Characters Of Christian, Leonora And Detective Holger In ‘Loving Adults,’ Explained


Adapted from Anna Ekberg’s novel “Till Death Do Us Part” and released by Netflix, “Loving Adults” is a Danish film that attempts to present the same old wine in a new sparkling glass. The movie depicts a story of marriage, infidelity, and eventual murder, wrapped in an aesthetic muffle. The protagonists, a couple named Christian and Leonora, split in two directions like two roads and finally meet at the same place. The narrator, detective Holger, unfolds the story by narrating it to his daughter, and we enter the world of the toxic life philosophy of these two lovers’ twisted psyches.

Character Of ‘Christian’ Explained: How Does Christian Become a Murderer of Two Innocent Persons?

The narrator begins the tale of toxic love, dragging up a statutory warning that “Love Kills.” When we dive into the story, a van has already crushed a woman with a red hoodie. Christian, the owner of a construction company, was driving the van, and the lady he hit was his wife, or can be said what Christian knows for now. Christian was never happy in his marriage with his paranoid wife and a lover outside. Instead, he is too anxious and bound up in his marriage that he fails to get out of it. He wears a gentleman-coat outside, where his inner character is flawed and darkly mysterious. He enjoys external sexual affairs outside of the home, where he is under utter pressure at home to hide his lover’s texts from his wife. Therefore, he even breaks his phone. So firmly, he’s living a timid life that is spurned by everyone. His wife surmises infidelity in the house, and his lover, Xenia, presses him to get rid of his previous marriage, so all in all, Christian is being held up at gunpoint to make a certain decision in his life. Keeping all the secrets in his mind, he repeatedly fails to attempt to discuss them with his wife. But he makes his job a little easier when he ignores Leonora’s presence while having sexual intercourse with his girlfriend, Xenia. Leonora watches it all, and the next day she bursts upon her husband. Christian wants to get away by divorcing Leonora, but he finds it a lot more difficult when Leonora drags up the past misdeeds he had done to revive his son’s life.

Well, Christian compromised a lot for his son as well, like he maneuvered the rate of exchange to earn more money so that they could treat their son in the United States, but he won’t win the argument of a mother for sacrificing herself to take care of her son. Just like that, when Leonora talks about sacrificing her career and being an accomplice to all the fraud that Christian has committed, His counterattack with any argument is defeated. Although being a patriarchal man, he makes fun of his wife’s self-sacrifice and asks her to teach as a profession. But Leonora plays a MasterCard, threatening him that she will report to the police his previous illegal activities. Christian realizes Leonora is a tough player, so he needs to take things slowly. Christian talks to a divorced friend for some advice. With all the ideas he got from him, Christian starts to find Leonora’s friends. When he finds one, the deep darkness about Leonora’s past is revealed, which he is afraid to believe. So he investigates further to make sure it’s legit, and eventually, he learns the murky truth that Leonora killed her ex-boyfriend Mike because he left her. Christian struggles to accept the matter but finds a weapon to get an eye for an eye. But he is completely unaware that Leonora has been following him all along and watching his every move.

When Christian returns home, all set to face Leonora, he finds that she has already gone insane. She becomes a vicious personality, which gives her husband a sink or swim situation. She forced Christian to end things with Xenia, or she would throw her husband out of her house, reporting to the police against him. Christian, being in ultimate turmoil, neither can call Xenia nor can leave his house. So, without delay, Leonora abuses her husband by kicking him out of her house. Christian, now humiliated in all respects, realizes there’s no way to sort it out with Leonora. So he decides to make a vindictive move.

