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Drive My Car Ending Explained

‘Drive My Car’ makes the most of its lengthy runtime (2 hours 59 minutes) by telling a thorough, hauntingly beautiful, and nuanced storey. The camera lingers on actors after practically every shot, dragging out the action for maximum effect. ‘Drive My Car’ is loosely based on Haruki Murakami’s short tale of the same name from his 2014 book ‘Men without Women.’ During the project’s development, director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (‘Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy’) recognised that the original short storey didn’t have enough material for a feature-length production, so he inserted pieces from two other stories from ‘Men without Women’: ‘Scheherazade’ and ‘Kino.’

He also significantly incorporated ‘Uncle Vanya’ into the plot, which was a very simple assignment because Chekov’s play was already a part of Murakami’s novel. Alienation is a key topic in Murakami’s short stories and ‘Uncle Vanya,’ and it is also a major issue in Hamaguchi’s ‘Drive My Car.’ Love, loss, sadness, regret, and acceptance are also topics explored in the film. Here’s everything you need to know about the film’s conclusion. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Plot Synopsis for Drive My Car

Yûsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is a stage actor who presently only works on stage. Oto (Reika Kirishima), his wife, is a scriptwriter. They appear to be in a nice and healthy relationship. However, deep-seated anguish lies beneath the surface. In February 2001, they lost their daughter to illness. At the time, she was only four years old. They haven’t talked much about having more children since then.

Oto isn’t interested, and Kafuku sees no use in wanting something that his wife doesn’t. He’s scheduled to leave town for jury service. When his trip is delayed owing to a cold wave, he returns home to find his wife having sex on their marriage bed with young actor Kôshi Takatsuki (Masaki Okada). Previously, following Kafuku’s performance in a bilingual production of ‘Waiting for Godot,’ she introduced him to Kôshi, alleging that the latter frequently collaborated with her.

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Kafuku chooses not to confront Oto about her cheating because he is afraid of losing her. He is in a minor car accident and is diagnosed with glaucoma. Oto arrives at the hospital, perfectly normal and full of concern for him. They have intercourse that night after they come home, and Oto repeats the tale she began telling him in the opening scene. At this point in the novel, it appears that she is aware that Kafuku is aware of her infidelity.

The next morning, Oto informs Kafuku that she want to chat with him in the evening. Kafuku postpones his return to home, fearing that their relationship will be irreparably altered if Oto tells him whatever she has to say. When he comes, he discovers that his wife died of a brain haemorrhage while he was away. Kafuku suffers a mental breakdown during a subsequent performance of ‘Uncle Vanya,’ in which he plays the titular character.

After two years, Kafuku accepts a residency in Hiroshima. He’ll be directing a staging of “Uncle Vanya.” He travels in his crimson 1987 Saab 900 Turbo. However, he is informed that he would be required to travel with a driver as long as he is involved with the organisers due to a previous accident caused by another artist. This is how Kafuku comes into contact with Misaki Watari (Tôko Miura). As Kafuku discovers, his silent and stoic new driver is an amazing driver. Kafuku’s red Saab is an outdated vehicle with numerous flaws. Nonetheless, Watari rapidly learns how to drive the car without endangering her passenger.

Meanwhile, Kafuku continues casting for the multilingual play, which will feature actors fluent in Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, and other languages. He also hires a deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly deafeningly de She is eventually revealed to be one of the organisers’ wife. Due to the age difference between the actor and the character, Kafuku ends up casting Takatsuki, his wife’s final lover, in the role of the titular character, much to the astonishment of Takatsuki and everyone else.

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Ending of Drive My Car: Why Does Misaki Watari Own Yûsuke Kafuku’s Red Saab? What Is the Purpose of Her Dog?

The closing scene of the film sees Watari in South Korea, where the COVID-19 Pandemic is in full force. Off-screen, it appears that some time has elapsed between this scene and the preceding one. Watari goes grocery shopping before getting into the red Saab, where a puppy awaits her. The final few frames of the film show Watari driving down an open road.

Unlike the original storey, in which we learn of Kafuku’s wife’s infidelity when he tells Watari about it, the film’s plot is relatively linear. This may have caused some difficulties for Hamaguchi and his team, as their secondary protagonist is not introduced until 45 minutes into the film. They counteract this by extending the prelude to more than 40 minutes.

Watari, like Kafuku, is plagued by her history. She grew up in a Hokkaido village. Her father was nowhere to be found, and her mother was harsh. She chose not to save her mother during a landslide, which has haunted her ever since. Her mother was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. She imagined herself as a young girl named Sachi. According to Watari, Sachi inherited all of her mother’s good characteristics. Watari knew she was condemning Sachi when she opted not to bring her mother out before the avalanche, yet she still did it.

Watari and Kafuku both punish themselves for the majority of the film. The latter believes he is to blame for Oto’s death because he did not return home sooner. Watari and Kafuku go to the former’s village near the end of the film to see the ruins of what used to be Watari’s home. The snow-covered wreckage of a house resembles the carcass of a big beast. Standing next to it, Watari and Kafuku confront their pasts and earn the right to move on.

Watari now possesses the red Saab, which means Kafuku gave it to her. The car served as a physical link between him and Oto. He displays that he has moved on by letting it go. Watari, likewise, has gone to Korea in quest of a better life. She now owns a puppy and has gotten rid of the facial scar left by her mother. There will always be difficulties in life. Watari, on the other hand, is only thinking about the future as she drives down a wide and bright road.

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Why did Yusuke Kafuku accept the role of Uncle Vanya?

As previously stated, Kafuku’s last attempt to play Vanya failed miserably. He is an honest enough actor to recognise and declare that he is not prepared to go through the agony of interpreting Chekov’s characters. However, as the film unfolds, his attitude toward his sense of guilt shifts. If Watari is one of the reasons for this, the other is Takatsuki, who is the same age as Kafuku’s daughter would have been if she were alive. The loss of Oto has left the younger man feeling hollow.

Furthermore, his career has suffered tremendously as a result of his inappropriate behaviour. He appears to seek out Kafuku in an attempt to find himself, but ends up travelling down the path of self-destruction past the point of no return. Takatsuki is arrested after the guy he assaulted dies as a result of his injuries. The organisers then inform Kafuku that he has two options: cancel the performance entirely or play Vanya himself. Kafuku appears to acquire the strength to confront his past and welcome the inevitable changes in his life after visiting Watari’s community.

When it came to his wife, Kafuku used to believe that uncertainty was preferable to knowledge, as in Chekov’s play, because it gave him hope. False hope, on the other hand, frequently leads to stagnation. Kafuku discovers how to climb beyond it. After deciding on the second alternative, he struggles to depict Vanya. However, by being true to himself and his feelings, he gives a convincing performance.

Duration: 179 min


IMDb: 7.7

Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained
Drive My Car Ending Explained


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