The Netflix series “Everything Calls for Salvation,” based on Daniele Menacarelli’s novel of the same name, revolves around Daniele Cenni, a young man who was sent to a psychiatric facility after having a violent psychotic episode. At first, Daniele struggled to come to terms with the fact that he could be admitted to a psychiatric unit as he believed himself to have a sane mind. However, his attitude towards the facility and its patients changed with time. Throughout his week-long stay at the unit, he made some good friends who gave him a life-long lesson to cherish. So, let’s see how seven days in the hospital alters his perception of sanity and madness.
Why Couldn’t Daniele Accept His Mental Illness?
“Everything Calls for Salvation” begins with the glittering lights of a nightclub where the narrator, Daniele (played by Federico Cesari), is seen getting zoned out. The moment he reached home, he dozed off and woke up the next morning in a hospital bed. Daniele is now in a mental asylum, but he does not even know the reason. Doctor Mancino told him that he had a violent manic episode last night. He was even told by Dr. Cimaroli (played by Raffaella Lebboroni) that he had attacked his father, who is now hospitalized. Daniele cannot comprehend the situation and tries to recall what happened.
Daniele was a young man who suffered from severe depression, which led to a psychotic episode. The previous night, when he was admitted to the hospital, he got out of control and attacked his parents. Probably under the influence of drugs, he failed to pretend anymore and revealed his frustration to the world. When he was brought to the hospital and was told about this, he faced difficulty accepting everything. It is pretty evident that when a regular person is told that he has a mental illness, he never wants to believe it. That’s the stigma of mental illness in our society. Just like everyone, Daniele did not want to believe it at first.
From the conversation with Dr. Cimaroli, it was revealed that Daniele had these issues due to his serotonin deficiency. He seemed to be unstable and submerged in denial. He rubbed his hands out of panic and started to shiver. Even when Mancino talked to him, he was able to control his anger anyhow. Later, in the men’s ward, he recalled everything that he had done. The moment he realized his fault, the guilt started to eat him up. He could not even get along with other people in that ward because he thought a psychiatric ward was a place for lunatics. Even at night, he could not sleep because of the noise made by a patient, Mario. He would only roam around the hospital but sleeping became impossible for him at that place. Daniele refused the therapy since he was unaware of the seriousness of his mental illness and his only concern was what his friends would think if they found out about it.
Why Did Daniele Act Violently Toward His Parents?
Daniele finally remembered the night of his psychotic outbursts and thus decided to accept his condition instead of running away from it. He began to understand that he needed help. His parents were concerned too, but his sister treated him oddly. They were unaware of Daniele’s illness and how he became uncontrollable. Daniele’s mother chided him for having cocaine in his pocket. Daniele learned that his frustration was the result of his drug addiction, and his guilt eased a little when his father came to visit him, but their conversation revealed the reason for his agitation. Daniele worked as a salesperson for an air-conditioning company, but he hated his job, which might have been the fundamental cause of his sadness and frustration. He was enraged even more when his father informed him that the office had granted him a week off. Daniele did not want to return to that work, but his father was upset when he said that. His father asked him if he wanted to study further, but Daniele expressed his disinterest in the same way. Daniele seemed to have been under pressure from his family. Since neither of his siblings could study as such, Daniele’s parents had high hopes for him. Daniele’s work made him feel nothing but obliged to it. These complex thoughts got piled up in his head, and one day he lashed out violently, which was quite devastating for his parents. His parents were upset about him at first but eventually welcomed and forgave him. Daniele also recognized that his aggressive nature would only push him away from his loved ones, so he began to behave himself and became more compassionate towards others.
How Did Patients From The Male Ward Become So Important To Daniele?
