‘Still Time’ Ending, Explained: Was Dante Able To Come Out Of The Loop?


Directed by Alessandro Aronadio, the Italian film “Still Time” (originally titled “Era Ora”) personifies our fears and reminds us that we have limited time in our lives and that we need to live each moment as if it were our last. In our quest to achieve that aspirational lifestyle, we often forget to halt and savor and cherish every moment that we get to spend with the people we love. “Still Time” tells us that money might make a lot of things easier, but it never should be the end goal of one’s life. Take the example of the lifestyle of people in any big city where they barely have time for each other. People are constantly running, and they don’t have those moments of peace and tranquility where they just sit and do nothing. 

“Still Time” reminds us of the Italian saying “Dolce Far Niente,” which translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing.” It is important that once in a while, we do things aimlessly without hoping to gain something materialistic out of it. It is important to leave behind our sense of purpose for once and just sit and have a banter with an old friend over a glass of beer. It is important to just sit idle, look outside the window, and appreciate how beautiful the sunset looks. It is important to stop running once in a while and absorb what is around us and be grateful about it.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Still Time’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

The best coincidence that happened in the life of Dante was probably when he went to the new year’s party and kissed a complete stranger. The stranger was wearing the same dress as his fiancé, and when he saw her from behind, he got confused. Dante’s fiancé caught him in the act, and before he could justify his actions, she slapped him and broke up with him. That stranger then became the most important person for Dante, and at that moment in the film “Still Time,” he didn’t know that she would end up changing his entire life. The stranger was Alice, and after that debacle in the party, they started hanging out together and eventually entered a relationship. Alice moved in with Dante, and it felt like they had both found their soulmates, and that too, by sheer luck.

It was October 26, 2010, and Alice had planned the entire day as it was Dante’s birthday. Every birthday, Alice made pancakes for Dante, as she knew that he loved them. Generally, Dante didn’t have a lot of time for his family because he was too busy with work all the time. Dante was a workaholic, and he was the kind of man who could not sit idle for a very long time. Even on his birthday, he went to his office, and though it was something that Alice didn’t appreciate, she never said anything to him because she understood why he was like that. Alice was very excited about the surprise party she was throwing for Dante that year, and as soon as he left for office, she started making the preparations. Alice used to paint, and she had made something for Dante as a birthday present. The people arrived at their home for the party, but Dante was still stuck with work. 

After his office hours, he went to his father’s house to deliver a box that had his stuff. Just as he was leaving, the carpenter called him, and he had to go pick up the restroom door that he had ordered him to make. Dante arrived at his party quite late, and though Alice might have been a bit angry with him, she didn’t express it then as she didn’t want to spoil his birthday. Dante’s best friend Valerio often told him to seize each and every moment, as life was short and unpredictable. But Dante was of the opinion that if he toiled hard until his late forties, maybe he would have enough money to retire and make up for the time that he had lost. Valerio had brought him a bottle of spiced rum and a ticket to the roster roller coaster. Dante and Valerio often used to enjoy the roller coaster ride in their childhood, but now, Dante had no time for anyone, and he himself accepted that he didn’t realize how the days had been passing. After the party was over, Dante went to bed, and what happened the next morning really shook him up, and he couldn’t ascertain if it was happening in reality or if it was merely a dream.

Dante Travels Through Time

The next morning, when Dante woke up, he saw that Alice had a baby bump, and he thought that she was trying to be funny by putting a pillow under her clothes. But he was wrong. Alice was actually pregnant, and Dante thought that he was either in a dream or had lost his mind. He checked the calendar and found out that a year had passed since his last birthday, and it was October 26, 2011. Dante couldn’t understand what was happening to him as he had just celebrated his 40th birthday a day earlier, and now it was his 41st. He thought that maybe he was too stressed out because of work, so he went back to his bed to take some rest. He woke up once again and was relieved to find out that Alice wasn’t pregnant anymore. He became happy, and thought that it was all a dream. But just then, he heard the sound of a child crying, and he went to the room to find out that Alice had given birth to a baby girl, and she was already a few months old. Dante didn’t even remember that the name of his daughter was Galadriel, and moreover, he couldn’t understand why anybody would name their child that, as it was quite an absurd name. Alice told him that he had really liked the name when she had proposed it first. Dante went to see his psychiatrist as he felt that he might be suffering from something like Alzheimer’s, because of which he wasn’t able to remember the events that had happened for the past two years. The psychiatrist told him there was nothing wrong with him and that maybe, working for such long hours had taken a toll on him.

