has Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Colin Farrel in the lead roles.
The movie is set in the time of the American Civil War in the 1860s. Martha Farnsworth runs a school for girls in Virginia. At the very height of the Civil War, all the enslaved persons who were a part of the school have left by 1864. All who remain, including Martha herself, are five students and one teacher called Edwina. One day, one of the students, called Amy, finds a wounded soldier in the woods. She brings him to the school and he is locked in a room where Martha tends to his wounds. All the women in the school become fascinated with this young man.
People at school decide that John McBurney, the wounded soldier, must be delivered to the Confederate Army as a prisoner of war. However, Martha decides that his leg must heal first. The story is certainly worth a watch. It will leave you at the very edge of your seats with the surprising turns that the plot takes. We have explained the ending in detail below, however, let us also warn you of several spoilers!
The Beguiled Synopsis
The main plot of the movie revolves around the amount of authority that the women choose to exercise over McBurney’s life. After tending to his wounds, even when Confederate soldiers visit the school, the women decide to hide McBurney from the. While McBurney is healing, all the women shower him with love, affection, and presents. McBurney also returns the affection, especially to Martha and Edwina. He starts helping out in the garden as he gets better.
Soon, Martha declares that McBurney is healthy enough to leave the school. However, he is very scared to return to war again. He pleads with Martha to let him stay as the gardener. He also tells Edwina that he has fallen in love with her. One night, as Edwina waits for him in her room, she hears certain strange noises. This is when she finds McBurney in bed with a student called Alicia. Edwina is furious. As McBurney tries to calm her, Edwina pushes him down the stairs causing him to break his injured leg. Martha declares that the only way to save John’s life now is by amputating the leg.
The Beguiled Ending Explained
Once John wakes up to the loss of his leg, he is absolutely furious. He accuses the women of plotting revenge against him for have chosen Alicia over them. He is locked up in his room but he blackmails Alicia into getting him the key. Once John manages to escape, he steals a gun and threatens the women before running away. Edwina follows him and initiates intimacy in his room.
In the meanwhile, Martha tries to come up with a solution to protect her girls. One student suggests that they could kill McBurney by feeding him poisonous mushrooms. Martha agrees to this plan. Later at the dinner table, where the plan is to carry out, Edwina is determined to have the mushrooms first, however, John is not suspicious. As soon as John eats the mushrooms, he drops to the floor and starts convulsing. Soon, John McBurney is dead. The women sew the soldier’s body into a shroud and drag him to the road so that he is found by the Army.
The story is an age-old tale of a man, so flattered by the attention of beautiful women, that he not only ends up losing all of it but also his life. It will be an interesting watch for you if you are someone who enjoys lazy afternoons and thrillers with a revenge plot.
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