Ghosted (2023) Movie Ending, Explained & Themes Analysed: Ghosted is a new romantic comedy action-adventure film streaming on Apple TV+. It stars the recently Oscar-nominated Ana de Armas along with Chris Evans in the lead roles. This marks their third acting collaboration after Knives Out and Netflix’s The Gray Man. The film’s director Dexter Fletcher, who has an extensive acting career, is known for directing movies like Rocketman and Eddie the Eagle. With a screenplay written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers, the film becomes a silly, fun ride.
Ghosted (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
‘Ghosted’ begins as a romantic comedy about two strangers who meet through a chance encounter. Sadie Rhodes (played by Ana de Armas) decides to drive to the mountains to process her emotions after her co-worker’s recent death. Dr. Claudia Yates calls Sadie to let her process her grief. Sadie says how she and her co-worker were fairly the same – except the co-worker had a houseplant, and Sadie has no such company. On the other hand, Cole Turner (played by Chris Evans) works at a farmer’s market and assists a shopowner in selling their plants. He is sad about getting dumped by his ex, Fiona. While others tell him to move on, he is hung up on it. Someone also calls Cole’s neediness the reason for his breakup.
Sadie drives her car to Cole’s town and enters the market. She asks for a plant, and he shares different options depending on how much she needs to care for it. She says that she is out of her house for long periods and wants a low-maintenance plant. He takes it in the context of his break-up and sees this woman not fulfilling the emotional needs of others. Besides, he is also passionate about farming, and it shows through the way he talks. So, he suddenly gets angry and tells her that he can’t sell the plant since it won’t be properly taken care of. While she is about to leave, the actual shopkeeper comes and sells her the same flower plant. Cole offers a small cactus to insult Sadie.
When Sadie walks up to her car, the shopkeeper tells Cole that she thought they were flirting earlier. She does not realize how he became sour. Upon hearing that, Cole walks up to Sadie’s car and knocks on her window. Right then, her plant gets smashed inside the car. Still, she pulls down her window and lets Cole apologize to her. He says that he felt a strong connection with her and asks if they could go out. She accepts his offer, and they go on a day-long date.
They walk around the town and have conversations about their lives. During that time, Cole takes Sadie to the steps where The Exorcist was shot. He thinks it is the scariest movie. She says, ‘You can choose not to be scared.’ He asks what made her this way. She shares her childhood experience of trying to enter the United States. She witnessed her mother’s strength and resilience. It made her want to be just as strong.
Now she can run fast and beat him in a race. He has asthma and needs an inhaler. She frequently moves from one city to the other, whereas he rarely leaves even his town. Anyhow, maybe by the law of ‘opposites attract,’ he gets drawn to her and sees her as a rebound. They spend the night together at her place, and the next morning, he drives back home.
Cole talks about the amazing day he spent with Sadie with his parents (played by Amy Sedaris and Tate Donovan). While they support his quest for a soulmate, his sister, Mattie (played by Lizze Broadway), calls out his neediness. She looks at his several texts to Sadie and says how desperate it makes him look. He ignores that comment and keeps texting Sadie, hoping for a response. But she ghosts him. He suddenly realizes that he left his inhaler with her. Since it has a tracking device, he uses it to know where she is. Mattie calls out his stalker-like behavior. But he does not care. He sees it as pure love. His mom supports that belief and says he is a hopeless romantic.
Cole finally finds out that Sadie is in London. While having never left the country in the past, he dares to travel so that he can meet her. He reaches London and hails a cab to reach the GPS pin. The cabbie (played by Burn Gorman) also adores Cole’s romantic gesture. Cole eventually stops near the pin and walks around to find Sadie. Soon after, he finds himself surrounded by three intimidating men and gets tasered.