Dante was in his restroom, washing his face, when another year passed, and he was once again surprised to find that, yet another year had passed just like that. His daughter had already started walking, and things were not exactly great between him and Alice. Dante met Valerio, and he told him that the last three years of his life were a blur to him and that he felt like he had traveled through time. Valerio didn’t know what Dante was talking about, but he did tell him that time runs faster for those who keep running and do not have time for themselves. He asked him to take a breather once in a while and try to appreciate what he had. 

In the next two years, Dante progressed on the professional front as he became the director of his firm, but his personal life became more and more chaotic. He and Alice parted ways, and the latter was not staying with him anymore. Dante got a call from someone who told him that his father was threatening to jump from the terrace. He went to meet him, and that’s when we learned that they had a lot of unresolved issues between them. Dante’s father was not a very responsible man, and he wasn’t very faithful either. Once, he went away with a woman for six months, and Rosa, his wife, didn’t even know if he would ever return. He never had money to provide for his children, though he didn’t mind buying a $50000 yacht for himself. Dante told him that his personal life might be suffering because he worked too much and didn’t have time for them, but he took solace in the fact that he wouldn’t abandon them as his father did.

After Dante realized that Alice was not living with him, he panicked and wasn’t able to accept that something so drastic could have happened between them that there was no going back. He called Alice and asked her to visit him once, but what he didn’t know was that he was dating Francesca, his secretary, at that time, and she was staying at his place. When Alice came, she got to know that he was seeing another girl, and she left the house extremely disappointed, telling Dante there couldn’t be anything between them anymore. Dante realized that he was stuck in a loop, and he had no clue how to stop time from passing so quickly. He had taken everything for granted, and he believed that after he retired at the age of 50, his people would be there with him. But he was wrong in thinking that, and he realized that sometimes life doesn’t give you a chance to redeem yourself, and so it is important to not wait for tomorrow, as there is no certainty of what could happen in a day’s time. 

‘Still Time’ Ending Explained: Was Dante Able To Come Out Of The Loop?

Alice started dating a man named Omar, and Dante realized that maybe he had lost her forever. She had waited for him for years, but Dante didn’t feel the need to change, and now that she had gone, he felt the pinch and realized that he had committed the biggest mistake of his life. That’s one of the most significant lessons that the film “Still Time” teaches us: that so often, we don’t appreciate the things we have, and once they go, we realize their actual worth. Dante went to meet his father and confessed to him that up until then, he was fooling himself by saying that whatever he did was to secure the future of his family, though, in reality, he did it only for himself. The family just wanted one thing from him, i.e., his time, and he always felt that he had his entire life to be with them. Though he kept making progress on the professional front, he kept losing people one by one, and he realized that all that material wealth was of no use if one didn’t have the time to live life and be with his loved ones.

At the end of “Still Time,” Dante realized that at the pace his life was moving, he would be lying on his deathbed pretty soon with a pile of regret by his side. He didn’t want that to happen, and the fear of losing everything he held dear made him change the way he had lived life up until then. He went for a ride on the roller coaster with Valerio, and then went straight to his office and asked Francesca how many leaves he still had. He took all the 96 leaves that were left and decided that even if it was for one day, he wanted to spend time with Alice and his daughter Galadriel. He spent an entire day with his family doing nothing. The next day, when he woke up, he was mentally prepared for the fact that another year would have passed, but it was not so. For the first time, it was the day after his birthday, i.e., October 27, and Alice and Galadriel were still there in his house.

The loop finally broke, maybe because Dante had stopped running behind money and seized the day. He had enjoyed every moment with his family the day before, and he had promised himself that he would not take anything for granted in the future. He told Alice to stay back, as there was “still time” left to rectify things and for them to think about a future together. We don’t know if Alice and Dante ended up together or not, but we do know for sure that from that day on, Dante didn’t wait to turn 50 to live his life but instead made the most of the moment right then.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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