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Measure of Revenge Ending Explained

The ending of Measure of Revenge leaves viewers questioning Lillian’s sanity and the morality of her actions. She avenges her son’s death but at a great personal cost.

Measure of Revenge is a psychological thriller that blends theater and real-life drama. The film follows Lillian Cooper, a theater actress, as she seeks justice for her son’s mysterious death. Her journey is filled with hallucinations and Shakespearean quotes, making it a unique but confusing watch.

Lillian’s Quest for Justice

Lillian Cooper, a Broadway actress, learns of her son Curtis’s death just after her final stage performance. Curtis, a musician, is found dead, and the authorities quickly rule it an accidental overdose. Lillian, however, suspects foul play. She decides to investigate on her own, teaming up with Taz, Curtis’s drug dealer. Together, they dive into the dangerous underworld to uncover the truth.

As Lillian digs deeper, she starts hallucinating characters from the plays she has performed, like Hamlet and Lady Macbeth. These hallucinations act as her inner voice, pushing her towards vengeance. The film cleverly mixes scenes of Lillian on stage with her real-life quest, creating a surreal experience.

Lillian’s journey is marked by her increasing madness. She balances her stage performances with her off-stage vendetta, leading to a series of violent confrontations. She targets Curtis’s ex-manager, the head of his old record company, and a fellow musician. Each confrontation is theatrical, with Lillian quoting Shakespearean lines while committing the murders.

The Surreal Ending

The film’s climax is intense and surreal. Lillian walks away from Broadway, surrounded by hallucinations of Shakespearean characters like Romeo, Juliet, Desdemona, Cleopatra, and King Lear. This ending leaves viewers with a sense of amenormousuity. Lillian achieves her goal of avenging her son’s death, but her actions raise questions about her sanity and the morality of her quest.

The film does not provide clear answers. Instead, it leaves it up to the audience to interpret Lillian’s journey and its implications. This open-ended conclusion can be frustrating for some viewers but adds depth to the narrative.

Critical Reception

Measure of Revenge received mostly negative reviews. Critics pointed out the incoherent screenplay, poor cinematography, and lack of character depth. The plot was described as disjointed, with abrupt tonal shifts and poorly staged sequences. Curtis’s death, the event that sets the plot in motion, was seen as abrupt and nonchalant, leaving little room for emotional exploration or character development.

Melissa Leo’s performance as Lillian was one of the few aspects that received praise. Critics acknowledged her dedication to the role and her ability to deliver Shakespearean lines with conviction. However, even her performance could not save the film from its numerous flaws. The contrast between Leo’s talent and the film’s amateurish production was seen as a constant distraction.

Analysis of the Ending

The ending of Measure of Revenge highlights the film’s overall issues. The attempt to blend a psychological thriller with Shakespearean drama results in a confusing storyline. The hallucinations of Shakespearean characters, while intriguing, are not well integrated into the plot, leading to a lack of coherence.

The film’s exploration of themes like grief, vengeance, and madness is superficial. Lillian’s character arc, which should have been a compelling portrayal of a mother’s descent into madness, is undermined by the film’s rushed pacing and lack of emotional depth. The decision to have Lillian commit murders during her stage performances adds a layer of absurdity that detracts from the film’s intended seriousness.

Technical aspects like cinematography and sound mixing were also criticized. Scenes were poorly lit and bathed in soft focus, making it hard for viewers to engage with the story. The sound mixing was imbalanced, with background conversations often overpowering the main dialogue.


Measure of Revenge fails to deliver on its intriguing premise. The ending, while dramatic, falls flat due to the film’s numerous shortcomings. The lack of narrative coherence, character depth, and technical proficiency results in a baffling viewing experience.

Despite Melissa Leo’s commendable performance, Measure of Revenge struggles to find its footing. The ending, much like the rest of the film, is marked by missed potential and unfulfilled promise. For those seeking a compelling psychological thriller, Measure of Revenge is unlikely to satisfy.


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