‘A Round Of Applause’ Ending Explained & Summary: Is Metin Dead Or Alive?

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A Round of Applause blends multiple genres to deliver a story that is both personal and relatable. With surreal visuals and dark comedy at its core, the series takes a nihilist approach to the discussion of the cycle of life and death. At the center of this absurd drama, we have Mehmet and Zeynep, a young couple eagerly looking forward to parenthood. They tried their best to perfect their journey into becoming parents, but their deep-seated fear and anxiety often got the best of them. Their worries got bigger and worse with time as they neared the delivery date. They questioned their decision to bring a child into their imperfect marriage and wondered what they had in store for the future.

Spoiler Alert 


Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?

The first time Mehmet and Zeynep doubted their decision to become parents was when they invited their friends, Sevda and Burak, to their house. The empty conversation and their friends’ self-obsession made them wonder what would happen if their kids turned out to be just like them. They were terrified, thinking, what if their children grew up to hate them? They never wanted to become the reason for someone’s misery, yet one day, their children could accuse them of ruining their lives. Mehmet and Zeynep were afraid of their political stance not aligning with their children and having to have tough conversations as parents. They were traumatized thinking about the difficult teenage years when their kids would rebel against them for no particular reason.

Along with finding out about Mehmet and Zeynep’s thoughts on becoming parents, we also get to meet the fetus. The umbilical cord connected the grown man to his mother. Living inside of her turned him into an anxious individual. The fetus is imagined to be smoking as an exaggeration of the pain he had to endure even though he was not out in the world yet. On voting day, when his mother sat next to another pregnant woman, the fetus revealed his reason for suffering and for developing a nihilistic view of life. The fetuses communicated, and while Zeynep and Mehmet’s unborn child lived in a mess, Kudret seemed confident about the life he aimed to live. He was an ambitious man who dreamed of disrupting the system once he left his mother’s womb. Kudret’s advice was simple: have an aim before leaving the womb, or else life would end up in meaningless quests, wandering without any destination. It was better to die than be born an aimless man, according to Kudret, but Mehmet and Zeynep’s unborn son could not imagine hurting his parents with a miscarriage, and therefore, he had no choice but to live. He had made up his mind to leave the womb without a mission and explore what life had in store for him, though he was not entirely sure if he wanted to be born.

While growing up in the womb, he figured out that his mother was not a happy woman. She had never spent a day in peace, and that was reflected in his condition. It was her habit to keep her emotions pent up, which resulted in a decaying feeling from within. Zeynep was far from an ideal parent, and she was not happy in her marriage. But instead of focusing on their relationship, the couple decided that maybe it could all be fixed by bringing a child into the mess.


Where did Metin disappear?

Mehmet and Zeynep had no choice but to overcome their fears as they headed to the delivery room to welcome their baby boy, Metin. The joy of finally meeting their son surpassed every doubt they had, but not for long. Putting the baby to sleep turned out to be an impossible hurdle to overcome. After staying awake all night, Zeynep finally managed to do the impossible, and the new parents fell asleep. The next morning, when Zeynep woke up, she discovered that the baby was missing. Instead of the expected panic and fear, we witness the couple with a broad smile on their faces, lazily searching for their newborn. They wanted to freak out, or at least they thought it would be the most natural reaction, but they were not quite sure if, as parents, they could lose their calm as easily.

Zeynep suggested that the baby might have crawled back into her womb, and after visiting the doctor, they learned that she was right. It was almost as if Metin protested right after being born. He was not ready for the life he had in store for him, and all he ever wanted was to be in the peaceful state he had been in as a tiny little embryo. The parents were eager to pull their baby out of the womb once again, but the nurse believed maybe it was not fair to disregard the baby’s decision. She suggested that the parents might end up regretting taking away the individual’s free will by pulling him out. Zeynep and Mehmet did not agree with the nurse. According to them, the thought was too modern to be taken into consideration, and they were worried about leaving their parents disappointed by listening to their newborn child. The conversation hints at the generation gap, and it also reminded me of a case where a man decided to sue his parents for giving him birth without his consent.

Zeynep received a call from future Mehmet, who admitted that he did not know how to confess what he truly felt about the nurse’s comment. He always struggled with sharing his thoughts with Zeynep, and that eventually led to the distance between them. Mehmet confessed over the phone that he did agree that reversing the one decision that their child, as a free-thinking individual, made was not the right thing to do. For the first time in a long while, Zeynep felt a connection with her husband. She missed his honesty and admitted that lately, she had been thinking that she had fallen out of love with him. Talking to Mehmet from the future (or his sensible self) helped Zeynep feel hopeful about their relationship. She decided they were responsible enough to bring their child into the world, as long as she received these strange calls from Mehmet every once in a while.