When vengeance consumes a man, he sees the darkness in his eyes until he can exact revenge. Christian is not exceptional in this regard. To fulfill the dream of a family he has arranged with Xenia in his heart, one rainy evening, he coldly crushes his wife under the wheel of a van and returns home, destroying all the evidence. As he comes to terms with himself as a murderer with a purpose, his inner conflict tears him apart. But his wife does not keep him in this conflict for long, giving him a lifetime of guilt. Christian is startled to see his wife alive; his son does prove that he is not even delusional, and Leonora is still alive. Leonora states that she changes her route for the evening walk, leading Christian to believe that the woman he had killed was an innocent lady. Christian is now drowning in murky guilt so that he can’t even concentrate on anything. The next morning, when it is known that the murder victim was a mother of three, Christian even decides to confess his crime, but is interrupted by his son’s bright future. But his nemesis at home is waiting for him. When Christian arrives home, Leonora has already figured out that her husband wanted to kill her instead of that innocent person. When Leonora goes insane, Christian tries to confine his guilt shamelessly, pleading for an apology. Leonora has already called the police, but Christian midway saves his back by misleading the cops with wrong information that leads him to get away from the law. He recognizes that Leonora didn’t complain against him but rather calls him for dinner to discuss a deal. Christian already knows that she can be up to something evil, but what she implies to Christian, he finds impossible to do. But Leonora is the chief witness of his fraud and murderous activities. She even considers sparing Christian, as she doesn’t want their son to suffer, but she wants him to kill Xenia just like he tried to kill his wife.

Christian can feel what he had married into, but now his hands are tied with all the guilts of his previous incognizance. So he has to follow her lead, or he’ll be busted. According to their plan, they go to a spa where his task is to reach Xenia’s place to kill her. But being in love with Xenia, Christian can only be physically intimate with her, erasing the whole idea of murder. But Leonora is a poison in his life. She has already reached Xenia’s room and stabs her from behind. Christian doesn’t even get a small chance to redeem himself; rather, he loses the only love of his life. Now, not only does he have to forget her, but he also cleans up the evidence before the cops take over the case.

Now Christian is a puppet of his wife, who directs his movements to save her existence. When cops investigate the murder and interrogate the couple, Christian, being aloof in guilt, cannot prevent his darkness from spilling from his personality. Still, he manages to lie in their faces. However, it’s not difficult for cops to realize that he’s hiding something. To dissolve all the evidence, Christian is told to make a raft in the middle of a river during their midsummer festival. In between the wooden raft and Xenia’s body is concealed. So before the cops reach out to find the body, Christian, in a panic-stricken hurry, successfully burns the raft to complete the ritual, where only he and Leonora know how they have successfully wiped out all the evidence of Xenia and her murder. Christian is not an ideal lover nor a worthy family man. He has shown neglect towards his wife and children. A rash decision in his life makes him forever a puppet of his wife, and moreover, he has to be an accomplice to the murder of the person he loves. However, it is suspicious whether Christian will try to kill Leonora or if this is how he decides to spend the rest of his life, being controlled by his wife and burdened with guilt.

Character Of ‘Leonora’ Explained: Why Doesn’t Leonora Kill Her Husband?

From the very beginning, Leonora seems to be frustrated with her life. She is unhappy in her marriage, as we see her staying up all night to argue with her husband in the early hours. She is extremely paranoid and stalks her husband’s social media to find out about the home breaker, mistress of Christian. However, she is still optimistic that proper physical attraction would bring her husband back to her, but all her efforts go in vain when she finds out that Christian is having sexual intercourse with his mistress, Xenia, right in front of her eyes. Leonora’s plight makes us sympathize with her, but she is not reckless, like her husband. She is extremely intelligent and a cold-minded player. She minutely calculates how much money there will be on her supermarket’s car cleaning card, which helps her later. Her meticulous thinking ensures that she is not letting Christian go easily. Rather, she has enough reason to blackmail her husband into keeping him to herself. She is truly a struggling mother who gave up a major career in her life due to her son’s long-term illness. Hence, compassion arises for her, but when Christian reveals a shocking truth about her past, we learn that Leonora is no saint. She is the killer of her ex-boyfriend, Mike, who once tried to leave her. This whole incident makes her a hated character for her perverted mentality.