Daniele couldn’t accept his situation when he arrived at the facility and assumed it was solely for lunatics. His first act on the ward was to convey to others that he was not like them, but his perspective changed over time. Daniele spoke with Gianluca (played by Vincenzo Crea), a queer young man about the same age as Daniele. Daniele had made it apparent that he exclusively liked women, but he gradually realized that there was nothing wrong with Gianluca’s wanting to be friends with him. When Daniele saw Gianluca’s father, an army general, embarrassed by his son’s gender identity, he got angry. In addition to Gianluca, he met Giorgio, Mario, and Madinneno. Male nurse Pino reported that Giorgio (played by Lorenzo Renzi) was a violent patient who was tranquilized with sleeping pills. But when Giorgio woke up, we saw a completely different person. He said that he lost his mother when he was a child, which made him violent ever since. However, Giorgio’s innocence made Daniel his good friend. He began to mingle with the rest of the ward with his calm and charming demeanor. Although Giorgio had a threatening appearance, he encouraged others to take part in healthy activities. Not a single sign of violence could be observed in him.
Then there was Madinneno, who kept chanting the Virgin Mary, but his tiny little gestures even made him important to Daniele. There was Alessandro, who was in a coma and was being fed by his father. He continued to lie down in bed all the time, unable to communicate his sentiments like everyone else, so he remained a mystery to Daniele. Daniele wanted him to communicate as well, but when he couldn’t come out of his coma, Daniele spoke to him in his imagination. In his thoughts, he saw Alessandro appearing and suggesting poetry lines to him. Though it was certain that Daniele penned the poem by himself, his illusion about Alessandro suggested that Daniele did not want him to feel isolated amid all the energetic and conscious individuals. So, Daniele wanted to create memories with Alessandro that were one and only his.
Mario (played by Andrea Pennacchi), a retired schoolteacher, quickly became Daniele’s favorite person in the ward. Mario’s past was even more disturbing because he had previously attempted to murder his wife and kids. Now Mario is healed with treatment. His aggressive side had been entirely subdued, and his current form was seen to be tranquil and flowing like a river. Only Mario encouraged Daniele in his adventures and urged him to write poetry like the rest of the ward. Mario would see a bird outside the window and show it to Daniele. Daniele didn’t get the sign, but Mario wished to fly like a bird. He desired to be free of his feelings of guilt, trauma, and loneliness. Finally, the small bird showed Mario his way out. He fell from the window and died. All of these occurrences had left Daniele and the others mentally scarred. Daniele understood why these individuals, who were just a bunch of unknowns to him a few days back, had suddenly become so important in his life. In reality, they all came to the hospital for treatment and got attached to each other’s pain, problems, and insecurities. So, Daniele found out that none of them were crazy, but they all had problems like he did.
Why Did Nina Try to Run Away?
Daniele admitted that he had obsessive thoughts during a chat with physicians. He was correct, as we observe him becoming infatuated with those he loved or felt affection for. Daniele’s latest obsession was with Nina (played by Fotini Peluso), an actress who was taken to the hospital. He had known Nina since high school, and she had been his potential high school crush. Daniele couldn’t stop stalking Nina the minute she was brought to the hospital. He confronted her, but she had forgotten about him. After persistent stalking, Daniele discovered that Nina had tried to kill herself. Nina was an actress with more outward attractiveness than skill. However, she had the air of someone careless, but she was concerned with the hateful comments and death threats that kept coming to her Instagram profile. She even thought that if someone saw her in a mental hospital, it would hurt her reputation.
Ludovico, a married production manager, had assaulted her and now wanted to get rid of her. Nina’s mother, on the other hand, was not concerned about this and wanted her daughter to be with Ludovico for her improvement in the industry. Nina understandably wanted to take her life because she was surrounded by a mother who had such a sick mentality. She eventually moved on with Daniele. Nina realized that Daniele was not actually a stalker or an obsessive fan but rather just a guy who had liked her since her school days when she was not famous. And now that Daniele wanted Nina after seeing her most vulnerable side, she considered spending some quality time with him. Daniele and Nina took a big risk and went up to the roof of the hospital. They watched fireworks and spent some time alone. But night shift nurse Rosanna found out everything and brought Daniele down immediately. Nina left the hospital behind everyone’s eyes.
