‘Awake’ Ending, Explained – Did They Find The Cure?


The science fiction film, Awake is an intriguing drama that revolves around the inability of a person to sleep. Failure to rest tires the human brain and slowly turns them into zombies or something worse. However, the sickness doesn’t affect one particular individual or group but humanity at large. A catastrophe that needs to be controlled, or else it will result in extinction.

Directed by Mark Raso, this thriller film keeps you hooked on your chair or anything you rest upon. But even with that kind of attention, you might have missed certain details, so let’s underline them further.

‘Awake’ Summary

Jill Adams is a corporal in sixty-eight whiskey (Military Occupational Specialty Department). She steals drugs from the facility and sells them for extra bucks. Jill has two kids, a teenage boy Noah and a younger daughter, Matilda, raised by Jill’s mother. Jill shared history of drug abuse and was an absent parent too.

Things were going on in their rhythm when suddenly all the electronic equipments stop working. Jill and her children are hit by a car that pushes it into the river, drawing Matilda. Hopefully, a sheriff saves her life and advises Jill to take her to the hospital.

At the hospital, a chaotic scenario greets the family. First, they learn that all electronic equipments (medical machines) are out of order. But that’s not all. The coma patients had risen from their long sleep. How? Everyone is curious.

What Caused Sleep Deprivation?

Dr. Murphy (Jill’s senior at MOS) theorized that a solar flare hit the earth and changed its electromagnetic wiring. At first, they thought it only screwed up the electronic gadgets. But the event also changed the brains of humans. It stopped them from sleeping.

Sleep deprivation affected the human glymphatic system. It is a network of vessels that clean wastes from the central nervous system during sleep. A lack of sleep led to dysfunctional brain activity, due to which humans started hallucinating and began killing each other.

In one scene, Jill and Noah spotted shooting stars, which were actually satellites falling down from the sky. Thus, one can determine the prospects of danger. It affected humans globally.

What was the Hub?

Dr. Murphy found out that one old woman can still sleep amid the catastrophe. So a team of scientists commanded Dr. Murphy, and assisted by the army, were taking the old woman to a secret laboratory (referred to as hub) in North Lewisburg (Village in Ohio).

Why was Jill skeptical about going to the hub?

According to Jill, Dr. Murphy was a psychiatrist. As sleep expert who worked for the US army, she used to set sleep parameters for interrogation of war criminals and terrorists. In simple words, she helped in sleep torture interrogation conducted by the army. They used to kill people to get answers from them. So the solar flare cause-and-effect came as a Karma for them (symbolism in the film).

Jill was confident that if Murphy found out about Matilda, and her ability to sleep, she would conduct severe experiments on a child to get a cure out of her. And for that, she might go to any extent, even kill Matilda, in her obsession and experimentation.

How was Matilda able to sleep?

In the ending sequence, Matilda concluded that she was brought back to life by sheriff Cameron. He used chest compressions to restart Matilda’s heart. In a way, it was another life for her. Therefore, the solar flare that disturbed everyone’s nervous system affected Matilda too, but she was redeemed by a short death.

A similar incident happened with her brother, Noah, who killed himself by an electric shock. But at the brink of the moment, Matilda used a defibrillator and brought him back.

Thus, it could be concluded that to cure Sleep Deprivation, one had to die and then come back to life through artificial means. Maybe, that was the only cure to the solution.

‘Awake’ Ending Explained

To save their dying mother, Noah and Matilda used their theorized cure. First, they drowned Jill in the nearby water body, thus, killing her. Later, Noah applied chest compressions on Jill to bring her back from the dead. A fade-out shot revealed Jill gasping in the end, which suggests she came back to life.

There was a hope that they might be able to use the same technique to cure other people as well, and thus, saving humanity from possible extinction.

The film was filled with speculative elements and missing gaps. I am extremely sure that I haven’t covered everything. If you feel that I have missed something and need to be there, do write to us. For any other queries, the comment section calls out loud.

Awake is a 2021 science fiction film directed by Mark Raso. It is streaming on Netflix.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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