The next thing Cole sees is a cave-like place where Borislov (played by Tim Blake Nelson) calls him a Taxman and keeps asking for a passcode. Distressed by it, Cole keeps repeating how he came to London to meet a girl and has no idea what Borislove expects from him. Nevertheless, Borislov threatens to torture Cole with some life-threatening bees if he does not share that code. Soon after, Sadie breaks open the door and shoots everyone, including Borislov. She asks Cole if he can walk. He says Yes. She asks if he knows how to use a gun. Again, a Yes. While she tries to rescue him, he fails at both. During all the firing, she reveals she is not an art curator, as she said before but a CIA agent.
Alas, Cole gets out of that cave with his trolley bag and his purse intact to find out that he is in Pakistan. In an action-packed sequence, she tries to save herself and him from the enemies. She stops a bus and starts driving in reverse while evading the fire from both sides. She drives on this mountain pass, evading death more than once. But her ruthless killing changes Cole’s image of her. He can’t bear the thought he loved this woman.
Back in the cave, Leveque (Adrien Brody) walks in to speak about the passcode with the man-in-charge Wagner (Mike Moh). They both consider Cole as the Taxman and decide to locate him. Sadie, meanwhile, tries to keep Cole safe. On their way, she says she did not lie about anything else besides her profession. He is still mad at her. She talks about her ex-worker, Elena, and says that she killed her because Elena was working for the enemies.
Alas, by the evening, she takes him to a local market, hoping to send him back. She introduces him to her associate, Marco (Marwan Kenzari), who talks about their old relationship. Cole gets jealous and angry. Marco asks why she let incompetent Cole join her. She says Cole was a mistake. That remark also hurts Cole. Nevertheless, he learns that Sadie was trying to attack people who stole a deadly biochemical weapon called the Aztec. Since she is going to deal with a dangerous man (i.e., Leveque), she wants to send Cole safely to the US. She tells him not to contact her ever again. Again, he takes it too personally.
Anyhow, when they are about to leave, Marco gets shot by a bounty hunter – the Grandson of Sam (Anthony Mackie). Sam wanted to get hold of Cole, known as The Taxman. He keeps Sadie and Cole at his gunpoint and takes them away. He gets shot by another hunter named The Leopard (played by John Cho), who then gets killed by someone named God (Sebastian Stan), who later gets attacked by the already-hurt Grandson of Sam. Now, Sadie puts the hunter at gunpoint and asks where he is going to deliver Cole. Then she decides to drive Cole there in a Toyota.
During their drive, Cole keeps whining about Sadie’s life filled with guns and violence. Besides, he keeps asking her what’s the deal with this passcode. She tells how her dead co-worker Elena had access to the unique DNA encryption and was trying to give it to Leveque. That’s why she killed her. The passcode is the entire genetic sequence of a living organism. That’s when it dawns upon her that Leveque does not have the passcode either – the reason why he is looking for the Taxman. So, she makes another plan, decides to take Cole to the delivery site, and offers to hand him over. Over there, she notices an Aztec case in Leveque’s car. She blackmails Leveque about a weapon that he stole and cannot use. Until she gets her money from him for that, she won’t give Cole.
So, they both get on the plane with Wagner and his cronies. Wagner finds a photo on Cole’s phone that shows Sadie sleeping next to Cole. She did not know that he clicked that creepy picture. Anyhow, Wagner considers they are in a relationship and pressures her to get the passcode from her boyfriend. She bluffs that she has it in her pocket and not Cole. Wagner gets hold of it and ends up tasering himself. Cole and Sadie get into a fight with these enemies and soon win at it. But she starts bleeding and tells him to get a parachute and leave. He does not want to leave her. So, he holds her in his arms while also taking Leveque’s suitcase with them.
Six hours later, Sadie finds herself in a tent on an island near the Arabian Sea. She notices that he acted bravely and saved her and himself. She sees that she now has the Aztec suitcase but hasn’t figured out the passcode. They spend a Cast Away-style night on the island, albeit having each other’s company. He talks about his plan to write a book but instead focuses on his family business of farming since his dad is getting old. Then she talks about how she found purpose by getting into the Army and then the CIA. Anyhow, she gets surprised that the cactus plant he brought with him is still intact (it screams the script’s attempt at a metaphor about attachment styles in relationships).