But why did she flee the hospital after such a beautiful moment with Daniele? That’s because Nina was in a worse state of depression than Daniele, which she didn’t want to accept. When everything got messed up, and they were dragged down to their wards, Nina ran away. She did not run away from Daniele to ditch him, but she ran away from the guilt, from the trauma that she thought she was about to endure. She ran away to be rescued from the dominance of the world. For one time, she wanted to be alone. However, she finally realized that running away from her problems wouldn’t save her, so she returned to the hospital where she could have her loved one by her side. She felt extremely guilty because Daniele was charged with going into voluntary confinement for Nina’s escape. Daniele, on the other hand, could not accept the fact that Nina had left him and run away. He assumed that he was unimportant to her; she had made such a decision. He became enraged once more and lashed out at Nina. He even repressed his rage at her since she continued to hide her weakness from the public eye. Nina continued drug use once they were released from the hospital, but this time Daniele was in control as he had promised his parents to come clean. Although he insulted Nina, he at least showed her the correct approach. Nina realized that if she refused to accept herself as she was, she would never find relief. Thus, at the end of “Everything Calls for Salvation,” Nina went live on Instagram and told the world about her depression and visit to a mental asylum. She embraced her mental illness the way one should accept any other illness of the body.
Why Did Daniele Forgive Gianluca? Why Did Mancino Talk Harshly To the Patients?
Gianluca had his own troubles, which he attempted to hide but failed. He had bipolar disorder, so he felt out of control at times. During one of these times, he was envious of Daniele and his romantic attachment to Nina. Gianluca was a wonderful person who adored Daniele, but the rejection he felt all the time drove him to do evil things. The rejection from his parents, and most likely from the rest of society, traumatized him emotionally. His parents even admitted him to the hospital, believing that his homosexuality was the source of his ailment. In such a case, how could one find belonging in the world? Gianluca tried hard enough not to allow negative emotions to affect him, but he finally failed. He got so jealous of Daniele and Nina that he woke Rossana and told her about what Daniele had done. He later felt guilty about it and confessed all to Daniele. There we see the change in Daniele’s persona that puzzled us. Daniele was shocked, but instead of shouting or cursing Gianluca, he embraced him with affection. Daniele recognized that acting properly is difficult for someone who is often mistreated. For the sake of their great friendship, he forgave Gianluca. Daniele forgave him since he understood he had also screwed up and behaved violently toward his loved ones.
Just like Gianluca, we saw someone else who was also secretive and mysterious. He is Dr. Mancino. Although Daniele disliked Dr. Mancino because of his harsh and rigid demeanor, he was surprised to find out that he spent most of the night at the hospital. Mancino is a veiled man whose rigid exterior conceals his inner delicate and poetic thoughts. He cried in front of the window after Mario’s death, but he pulled himself together quickly. Even when Daniele read his poem at the funeral, Mancino might have been the only one who understood the meaning of the poem because he also wanted to escape from some pain he had been holding in his heart. He acknowledged in front of Daniele that he had these thoughts in his head but couldn’t express them so nicely. Finally, he revealed a glimpse of his sensitive side, which earned him Daniele’s respect.
Where Did The Madness Lie? In a Mental Asylum or the Outer World?
The men admitted to the ward, including Daniel, appeared to be the most rational people on the planet. Although the rest of the world thinks they’re crazy, mad, and so on, they appear to be the healthiest individuals. They understand and respect each other’s mental pain and background. On the other hand, one can question those who were there to care for these people. Pino, a male nurse at the hospital, appears to be the one who needs help. He is racist as well as homophobic. He told Daniele that Gianluca’s father was too nice to have a queer son. This term implied that a man’s insanity was manifested through his narrow mentality.
Not only Pino but practically all of the physicians at the hospital were only doing their jobs superficially. Daniele recognized that Mancino did not listen to him while he was talking. Even Dr. Cimarilo mistakenly began advising Daniele based on the medical history of another patient. That’s why Daniele refused to show her the poetry. He thought that the poetry he wrote about his mother would be appreciated in the patients’ ward rather than in a doctor’s clinic. The doctor’s actions show how ordinary they find the patient’s problem, which is why they only use traditional treatments and don’t get to the root of the problem.
