Paradise is definitely one of the most interesting movies released on Netflix in 2023. Produced in Germany and landed on the streaming platform on July 27, the film depicts a dystopian future scenario where an evil biomedical giant sets up a trade of life years. The plot gets immediately exciting and full of events, and the protagonists, Max, Elena, and Marie, will learn something from their experiences in the ending. Let’s have everything explained in this article.
You can watch the official trailer for Netflix’s Paradise (202) here on Youtube.
Netflix’s Paradise (2023) plot & ending explained: Max, Elena, and Marie
The plot of Paradise is set in an undefined future, with a biomedical company called AEON selling an opportunity that is transforming society: people can sell their life years as donors, and the company can then resell them to rich people willing to pay enormous amounts of money to get younger. If you are wealthy, you can become AEON’s client, they will find a donor with a compatible DNA, they will buy the donor’s life years, and the original client will get younger almost instantly.
Max, the protagonist of Paradise, is the employee of the year at AEON. He’s married to Elena, and their lives are just going great. However, one night their existence is broken by a mysterious fire that destroys their apartment. The bank that allowed them the loan needed them to pay the apartment back: as part of the original agreement, the collateral for that loan was Elena’s life years. Therefore, the police arrest Elena and apply a forced procedure to make her donate 38 years of her life, causing her miscarriage (she was pregnant) and her immediate transformation into an old woman.
Max is furious and does everything he can to save his wife from the treatment. He reaches out to AEON’s CEO, Sophie Thyssen, but she won’t show empathy for his situation. Elena is forced to donate, she returns home to Max, and their lives have completely changed now: Paradise plot has already changed a lot since the start. Max cannot accept what happened: he knows Elena’s life years went to Sophie Thyssen, so he quits his job at AEON and contacts an illegal clinic that can take the years back from Sophie. One day, Max kidnaps Sophie (who’s already getting younger after receiving Elena’s youth) and, together with Elena, they head towards Lithuania, where the illegal clinic is located.
However, we soon discover that the woman Max kidnapped is not Sophie: she’s Marie, her daughter. Marie has nothing to do with her mother’s plan, and even more, she is on Max and Elena’s side, considering the whole system an injustice. Nevertheless, Max and Elena hold her hostage and continue their trip towards the illegal clinic, intending to steal Marie’s life years for Elena.
At this point, the plot of Paradise evolves quickly before getting to the ending, and these moments need to be explained. Before Max and Elena reach the clinic, a rebel organization called Adam catches them. They represent the part of society that doesn’t accept the unfair existence of this trade, and they will fight anyone who wants to make use of it, even those who opt for illegal clinics. When they discover that Max and Elena have Sophie’s daughter, they set up a trap to get AEON’s CEO and kill her. It’s what Max orchestrates in the night scene out of the hangar: he almost convinces Sophie to enter inside without bodyguards when suddenly her men understand it’s a trap. Judas, AEON’s new head of security, is a mole and is immediately killed. Sophie is shot but survives thanks to the bulletproof vest. Max, Elena, and Marie manage to escape. Right before they do, Marie tries to kill Elena, and Elena reacts by hitting her.
Once the three drive towards the illegal clinic, Max understands it’s a mistake: Marie is innocent, she doesn’t have to pay for what happened to her, and stealing her life years is unfair. But Elena has now changed: she’s angry because they stole her whole life and the baby in her womb, and she wants her life back, no matter who has to pay for it. So she lets Max step out of the car and continues the trip just with Marie. This leads us to the ending of Paradise, let’s have it explained separately.
In the illegal clinic, Elena gets her years back from Marie. Marie is released and returns to her mother Sophie. Sophie shows no empathy for her: she won’t donate her years for her daughter, promising to find a donor (without being too convincing). Marie’s destiny seems marked: she’s another victim of the system, and she didn’t even agree to sell her youth in any form. On the other hand, in the ending scene of Paradise we see Elena, months later, young and pregnant again, kissing a new man on a beach. Max is there too, watching her from far away: he joined Adam’s resistance, and from that moment, he will fight against any parts of society that try to use the system. The ending, in Paradise, is explained in a sad tone: only those who didn’t show remorse for what they did will ultimately get what they want, whereas the good people, like Marie and Max, are the ones who lose everything.