Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot’s film, “No Future,” is about the journey of an addict struggling to stay sober. For an addict, his/her enemy is not the substance. But the emotional triggers that can push them into despair are few. To cope with the turmoil, they often rely on other humans. But for a lonely person, a substance becomes the only escape.
In the film, No Future, Will, an addict, tries to come out clean. However, his past mistakes haunt him in the present, leading to a tragedy he cannot avoid. What follows ahead is a battle within himself as Will tries to find comfort in his girlfriend and his friend’s mother. But eventually, Will has to find strength within and overcome his guilt. Will he be able to do that? Let’s find out.
‘No Future’ Plot Summary
The story begins with Will (Charlie Heaton), an addict who consistently visits a group therapy program. Will shares the news that he has finally found someone in life, and he sees a future with her. He is thinking of moving in with his new girlfriend, Becca (Rosa Salazar). But Will is not sure whether he is ready to share his real identity with her. He fears that he will scare off Becca with his original self, and these doubts cloud his mind.
Will comes back home and finds Chris (Jefferson White), an addict and an old pal. In school, Will and Chris were a part of a band, No Future, in which Chris used to write songs, and Will used to play bass guitar. But that was a past that can not be brought back.
After sharing nostalgia with Chris, Will requests him to leave as his new girlfriend visits soon. Maybe Will doesn’t want Becca to meet Chris, or perhaps he is ashamed of his past as an addict.
At night, a lonely Chris comes back home where his divorced mother, Claire (Catherine Keener), suspects his late-night strolls. Claire inspects Chris’ eyes to make sure he isn’t doing drugs again. However, a dejected Chris overdoses on drugs and kills himself that night.
After Chris’s suicide, both Claire and Will blame themselves for his death. Thereon begins an interaction between Claire and Will, who try to comfort each other and make each other believe that it wasn’t their fault. But will these guilt-stricken souls be able to overcome the loss?
Why did Chris Kill himself?
To understand an addict, one has to know why he or she relies on substances. In life, a void is created from the loss of a loved one. In the film, Will loses his mother to cancer. One often looks for an escape in other people to cope with tragedy, but Will has none. His father, Philip, a conventional man, believed that Will’s addiction deteriorated his wife’s health. While Philip had his reasons to hate his addict son, the hatred pushed Will away.
After his mother died, Will had no family to rely on, so he turned to the substance to fight the demons. Similarly, in Chris’ case, his mother, Claire, and father Doug were having trouble in their marriage and finally separated. Maybe their separation adversely affected Chris. Even though Will introduced drugs into Chris’s life, maybe Chris had his own reasons for relying on them.
Later, after coming out of jail and trying to become sober, Chris wanted to start again. He attempted to reform the band and even wrote a few songs highlighted by Preston, a common friend. To get back to his past life, Chris visited his old pal, Will. However, Will was too ashamed of making Chris an addict and thus didn’t dare look Chris in the eyes. In his shame, Will asked Chris to leave. His actions made Chris believe that the past life was gone forever, and nothing would be the same again. Losing all hope, Chris killed himself.
Why did Will start an affair with Claire?
A grieving mother, Claire, found her comfort in Chris’ friend, Will. And Will, already guilty, felt it was his responsibility to comfort Claire. A relationship that started out of pity quickly made Will guilty of cheating on Becca.
Will blocked Claire’s number and visited Becca at her hospital. He told Becca that she was the only thing in his life that kept him away from drugs. Subtly, Will outlined that he was still struggling with desperation, but Becca held his broken pieces and gave him reasons to live. For Chris, he had none.
Will tried to apologize to Claire for introducing drugs into his dead son’s life. But Claire handled the situation carefully and explained to Will that no matter how much they felt guilty about their past, they couldn’t go back and do anything about it. All they have is their future.
Will tried to tell Claire that he saw Chris on the night he killed himself. But he couldn’t gather enough courage. Will left Claire’s house and later listened to the No future label he recorded with Chris. Something triggered inside him, loneliness maybe or Chris’ last words about how he wanted to start the band again. To fight the thoughts, Will approached his friend Preston and bought drugs from him. But he didn’t use it. He wanted to give himself one last chance with Becca.
‘No Future’ Ending Explained
Will decided to bury Chirs’ tragedy and called Becca to his place. He finally surprised her and told her that he was thinking of moving in together.
In the meantime, Will’s father, Philip, met Claire and informed her that it was all Will’s mistake. He introduced drugs into Chris’ life and blamed his son for causing the untimely death of his wife, Diana. In the end, Philip told Claire that Chris met Will the night he killed himself. Directly or indirectly, he blamed Will for destroying many lives.
Claire confronted Will and blamed him for hiding that he was the last person who met Chris and had the privilege of saying goodbye. The accusations caused a sudden breakdown inside Will, but he had no one to comfort him this time. Becca guessed that Will had been sleeping with Claire and thus left.
Will told Claire that Chris didn’t want the life that she wanted for him. He was just pretending that he was okay. But some people couldn’t be fixed. Chris was pretending that he could live everyday life. But then came an emotional trigger, Will telling him that nothing could be normal again. Chris finally realized that it was time to stop pretending, and at that moment, he needed someone to say to him that the world hadn’t ended. He came back home, and instead of comforting him, his mother suspected him. An action that led to a tragedy.
For Will, that action was Becca leaving him. A lonely Will finally used the substance to silence his thoughts and demons. He didn’t want to feel lonely or left in the world alone. He used the injection again. Maybe he would die from an overdose, or perhaps he would turn into an addict again.
No Future is a 2021 drama film directed by Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot.