‘The Courier’ 2024 Ending Explained & Netflix Film Summary: What Happened To Ivan?


Directed by Daniel Calparsoro and starring Aron Piper, The Courier (El Correo) is centered around Ivan, a young man from a middle-class family who dreamt of making it big and living a life of excess. Ivan watched his father struggle with his business during the ’93 recession in Spain, and he promised himself he would never end up in a similar situation. Ivan once admired his father, but after the recession, he mostly whined and cribbed in front of the television, and Ivan started to loathe him. He worked as a valet, but he always searched for the next business idea, and unlike his father, he did not care about adhering to the system.

Spoiler Alert

How did Ivan start his own business?

Ivan took an interest in Linares, a Member of Parliament from Brussels, at an event. Ivan offered to drive the drunk politician to Brussels, and he agreed to the deal. Ivan wanted to find out what the man was carrying in his briefcase, and he had enough time to do so. While the politician went to sleep, Ivan opened his briefcase and found stacks of cash. He removed a few notes, and upon reaching Brussels, he directly spoke to the woman the politician was working for. Ivan proposed that he could do a better job than the drunkard, and he did not care about the kind of business they were involved in. He further added that the politician was stealing from them, and that was enough reason for the woman, Anne Marie, to consider Ivan for the job. He was offered ten thousand euros to make a delivery, and he happily accepted the job. 

Ivan had to transfer a briefcase of cash from Francisco Escamez to Anne Marie and her husband, Francois Letissier, the son of a diamond smuggler and middleman for trafficking foreign currency. Escamez, aka ‘Paco’, was responsible for laundering money for his influential clientele, and Francois and Anne helped him with it. After the money reached Belgium, their men simulated a diamond purchase to begin the laundering process. After the process was successful, the money was sent to the clients’ bank accounts in Switzerland. Once Ivan figured out the business, he desired to become more than just the courier guy.

Ivan had noticed a Spanish couple at a restaurant in Belgium, and one day while watching television, he realized Jose Luis Ocana was married and he was having an affair with the woman at the restaurant. Ivan decided to plant cameras in his room, but the security man at the restaurant, Yannick, caught him red-handed. Yannick was equally corrupt, and all he wanted was a share of Ivan’s profit. Ivan realized that Yannick could be of great help as a partner because he was physically strong, had the right contacts, and was a party animal. Yannick helped Ivan plant cameras, and the video evidence they gathered was embarrassing enough to blackmail Ocana. They arrived at his party in Marbella and showed him the video—he could either publicly humiliate himself by speaking to the police or he could listen to the young men. They proposed to open a branch in Marbella, and they wanted Ocana to help them. Ocana agreed to the deal, but there was one problem—Escamez was not happy with the new player in town.

Why did Ivan strike a deal with the police?

Francisco Escamez sent men to assault Ivan and Yannick to establish that they could not open shops in his area. But instead of running away, Ivan decided to meet Escamez personally. He promised to not target any of Francisco’s clients and offered him a 30% cut in case he got business from Marbella. Francisco was happy with the deal. Ivan made great wealth during this time, and he also developed a certain level of arrogance. When Anne asked him to change his ways, he was furious. He brought in the most business, and he believed that was enough reason for everyone to respect him. Anne added that Francois was tipped off about the ongoing investigation into Escamez, and she warned Ivan to stay away for some time. But Ivan did not consider her advice and instead plotted to grow his business even more.

When he noticed undercover cops waiting outside a party, he approached them and asked them to take him to their boss. He was taken to the police station and was officially introduced to Inspector Manuel Roig, the man heading the investigation. Ivan agreed to cooperate with the police, and he provided more information on Escamez. In return, he wanted safety, and Ivan was promised to be left untouched. Ivan realized that he must have a trustworthy alibi to prove that he was not the one who ratted Escamez out to the police. Ivan decided to take Escamez’s daughter, Leticia, to Paris on a week-long date. He bought her everything she asked for and even got her a ring to prove his loyalty to her. Even though her father was completely against her dating Ivan, Leticia conveyed to her father that she was old enough to make decisions on her own. Soon, the news of Escamez’s arrest was broadcast on television, and Leticia decided to head back to Madrid. She did not know that Ivan was responsible for her father’s arrest. Later, when Ivan returned to Madrid, she found him sleeping with strangers, and she realized it was all a sham.

