“Mr. Nobody” is a mind-bending 2009 sci-gi Fantasy flick starring Jared Leto as Nemo. The story follows Nemo, a guy who can see all the different lives he could’ve lived based on his choices. Flash forward to 2092, and we meet 118-year-old Nemo, who remembers all these alternate realities but can’t for the life of him remember which one he actually lived in.

Mr. Nobody (2009) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The year is 2092, and everyone’s practically immortal thanks to cell regeneration, but there’s one person, Nemo, who’s 118 years old and the only mortal left. He is suffering from amnesia, so people just call him Mr. Nobody and keep him under a microscope. Things get trippy when a shrink tries to jog Nemo’s memory by hypnotizing him, but instead of just diving into his past, they go all the way back before he was even a thought, like, way back before he was born! This allows one Dr. Feldhiem to hypnotize Nemo and send him on a mind-bending journey through his subconscious, marking the start of an unforgettable adventure.  However, while the doctor’s off doing his work, a sneaky journalist slips into Nemo’s room, hoping for a juicy interview.  Nemo agrees and tells him everything.

Nemo starts talking about the bizarre concept of unborn kids hanging out in heaven, knowing all about their future lives, but right before they’re born, these “angels of oblivion” arrive and wipe their memories clean. Somehow, these angels missed Nemo, so, when he’s born, he has a weird ability to see the future. He tells his other about it, but she doesn’t believe him and says you can only see the past. Not long after, Nemo catches his mom cheating on his dad, and when he exposes his mother’s infidelity, it leads to his parents filing for divorce. This leaves Nemo with a tough choice: live with his mother or his father.

What happens when Nemo chooses to stay with his mom?

At the train station, Nemo decides to stick with his mom, which sets off a chain reaction of rebellious behavior. He’s constantly at odds with his stepdad, making life a bit rocky. In addition, there’s this sweet twist of fate where Nemo falls head over heels for Anna, the new girl at school, but when she invites him for a swim at the beach, he kinda blows her off.

Fast forward twenty years, and Nemo’s kicking himself for being so foolish. So, he goes back in his mind to that beach moment. This time, he tells Anna he can’t swim, and they end up having a great time together. Things turn interesting when Nemo’s stepdad moves in, and it is revealed that Anna is Nemo’s stepdad’s daughter. However, both Nemo and Anna have something in common, as they both hate their parents’ relationship.

Anna and Nemo fall head over heels for each other and start a secret romance, but when their parents catch wind of it, they split them up. To stay connected, Anna makes Nemo swear he’ll wait for her at the lighthouse until they can be together again. Fast forward 20 years, and Nemo’s still holding onto hope, working as a pool cleaner, hoping to bump into Anna, who’s a big swim fan.

One rainy day, they finally cross paths, but the rain washes away the number she gives him. Heartbroken, Nemo waits at the lighthouse every day, but Anna never shows up. In a different reality, Anna and Nemo end up married with three kids in tow. Nemo’s even a TV host talking about physics, living the dream but tragedy strikes when Nemo dies in a car crash, leaving Anna and the kids behind.

What happens when Nemo chooses to stay with his dad?

Mr. Nobody (2009) Movie Ending Explained & Theme Analysed
A still from “Mr. Nobody” (2009)

This time around, Nemo decides to stick with his dad, who’s disabled. He takes care of him and holds down a job, but the school’s not on his radar. At a party, Nemo meets Elise, who’s all about encouraging him to open up. They hit it off, especially when Nemo starts geeking out about Mars. Elise even asks him to promise to scatter her ashes on the red planet someday. But things take a turn when Nemo spots Elise with her ex, Stefano. Heartbroken, he drives off and ends up in a crash that puts him in a coma. And that’s where this reality comes to a screeching halt.

In another reality, Nemo lays his heart on the line for Elise, but she turns him down gently. Frustrated, he decides to marry the first girl who dances with him at prom. This is where Jean comes in, a sweet gal who steals his heart on the dance floor. They tie the knot, Nemo makes a fortune, and they start a family. But despite having a happy family, Nemo somewhat still feels empty inside.

Thus, he decides to do something irrational, giving all his cash to Jean, walking out, and leaving his life to chance, flipping a coin for every decision. This coin-flipping spree leads Nemo to pretend to be someone else, Mr. D. Jones. One day, while he is soaking in a bath, some goons mistake him for Mr. Jones and end his life right then and there. In a different reality, Nemo ties the knot with Elise, but sadly, she passes away right after their wedding.

Keeping his promise, Nemo takes her ashes to Mars, where he bumps into Anna. Their Martian rendezvous is cut short when their spacecraft gets pummeled by meteorites. In another reality, Nemo and Elise are happily married with a trio of kiddos, but  Elise is still hung up on her ex, Stefano. She’s constantly running off to chase after him, leaving Nemo and the kids in the lurch.

Mr. Nobody (2009) Movie Ending Explained:

What happened at 5:50 on 12th February 2092?

Nemo, now 34, suddenly finds himself in a world where he never existed. He follows a trail of clues that lead him to a DVD featuring a 118-year-old version of himself. This elder Nemo spills the beans, revealing that this reality is one where he was never born. Later, the old Nemo explains that he’s experiencing life from the opposite direction, and he has to stay alive until 5:50 on February 12th, 2092. Meanwhile, back in 2092, the journalist was all kinds of confused, firing off questions left and right. Nemo says he could also choose to do nothing, like just run away and not choose either of his parents. So, he goes back to the moment of decision, and this time, he makes a run for it, leaving his parents in surprise.

Back in 2092, everything starts to go haywire. We see Nemo on his deathbed, just moments before the fateful 5:50 on February 12th. Right before he dies of old age, a memory hits him like a ton of bricks. He is reminded of the reality when he waited for Anna, and she actually showed up, and they shared a heartwarming hug. It dawns on him that that was the reality he truly lived.

And then, at 5:50 on February 12th, 2092, something unexpected happens. The world starts to reverse, and the movie takes us way back, some 13.7 billion years ago, when our universe was smaller than a proton and then exploded into existence. After the big bang, we got three spatial dimensions (width, height, and depth) and one temporal dimension (time). While we can move freely in space, time’s a different story. Just like the universe expanded back then, now it’s shrinking. The film closes with Nemo reliving all his happy moments as the world shrinks around him.

Mr. Nobody (2009) Movie Theme Analysed:

Let’s lay down the movie’s main themes. “Mr.Nobody” is about quantum physics and dives deep into how one action can lead to multiple outcomes and how your choices shape your destiny. It also gives a crash course on the Big Bang theory and how time ticks away and operates. On a different front, the movie also brings in some mythological elements, like the angels of oblivion. Talking about sub-themes, the effect of choices is a major one, showing how every decision Nemo makes sends him down a different path. Nemo has the power to peek into the future, making his journey even more adventurous and entertaining. Also, there’s a whiff of romance as Nemo travels far and wide to find his true love, Anna.

Read More: 30 Underrated Sci-Fi Movies From Across The Globe

Trailer:

Mr. Nobody (2009) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
The Cast of Mr. Nobody (2009) Movie: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Rhys Ifans, Natasha Little
Mr. Nobody (2009) Movie Genre: Drama/Sci-fi, Runtime: 2h 17m
Where to watch Mr Nobody

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