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White Noise Ending Explained: What Happened At The End Of The Movie?

by Ana Lopez
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White Noise Ending explained: Many people were taken aback by the quirkiness of the Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, and Don Cheadle movie trailer, and the movie itself is no doubt just as eccentric and chaotic as the trailer led us to believe.

As a fellow critic, Harris Dang said: “Noah Baumbach took all that Netflix money and made White Noise, eh? Bra-f**king-vo, mate.” Congratulations, indeed. We rated the film four stars for its balance of postmodernism and intimate character study, and its captivating production design.

Of course, no movie is critically acclaimed, and we’ll be the first to admit that White Noise isn’t for everyone. So if you’re curious about how it ended or how it differs from the source material, read on as we dig into what happened in White Noise.

End of white noise explained

White Noise is broken up into segments (which feel like symphonic movements), all of which deal with themes of mortality. The first part is academic, where we meet professor Jack Gadney (Driver), his wife Babette (Gerwig) and their family.

Gadney, a renowned professor, is preparing to teach his Hitler studies course at the College on the Hill for another year and is worried about an upcoming conference because, much to his shame, he does not speak German.

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Murray Siskind (Cheadle), his co-worker and friend, is equally concerned about garnering support for his own Elvis study talk and asks Gadney to come over to turn the spotlight. What follows is an academic competition that Gadney seems to win, though their mutual admiration makes it feel more like a draw.

Meanwhile, the eldest Gadney child spies on her mother Babette, who she suspects is addicted to drugs and thus forgetful.

End of white noise explained
End of white noise explained

A sudden “toxic event in the air” disrupts their lives and sends them on a desperate journey to a quarantine station. When Jack realizes he was out in the open during the toxic rain and his health may have been compromised, he is met by a team of ‘SIMUVAC’ rescuers (as in simulated evacuation, which only leaves them confused as to whether the toxic airborne event was real).

They eventually return home for the next part of the movie, babet has become increasingly distant and finally confesses that he signed up for a trial of a drug to combat death anxiety, but it is cancelled.

Babette needed the medication and started exchanging sex with the mysterious Mr. Gray in exchange for the drug, Dylar. Yet she stopped because it confused her and she couldn’t distinguish between words and their objects.

When Jack discovers an advertisement for Dylar in their garbage, he takes his father’s gun and searches for Mr. Gray (also prompted by Murray’s comment that taking a life might ease Jack’s fear of dying). Mr. Gray benefits greatly from his stash, and he too suffers from the inability to distinguish words from their meaning.

Jack takes advantage of this by saying things like “quick bullet!” causing Mr. Gray to fall to the floor. He eventually corners Mr. Gray and shoots him, holding the gun in his hand to make the wound look like he self-inflicted. Mr. Gray is the only survivor and he shoots Jack and Babette, who arrived at the scene.

Jack has overcome his fear of death through this exchange and he and Babette take Mr. Gray to a hospital run by atheistic German nuns. The irony is too much to bear, and it brings Babette and Jack back together.

The final scene takes place in the A&P supermarket, where they run into Murray and briefly, seemingly happily, discuss the previous year. The credits start rolling as they approach the cash register and everyone starts dancing.

White noise trailer

You can watch the trailer for White Noise below:

youtube video

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