Peaks And Valleys: the movie ending explained

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This article reveals the explained plot and the detailed events in Michael Burns’s movie Peaks And Valleys, revealing its meaning, symbols and storyline. We recommend you to read it only after watching the movie, and not before, in order to preserve the pleasure of the first vision.

Peaks And Valleys is a 2019 Indie movie that talks about two individuals, a man and a woman, that because of a weird sequence of events end up sharing the same isolated space in nowhere. They’ll spend many days closely and that will make them know each other better, while the spectator will also discover more about both. The plot has an interesting meaning and in this article we’ll have it explained.

The plot of the movie

A man lives alone in the woods, in Alaska, far from anything. We know that from time to time somebody visits him, but after all he wanted to live there alone. One day he sees a plane dropping a body in the lake, and he rescues it. It’s a girl, wounded, apparently under drugs effect. He helps her while showing a rude and aggressive character, without empathy. And he explains her that they are hundred of miles far from anything, so there is no way to ask for help or go anywhere.

While the movie evolves, as viewers we ask ourselves if Jack, the man in that isolated cabin, is a good or bad person. He’s not gentle with Bailey, the girl, but he stills takes care of her, he cooks, he hunts, he even gives her massages when she needs it. The two slowly bond, and we discover that the girl was kidnapped, drugged and raped for days. When the kidnapper dropped her in the woods from a plane, he believed she was dead.

Slowly we can see that Jack and Bailey get connected. This is no surprise for Bailey, who is a woman who has no problem with her social side, but it’s not taken easily by Jack: he’s used to his solitude, he doesn’t know how to manage the possibility that another person gets close to him. Nevertheless, we start feeling that a part of him likes her presence around.

Jack gets hurt one day, and in that occasion we notice how much Bailey cares for him too. She cures him, cleaning his wound, and tries to learn to hunt in order to have food to survive. After Jack is a bit recovered, he decides to leave the cabin for some days, hunting a moose. But that’s not the only reason: he also wants to take a break from her, because he’s getting emotional and he needs to think it through. He leaves, and that brings us to what happens in the ending.

The ending of Peaks And Valleys explained

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Bailey manage to survive few days alone in the cabin, but she seriously starts missing Jack. One day, while she was out looking for him, a man visits the cabin: he’s Cliff, Jack’s brother, a person with whom Bailey can talk and try to understand more about what is happening. She then discovers two main things: one, Jack lied about the fact that they were truly isolated, the main road was just a couple of miles away; and two, Jack is dying from cancer, and the decision to live those cold months alone in that cabin was his way to go through the destiny that was in plan for him.

Bailey is surprised by the discovery: Jack didn’t do anything bad against Bailey, so the only reason why he lied to her about the distance from the closest town is that a part of him wanted to have somebody close in those days. For the same reason, the choice to leave for days in order to hunt a moose doesn’t make sense: in this way Bailey realizes what’s Jack’s real plan: taking revenge against the kidnapper who raped Bailey.

We see Jack walking until the place that rents little planes, where under the threat of his gun he gets the information about the guy who rented a plane the day Bailey was dropped in the lake. Then he visits the house where the kidnapper lives and he discovers that another girl is locked in the dark room. The kidnapper enters the home and Jack kills him, freeing the girl. But Jack is now dying from cancer: the last thing his eyes see is the figure of Bailey, who gets close with a peaceful expression and tells him “you did good, Jack.”

The meaning of Peaks And Valleys

The expression “peaks and valleys” refers to the highs and lows of life. Applied to the movie plot, it refers to how humans can find themselves at the very low point, like Bailey close to death or Jack alone in nowhere, and still have the chance to make something good out of their life. Bailey manages to get rid of the drug effects, and she learns to hunt and survive alone; Jack learns to get sentimental towards another human being, he reconsiders the importance of relationships with other. And moreover, Jack’s life wasn’t over yet. The way it went, he made something good out of his last days, punishing a violent raper and saving the life of many other women.

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