‘A Journey’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: What Happens To Bryan And Shane?


What’s worse than losing one best friend? Losing two best friends. Netflix’s Filipino original A Journey tells the story of a woman with cancer who decides to tick off things from her magic list before she says goodbye to the world. Her husband and best friend decide to help her with this task by taking her on a special journey that’ll leave a striking impact on all of them for the rest of their lives. A Journey begins with a karaoke night, and Bryan, the husband, is singing his heart out to an old Filipino song while his wife Shane and best friend Tupe watch on and laugh at him. Soon, Shane learns that she’s coughing blood and visit the hospital. Shane had cancer earlier, and so when she learns that she’s got a tumor in her chest, she’s unwilling to get treatment for it; instead, she wants to follow her heart and do all the things she didn’t get to do thus far with the love of her life. Obviously, Bryan doesn’t take the news very well, but with some convincing, he agrees for the time being.

Spoiler Alert

Why do the trio go to Tasmania? 

Shane and Bryan’s best friend is Tupe, a popular up-and-coming actor in the Philippines. He’s currently shooting a movie, and Bryan is his PA. On the day after Shane’s 39th birthday, i.e., karaoke night, Bryan doesn’t show up to work, and Tupe drives himself. His co-star is a beautiful young Filipino actress, and he sees this as a chance to have some fun. Even when the director warns him that she’s some gangster-like fellow’s girlfriend, he doesn’t hold back. Awkwardly for him, the dude comes over with some men while he’s trying to get it on with his girlfriend. He gets beaten up to a pulp, and rumors spread across the country that he’s been mutilated (if you know what I mean). Fortunately, he hasn’t been, and Bryan and Shane find him looking like a raccoon in the hospital. When he’s better, and they get back home, Tupe asks Bryan why he decided to quit working for him. Shane finally reveals that her cancer has relapsed, and this time, she doesn’t want to get treatment. 

Shane tells Tupe about her magic list, and the two guys decide to take her to their old school, one of the things on the list. They reminisce about old memories of their friendship and how Bryan and Shane got together at such a young age, leaving Tupe a third wheel right from the start. At night, when they’re supposed to be camping and looking at non-existent stars, Tupe reveals that they’re going to be going to Tasmania because Shane wants to explore new places. It’s an all-expenses-paid trip from Tupe, and Shane is hesitant at first, but when she learns it was planned by both men together, she agrees. 

Tupe gets a trailer, and they drive their way through Tasmania, exploring the wonderful countryside while getting excited to see the famous little penguins from there. It’s like watching a group of friends just enjoy themselves on a fun little trip to escape from life and remember the good old days. However, the trip gets a little bit serious when Bryan and Tupe plan a special surprise for Shane. One of the things Bryan asked Shane to add to the list was to meet Mr. T. Mr. T happens to be Shane’s father, and he’s lived away from them for most of her life. Tupe, as a famous person, is able to track the old man down, and Shane finally gets to see her father many years later. It seems Shane’s mother wanted her father to move away because he had another family. Shane isn’t mad at either of them anymore, and she’s happy to spend some time with her father. 

Things get a little shaky when Shane’s father tells her that she should get treatment, and Bryan and Tupe are looking for specialists in Australia, too. This leaves her really upset, and she has a little fight with Bryan. Bryan calls her selfish because she isn’t thinking about him, the guy who gets left behind. The next day, Shane spends some time with her father, who ends up taking her to church. He tells her that he didn’t get the chance to walk her down the aisle, so he wants to do it now. It’s a sob session for the lot because, as Bryan puts on the ring, he begins to cry profusely, and they apologize to each other for fighting. Of course, there’s only love between these people, and they don’t want to be apart, but Shane agrees to get treatment. After a refreshing trip, they go back home feeling fulfilled. 

What Happens to Bryan? 

After they get home, Shane and Bryan spend one beautiful night together. The next day, while Shane is preparing breakfast, Bryan lets the dog out and loses consciousness. It turns out he had an aneurysm, and Shane lost him just like that. One day, they’re looking at little penguins and imitating them, and the next, Bryan’s gone for good. It’s quite a shocking outcome. Earlier in the movie, Bryan said it’s not the destination that matters but the journey. At the funeral, Shane talks about how everything that was prepared for her own funeral ended up being used for Bryan’s. Despite being by herself, Tupe asks her to get chemo because she promised Bryan. Bryan even got the singer whom Shane was a huge fan of, to come visit her at their little cafe before he passed away. “Ps. I Love You” kind of situation. 

During A Journey‘s ending, Tupe decides to make a movie about Bryan’s love story. He even wins an award for it and thanks his two best friends, who have always supported and cared for him. He returns to Shane’s home, and as she lies in bed, completely withered, he hands her the award, saying it’s for them. Shane finally tells Tupe that she can’t stand being away from Bryan anymore, and it’s time for her to let go. Tupe begins to cry, but he gives her the freedom to go be with her husband, because what’s a life of suffering worth? In the end, Tupe returns to Tasmania. We can imagine it’s a year later, and he’s there to celebrate his two best friends who are no longer with him. As he’s sightseeing, he bumps into a woman who recognizes him as an actor. She asks him for a birthday message, and he gladly agrees. He does her one better and invites her for coffee instead. I guess this is a sign that Tupe, the player, is finally growing up and moving on from the tragedy. It’s a hopeful ending that leaves you wishing for Tupe to be happy like Bryan and Shane were. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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