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Saturday, August 30, 2003

Sydney/Hard Eight Story Ending

For those of you who have seen Sydney/Hard Eight, do you find the end of the film to be a satisfying conclusion to the story? If so, how do you see it?

Note: Spoilers below; highlight to read.

Just to refresh your memory if it's a been a while, Sydney (Philip Baker Hall) kills Jimmy (Samuel L Jackson). Then, the last time we see him, Sydney is at the Atlantic City café, where he met John in the beginning. I assume the significance of his return to Atlantic City is simply that he is finally able to go home, now that [a] (Jimmy's) knowledge of his past no longer poses a threat and [b] John (John C Reilly) is on his own, married and all grown up. Surely Sydney hasn't resumed his former life as an Atlantic City gangster (has he?); he's too old and wise for that now (isn't he?).

I love this film, but I'm not entirely sure what to make of the ending. Any thoughts?

More spoilers:

An interesting thing I noticed while watching it this time is that $6,000 creates the narrative bookends. In the beginning, John needs $6,000 to bury his mother, and in the end, Sydney pays Jimmy $6,000 in blackmail money.

Could it be...a chiastic structure?

jon :: link :: comment ::

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