What caused a rift between Mehmet, Zeynep, and Metin?

Metin was more mature than his age, and at times, it became difficult for him to make friends. He was quite the nihilist that he always thought he would become. He was an overthinker, or at least that was what his first girlfriend, Ahu, thought of him. She fell in love with him because he was a master of words, but soon, it became the reason for her suffocation. Ahu wanted to have childlike fun, but with Metin, who used to spend most of his time sulking, it was impossible. It was not just Metin suffering from a broken heart; the dynamics between his parents had worsened over time.

Zeynep continued to bottle up her feelings, and it frustrated Mehmet. She perhaps hoped for Mehmet to become the person she spoke to on the phone, but that never happened. She was left disappointed, and it impacted their relationship. Zeynep finally admitted that she wanted to get a divorce, but before Mehmet could react, Metin returned home. All of a sudden, they realized that they had failed as parents when Metin admitted that he kept a chalk handy to fall sick whenever he wanted, and when Zeynep gave the chalk away, he expressed his frustration by breaking a vase—an unexpected reaction from a five-year-old!

Metin blamed his mother for his misery because, according to him, she always expected everyone around her to say the right things and not falter. He was tired of his mother trying to create a rift between him and his father, and he was especially bored with all the compliments she showered him with. His frustration stemmed from seeing his parents fight every day, and Zeynep and Mehmet realized that it was important that they found a solution to their problem. Zeynep stated out loud that divorce was their only way out of it, and Metin was devastated and shocked when he overheard the conversation. For the sake of their son, they chose to stay together, but their relationship only got worse with time.


How did Metin’s life turn out as an adult? 

Metin turned out to be everything Zeynep and Mehmet feared. He considered the idea of making one’s life count too overhyped; he despised his parents for bringing him into a world that only had misery to offer, and he enjoyed being the morbid individual that he had become. Metin grew up to become a DJ, and his apartment was as messy as the little room in the womb was. This suggested that Metin had imbibed the personality traits of his mother. He continued to be a pessimistic individual, and he was quite aware that his average lifestyle was quite a disappointment to his mother, who always considered him to be exceptional.

Zeynep never got over the fact that her son chose to crawl his way into her womb rather than be born, and she wondered if it was truly a conscious choice that he made. She was heartbroken when she realized that her son would have preferred not to be born than to live the life he was gifted with. She blamed herself, wondering if she had made the wrong decision at the hospital that night. As an adult, Metin barely visited his mother, and when he did, she expressed how lonely she had become. Instead of accepting the fact that he had been an absent son, he blamed his father for not being there enough for his mother. Metin found problems in everything and everyone around him because he was afraid of admitting that he had failed.


Did Metin die in the end?

During A Round of Applause‘s ending, Mehmet pretended to live his life like the orange he had always wanted to become. He compared the embryonic stage to being an orange and remembered how peaceful it was to be just that, without the complexity of human emotion. Metin painted his face orange and dressed in the same color from head to toe. He was a man on a mission—to live like an orange. After spending all her life living in a loveless marriage, Zeynep gathered the courage to admit her true feelings to Mehmet while he was sleeping. It was the most she could do to get her feelings off her chest. She confessed that she had spent her entire life lying to herself, thinking that her husband was more complicated than he really was and hoping that one day she would meet the Mehmet with whom she spoke over the phone. She was tired of waiting, and even after all these years, all she wanted was a divorce and a chance to start her life afresh. She was conflicted, thinking they were too old for a new beginning, and she chose to bottle her feelings like she always did.

Zeynep tried to be supportive of her son’s eccentric endeavor. She was a little hurt when Metin did not acknowledge her presence. She stayed with Mehmet for the sake of her son, but even then, nothing really worked out for them. Zeynep could not help but express her disappointment in the life that her son had chosen. She believed he was meant for greatness, yet here he was, meditating by the side of the road in an orange suit. 

A Round of Applause ends with Metin dying due to snakebite and Zeynep realizing that her son had returned to her womb. The absurd ending hints at a possibility—maybe if Zeynep and Mehmet had respected their son’s decision to stay in the womb, they might not have lived with regret all their lives. Maybe if they took into consideration their happiness over making their parents happy and thought about the emotional turmoil their son would have to go through watching them bicker all day, the mess could have been avoided. But then again, they did not know any better. Metin always regretted being born into a dysfunctional marriage. His desire to become an embryo was a clear indication of how desperately he wanted to no longer exist, and the ending was probably his dream come true. Perhaps Zeynep too yearned for a second chance, and her smile suggests that she felt hopeful all over again. A Round of Applause takes a look at a dysfunctional family through absurd images and dark humor to arrive at a rather serious discussion about the impact a broken marriage can have on children. It also speaks largely about the generation gap and how complex parenting really is. 


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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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