The next morning, they get approached by some of Wagner’s men. While Sadie and Cole try to save themselves, CIA agents arrive on the shore and take them back to the CIA HQ from Virginia. Unfortunately, they lose the case with the Aztecs. They get questioned about what they were doing there. While agent Patti (Tiya Sircar) keeps swooning over Cole, agent Monte Jackson (Mustafa Shakir) questions Sadie about going rogue and sabotaging her assigned mission by bringing a possible threat, i.e., Cole. The agents try to divide the couple to find out about the passcode. It doesn’t work on Cole, who, despite witnessing several deaths, thinks that Sadie is inherently a good person.
What was the Aztec’s passcode?
Monte shows him the pictures of the dead bodies that Sadie killed in the past six months. Cole notices a plant next to Elena’s dead body and figures out something substantial. Turns out, the passcode was this plant’s DNA encryption. Cole describes how the Aztec communities used that crop, known as amaranth, for rituals in the past. Sadie figures out that Horvath, the scientist who created the Aztec thingy, was obsessed with the idea of sacrifice. She asks to send a message to Leveque that the Taxman, i.e., Cole, has the passcode. It is her way to entice him and then get hold of the Aztec case.
Ghosted (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:
Does Sadie get hold of the Aztec case?
Leveque’s boss, Mr. Utami (played by Stephen Park), becomes impatient with the delay in getting the passcode. He threatens to kill Leveque if he does not get it soon. By then, Leveque receives the CIA’s message and goes for a meeting with the Taxman at a high-rise restaurant. Cole arrives there, well-suited, while Monte and his men stay outside to ensure his safety. While speaking with Monte, Cole realizes that he needs to fulfill the mission for his family’s safety. It raises the stakes for him. By then, Leveque’s men shoot the agents outside the building. Monte calls Cole to leave right away. But it is too late by then since Leveque and Mr. Utami arrive in the room.
Leveque keeps asking for the passcode, and Cole keeps stalling – hoping that Sadie will arrive soon to help him. Mr. Utami gets impatient by then, and Levque points a gun at Cole. Sadie arrives there against her superior’s orders and says that she wants to save the person she loves from danger. She brings the passcode, and it opens the case. Both parties see ‘the Aztec,’ and then Sadie gets her money. But now, Leveque threatens to kill her and the Taxman. She fires back, saying bounty hunters have surrounded them in order to kill him.
Right after, they all start fighting while trying to get hold of the Aztec weapon. Wagner attacks Sadie, and thus, Cole attacks him and takes him outside the room. While they engage in a fight, the room starts rotating because of a malfunction. Leveque and Sadie try hard to hold on to the Aztec weapon while fighting with each other. Eventually, Cole arrives, hoping to save Sadie from Leveque. He sees Leveque groping her and attacks him. Sadie saves Cole when he is about to be pushed out of a broken window. Then she manages to push Leveque out while getting access to the Aztec weapon.
Do Sadie and Cole get together in the end? Does Sadie and Cole’s relationship get a happy ending?
Afterward, Sadie visits Cole’s house with him, and they become a couple. She still maintains her identity as an art curator with her family members. They get happy that Cole finally got a girl despite being the way he is. The story ends on a happy note, where the couple accepts each other the way they are. Cole also starts working on his book and comes out of his shell of fear.
Ghosted (2023) Movie Themes Analysed:
Damsel in Distress
Ghosted reverses the classic trope where a man saves a distressed woman from something terrible. It shows Ana’s Sadie saving Chris’s man-child character, Cole, from several dangers for the most part. In the film’s last moments, Cole waits for Sadie in the same trope style. Much of the film’s duration is just an extension of the same theme – where Sadie keeps coming to save Cole and, meanwhile, making him stronger, braver, and more resilient.
Romance & Power of Love
As Barry Egan from Punch Drunk Love would say, Cole believes this – “I have a love in my life. It makes me stronger than anything you can imagine.” He accepts Sadie’s violent, secret life, and in the end, they are together. So, overall, the film defies the laws of physics and logic to come to emotional reasonings behind the central couple’s romantic bond.