FILM EXPLANATION

‘Deborah’ Finale, Explained: Does Deborah Rewind Time?

Written by Mcezone Team
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‘Deborah’ Finale, Explained: Does Deborah Rewind Time?

Talk about how to make a sci-fi movie about the trauma of denial, and we have something as exemplary as “Deborah.” The thing that struck us the most about it was the packaging of the layers. If you look at it on a surface level, you see a group of adults who haven’t grown emotionally or intellectually since their high school days, and how their refusal to deal with their own emotions gets them stuck in a toxic loop of their own making. . But there is a hidden commentary in it that relates to the state of the country and the world at the moment. Let’s go to the story line.

Spoilers ahead


Weekend events with Deborah

The movie starts with Nora going into space with an avocado in her hand. Ada tells him to throw it away if it goes bad, but he insists that he can only cut out the bad parts. The scene cuts to dinner, where a wine bottle accidentally slips from Ada’s hand. This annoys her, and she asks Al to do something, to which he reluctantly agrees. He asks Deborah to rewind time so that the bottle of wine is resurrected and unharmed. The rest of the team is unaware but feels a sense of deja vu. As the night progresses, we get a better insight into the friends’ characters. They’ve all known each other since high school, and Nora slowly turns to alcohol to deal with the failures in her life. Chet still acts as a typical high school jock who makes teenage jokes. Jim is a conservative, and Al is still in love with Nora despite being with Ada. All of them seem aware of Deborah’s powers and keep rewinding time to cover up any mistakes and outbursts. For example, during dinner, when Nora confronts her drinking, she becomes brutal about her opinion of the rest of her friends, and Al and Ada are forced to turn back time to make things smooth again. The next day, when Jim sits together with three women, he reveals his sexist and conservative side, which upsets the women. However, Gabby keeps rewinding time with Deborah to normalize the situation. But rewinds are not without consequences. For example, Jim finds that Deborah has a scar on her hand from when she was stabbed there during one of the rewind times. He feels an outcast in the group, as he is constantly bullied and ridiculed. There is another one named Frank. We won’t be sure of his place in the team until much later. He acts like a clear-headed conscience, the only one who feels like a real adult capable of dealing with his emotions.

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During a discussion with Chet, he tries to bring up the latter’s nihilistic attitude and wonders if it is due to his disappointment in life. Chet reaches high school, but since then, he’s stuck in a dead-end job and no longer the king of the jungle, forcing him to turn to nihilism as a coping mechanism. When Chet hears this, he tries to strangle Frank, but Ada turns back time and takes Frank out for a walk, where he expresses his frustration with the group and their dysfunctional dynamic. In fact, she also reveals that she took a DNA test, which showed that she is actually Al’s sister, so now she doesn’t know what to do with her future.

When he returns home, he finds Al trying to kiss Nora in the storeroom. Nora pushes him away but he sees her rewind time and do the same thing twice. With his memory cleared, Nora tells him to never do the time rewind thing when they’re alone, and Al makes her promise. When they step outside, Ada is completely furious and she reveals what Al has been up to in front of the whole group. Nora gets angry and asks him about it when he tells her that he has worked hard all his life and she still doesn’t think he deserves her. Nora lets him know that he’s not an object to be conquered, but a deeper conflict reveals that he’s still living a fantasy where he’s the main character in every setting and something good happens to him. After Al tells her that she’s never had more in her life, the others jump to her defense. Meanwhile, Deborah refuses to follow orders and won’t rewind time.


‘Deborah’ Ending Explained: Does Deborah Rewind Time?

As the friends are finally forced to face their feelings without the crutch of Deborah’s time rewinding, chaos ensues, people reveal their true natures and are prepared to do anything to conquer it. They start attacking each other, and soon, they are all injured enough that they can’t move. But Nora and Frank are still aware. He asks Deborah to rewind time to 36 hours ago. Deborah refuses, saying that the result will be the same. Frank asks Nora why she wants this, and she replies that she wants a happy ending for the main character.

Frank asks Deborah to rewind and she obliges. The scene shows Nora sitting with an avocado in her hand. The dialogue between him and Ada takes on another meaning here. Ada tells her to throw it away when it’s rotten, but Nora prefers to cut out the bad parts and work with the good parts. A metaphor about how instead of leaving toxicity behind, she chooses to carve it into her own imagination of a happy ending. Deborah rewinds time, but the emotional residue, which is a metaphor for the untreated trauma that the characters are constantly inflicting on each other, only accumulates. From the beginning each of the friends felt like they were playing a role. There was a frustration that lurked beneath the surface. It makes us think, how many times has this weekend been repeated? Maybe Deborah wasn’t anticipating that the outcome would be the same; He knew it from witnessing it multiple times.

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Final thoughts: What is the deeper message of the film?

The roles taken by the friends in the film represent different aspects of modern American society. Jim is the conservative side, Chet is the conventional toxic masculinity, Ada is the American housewife trying to make things work despite the inevitability, and Al is the promise of a new age who is unable to shake off the shadow of retrogressive old America. And Nora is the American Dream—the promise of progress and revolution, which fades over time and remains just that, a tantalizing memory and a depressing reality. Frank is the voice of reason, who can actually make a difference, but currently his voice is too timid. Deborah herself is an average American who repeatedly gives them all a chance, knowing that she is being taken advantage of because they don’t want to do the work to make better people out of themselves. They are stuck in time, with no real progress and only trauma that continues to accumulate. It is constantly said that they all ‘peaked’ in high school. It may refer to the America of decades ago when the foundations of modern capitalism were laid by the tools of toxic masculinity and conservatism that are struggling to survive and thrive in today’s new era of awakening consciousness.

The metaphor is fantastic and it’s a bit like the 2017 movie “Mom!” reminds of Although it is far less deadly while being more effective. It’s a movie worth watching, if for nothing else than the brilliance of its execution. Another such movie released this year is “Meet Cute,” which follows a similar theme of using time travel to deal with mental health issues. We love that this movie was made and are going to recommend it to everyone we know because it shows a real effort at good filmmaking.


“Deborah” is a 2022 drama comedy film directed by Noga Nueli.

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