While Alessandro went into a coma and therapy was ineffective in his condition, the time he spent with others made him happy. He could only recover because of the wonderful people around him. Mario stated that these caregivers were only there to diagnose the problem but never to cure it. Actually, some people think mental illness should be normalized. When individuals began to normalize these activities and raise awareness, they believed they had done enough, yet the problem persisted. People are still scared to admit their craziness because they are terrified of what others may think of them. This is a common notion shared by individuals all around the world, and it might be classified as mass psychosis. A nation of people customarily follows the same rules and does the same activities to avoid getting judged. Isn’t that insane? Anyone who violates this norm and wants to be free is considered a lunatic. So, Daniele and others who were hospitalized for their alleged “madness” believed that this psychiatric ward was the most healthy and normal place in the world where no one judges anyone.
‘Everything Calls For Salvation’ Ending Explained: Why Was ‘Salvation’ The Word Daniele Was Looking For?
From Daniele to Nina, they all came to the psychiatric ward to get rescued. To get rescued from the long-lasting trauma, violent behavior, self-deterioration, and pain of rejection. This may or may not be the place where people will ever find a cure for their illness, but I personally believe that it is one of those institutions one visits to be in terms with the issues one has in life. By interacting with others and understanding their pain, one discovers that they are not the only one’s suffering, and it makes them feel a bit less lonely. In the end, seeing other people’s weaknesses makes it easier for you to accept your own. This makes you more empathetic toward other people.
In the series, the patients understood each other’s problems without judging them. They saved each other at the end of seven days. Although Mario, who desired to be free of all the shackles, received his ultimate salvation. I don’t think he deserved it, but death is inevitable. The remainder of the ward was distraught when Mario fell from the window. They were released from the facility one by one because life must go on. Eventually, on the final night, Alessandro appeared in his dreams. He urged him to finish his poetry. Daniele completed the poem, which he read at Mario’s funeral. “Everything calls me for salvation,” Daniele said.
Throughout the series, Mario appeared calm and pleasant on the surface, but on the inside, he was tormented by the horrible ruin of his past. Mario, like Daniele, had turned aggressive towards his family during his breakdown. But while Daniele was welcomed by his parents, Mario was not. In daylight, Mario seemed calm, but at night, his wife’s memories tormented him through nightmares. Mario tried to calm himself down by glancing out the window at a bird nesting in a tree. Mario went to feed the bird after seeing it for a long time and fell from the window. Though he was hospitalized, he died within a few days. Daniele learned of his death and believed that Mario was now free of his excruciating pain. As a result, he dedicated his final poem to Mario and his salvation. According to the Bible, the persecution of the Lord Jesus caused human misery and pain. Jesus died to set people free from sin and suffering. This is how mankind was saved. Thus, Daniele used the word “salvation” to imply that we should not look at Mario’s death as a tragic incident but as his salvation from suffering. At the end of the day, all of them got their salvation, including Nina as well. Salvation from the pain, conflicts, and dependence on drugs. I think there cannot be a better word than “salvation” for these people suffering from thoughts of their own.
“Everything Calls for Salvation” gradually attaches us to the characters and eventually breaks our hearts with Mario’s death. Even though Daniele’s character growth brilliantly fleshes out the story, the series aimed to portray the disparity between the mental ward and the outside. Daniele’s perception of lunatics was wrong, and these lunatics turned out to be his actual and precious friends in the end. He even welcomes Nina when her weakness no longer bothers her. Nina and Daniele stand hand in hand in front of a pool with two options. Take a step back and run away from their fears or take a leap of faith and jump into the unknown together. Initially, Daniele and Nina both took a step back. They believe they have nothing to prove to the rest of the world. They have already accepted who they are, so they don’t have to do this thing just because everyone else does. Nina confesses that she is pregnant, and Daniele is overjoyed. They hold hands and decide to go ahead with a vital part of their lives. Will they jump into the void? Maybe. But what matters to us the most is the fact that whatever tragedy or happiness lies ahead of them, they will be facing them together.
“Everything Calls for Salvation” is a 2022 Drama Romance series streaming on Netflix.