After Escamez’s arrest, Ivan offered to handle his clientele until he was released from prison. But Anne and Francois did not think it was the right time to launder money since they were already under police scrutiny. Ivan decided to spend whatever money was left with him partying in Madrid. After spending all his money, Ivan returned home. His father had passed away, and his mother needed his support now more than ever. But even after returning to his hometown, Ivan continued to search for business opportunities, and that was when he noticed the Chinese mafia.

How did Ivan plan to help his Chinese client?

Ivan found out more about Yao Ming from Ocana. Ming handled dirty money, and he had to constantly smuggle money to China. They used old-fashioned means, and they often got caught. Ivan once again met Anne to discuss a possible business deal with Yao Ming. But there was one problem: it had become almost impossible to bring money into Switzerland. Moreover, their clients demanded cash, and it had become a challenge for them to transfer the money back to Spain. Ivan proposed a solution to the problem. He planned to transfer the money stuck in Switzerland to Yao’s accounts in China, and Yao Ming had to make his payment in cash to Ivan in Spain. The arrangement worked well for both parties, and they came to an agreement.

Anne and Ivan celebrated their progress, and all of a sudden, Escamez walked to their table. After Ivan cheated on Leticia, Escamez figured out that Ivan was the one who had snitched on him. The judge dismissed the case against Escamez, and now that he was out of prison, it was obvious that he would seek revenge on Ivan. Towards the end of The Courier, it is revealed that Feliciana, the software engineer who worked for Jacques Stoffel, had leaked a list of secret bank accounts in Switzerland. Stoffel and Francois ran away with whatever money they had left. Ivan and Anne knew they were in deep trouble since most of their clients were on the list. The police were after them, and they tried to escape. But all of a sudden, the men working for their Chinese client showed up, and they were taken hostage.

What led to Ivan’s arrest?

The men brought Ivan and Anne to Yao Ming, who was equally desperate because the police were after him as well. Ming believed Ivan had snitched on him to the police, and before he could reveal any other secrets, Ming wanted to kill Ivan and Anna. Yao was about to shoot Ivan when, once again, he came up with a plan. Ivan was ready to smuggle Yao’s money for him. He had to leave the country, so he proposed to hide in the container full of cash and transport all of Yao’s money from Spain to Hong Kong. He would be risking his life, but that was the only way he could escape and also help his client; moreover, Yao did not trust Ivan with the police, and if he ended up in Hong Kong, he would not have anything to worry about.

Ivan successfully made it to Hong Kong, and he was celebrating his win when, all of a sudden, at the end of The Courier, police approached him and he was arrested. Ivan was extradited to Spain, and his only hope was a good lawyer who could help him reduce his sentence. Manuel Roig believed Ivan would get a minimum of fifteen years for the crimes he committed. Ivan tried to buy out the police inspector and was visibly disappointed when he turned out to be an honest man. 

In The Courier‘s ending, Ivan found out that Anne Marie had snitched on him to protect herself (that was how the police found out that he had escaped to Hong Kong). Ivan believed he would have done the same if he were given the choice. Eventually, Yao Ming was also apprehended. After spending some time in prison, Ivan realized that his father had been right all along; he would not have to rot in prison if he had been an honest man. According to Ivan, money was just like a virus; once one gets infected, it is impossible to get rid of it. He admitted in an interview that money corrupted people, and he had fallen victim to it. The Courier addresses the 2008–2014 Great Spanish Depression, which was a result of the housing bubble, and a man like Ivan was one of the many players who were responsible for the crisis. 

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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