Leonora follows Christian all the way and watches his moves, but she doesn’t utter a word. She rigidly tries to force her husband to end everything with Xenia. But as Christian is unable to do so, Leonora, in a fit of rage, drives him out of the house. Leonora’s brutality awakens the beast in her husband, prompting Christian to destroy her. But, while Leonora survives the journey, it doesn’t take long for her to learn of her husband’s exploits. Leonora doubts the date and time of the second payment on her car cleaning card and finally realizes from the CCTV footage that she was supposed to be dead instead of the innocent woman on Wednesday evening.

Leonora takes time to recover from the trauma, but she can’t keep her calm and calls the police, although Christian manages to save her back at the last minute. In fact, Leonora would never have sued Christian, as she has more sinister ideas going on in her head. She finally offers her husband a deal: he must kill his ex-mistress Xenia because Christian can kill Leonora any day if Xenia is still in this world. Moreover, she, not wanting to harm her son’s future, spares her husband to make a fair deal, which Christian is forced to accept. Her eyes have a demonic look, and there is no difference between Leonora, the killer of her ex-boyfriend, and Leonora, Christian’s current wife. Her eyes reveal the awakened feral nature within herself. The way she had previously avoided suspicion of Mike’s murder, she pulls on a clever trick this time as well. She arrives at a spa with Christian, where she sends her husband to kill Xenia. Meanwhile, she shows up to a room service staff that both she and her husband are here at this time. So that they can avoid any further interrogations. On the other hand, Christian can’t kill Xenia in the end, but Leonora arrives in time to finish the job. Her admirable talent is that she can cleverly abolish all the evidence. She disappears all the fingerprints and DNA from the crime scene and even takes phones, computers, and wallets, so the motive of the killing looks like a burglary.

Leonora brilliantly hides Xenia’s body inside a wooden raft and lets Christian light it as part of the Midsummer ritual. Even though the police dog starts barking at the smelling raft, Christian starts to panic, but Leonora remains calm and confident because, without a warrant, the police can’t come and investigate the raft in the middle of the river. Leonora and Christian end up throwing Xenia’s remaining bones down the river so that all evidence against them is wiped out. However, the question still arises: why did Leonora keep Christian alive despite knowing that her life would be in danger? Maybe she wants to spend her life as an ideal wife, with a husband and children. She has already made it clear that she only spared Christian, keeping her child’s future in mind. We have seen her not having any friends or relatives of her own, which makes her a lone wolf, so this time she doesn’t want to screw up what she has. Leonora has already sacrificed a lot for her son, so it is clear that she doesn’t want all her compromises to fail in the end.

Character Of ‘Detective Holger’ Explained: How Does He Know Everything About The Couple?

The narrator of this story is a detective named Holger, whose sole purpose in telling the story of Christian and Leonora is to educate his daughter about the perks of love. But such questions may arise as to how Holger could know so much information underlying this couple’s marriage. And if he knows about the incident, why is the case not solved? Why don’t Christian and Leonora get their deserved punishment?

The answer is that since all the evidence has been wiped out, no other reason justifies his deduction from the story. When Detective Holger first arrives to investigate the innocent woman’s murder, Christian seems suspicious from the start. But he cannot be convicted, as there is no evidence. Even when he meets Christian and Leonora again in the investigation of Xenia’s death, Holger is suspicious of Christian’s slurred speech and takes an interest in the couple. When Xenia’s body is not found, and the police dog constantly barks at the wooden raft, his suspicions turn to convictions, which he cannot present for lack of proper evidence. Therefore, he reveals his version of the story to his daughter so that she understands that marriage does not always mean a happy ending, but sometimes it is difficult to know one’s partner even after marriage. So one never knows if this is going to happen in Holger’s daughter’s life or someone else’s.

See More: ‘Loving Adults’ Ending, Explained: Did Christian Get Arrested? What Happened To Leonora And Xenia?

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami is an artist and an aspiring screenwriter both by profession and passion. Apart from writing stories, poems and songs, studying cinema is her obsession. She is also a freelance painter yet it is the world of cinema that fascinates her the most.

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