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‘Luce’ Ending Explained: Did Luce Set Fireworks?

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Luce is a 2019 American social thriller drama movie. Since it is a thriller movie, the film’s story must always be seen with tension, as there will always be some clues regarding the antagonist of the movie. It’s quite natural if we leave out some of the stories since there is a lot to keep in mind, and thus, it may affect your movie experience and, therefore, may not fully understand what happened at the ending of the movie. In this article, we will be looking at Luce Ending Explained. As the title suggests, we will be looking at the full explanation of the movie’s ending, and hence no part of this article will be spoiler-free.

Directed, co-produced, and co-written by Julius Onah, the film is based on the same name play that J.C. Lee wrote. The movie tells us the story of a couple who is forced to reconsider their marriage by their family after the alarming essay written by their adopted son. The movie was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2019, and later in cinemas on August 2, 2019. And since then, the movie has been viewed by many people, and many may have doubts regarding What happened at the end of Luce? In this article, we will be covering the same.

the film LUCE is to be seen with tension, as there will always be some clues regarding the antagonist of the movie

Plot of Luce

Luce Edgar is the adopted son of Peter and Amy Edgar. He was born in a war-torn Eritrea and was then adopted in the United States. Luce is an all-star high school athlete and an accomplished public speaker who is adored by other school students and his new parents. But everything is not right with Luce as he has to face some challenges from his history teacher, Harriet Wilson.

Harriet has recently kicked out Luce’s friend DeShaun from the running team after finding marijuana in his locker. Not only that, she even called the police to take DeShaun. In the movie, Harriet calls Amy, Luce’s stepmother, to the school and shows her Luce’s assignment in which he had to write from the perspective of a historical figure.

'Luce' Ending Explained

Luce Edgar was born in a war-torn Eritrea and was then adopted in the United States as the adopted son of Peter and Amy Edgar.

To that, Luce chose Frantz Fanon and said that colonialism could be overcome through violence in his assignment. Harriet becomes concerned since she knows that Luce was adopted and was also a child soldier before coming to America. According to her, someone with a background like that and writing things like that can cause trouble in the future.

Additionally, Harriet also informs Amy that she found an illegal and dangerous fireworks bag when she went through Luce’s locker. Amy, after getting back from home, tells Peter about what happened in the school. Even though both of them were unsettled, they decided not to talk about anything to Luce, but he soon found out the hidden paper and fireworks.

The next day, Luce talks about this to Harriet and acknowledges that his wording was based on the assignment as the assignment asked him to speak from the perspective of that particular person, disavowing any genuine belief in violence. When he explains the fireworks, Harriet interprets it as a threat, and she notifies Peter.

Luce is an all-star high school athlete and an accomplished public speaker who is adored by other school students and his new parents.

Peter and Amy had to confront Luce, only to know that the track team members share lockers and the fireworks are not his. While Peter thinks Luce is lying, Amy is not sure what to believe. Luce had also mentioned to his adopted parents that Harriet is not a good teacher as she doesn’t handle the situation very well. One example he said was how she took his classmate Stephanie’s case.

Meanwhile, we are shown Harriet and her sister Rosemary, who has an unspecified mental illness, and how hard she is struggling to look after her sister alone with no help. He taker her sister back to the doctor as she was unable to look after her sister alone. Later in the movie, we see Luce promising DeShaun that he will make things right for him.

Meanwhile, Amy met Stephanie at a coffee shop and happened to have a chat. Stephanie says that she used to date Luce, which was a surprise to Amy as she didn’t know about it. Stephaine said that it was some time ago, and they broke up later. Then Stephanie opens up more and tells Amy more about the sexual assault that she faced at the party by many other boys.

She says that Luce didn’t have any involvement in it and also said that it was him that stopped them and comforted her after she awoke. Later, She tells about meeting his mother to Luce. The next day Rosemary arrives at the school to look for Harriet while having a breakdown. She asks if Harriet is embarrassed by her and begins to strip herself in front of everyone in the school until she is tasered and apprehended by police.

Even after being the star in his school, everything wasn’t on the right path with Luce as he had to face some challenges from his history teacher, Harriet Wilson.

Luce shows a video of the incident to Amy and Peter, which disturbed them. That night Harriet finds her home gets vandalized that night, and shortly after that, Stephanie arrives at Harriet’s home to tell that Luce sexually assaulted her. Harriet soon informs Principal Dan Towson, and soon a meeting is organized with them, Luce, and his parents, with Stephanie waiting in another room.

At the meeting, Harriet points strong accusations against Luce, to which he disproves all of them. Harriet’s harsh questions make Amy and Peter take their son’s side, and Amy even lies that she only spoke to Harriet through the phone and claims that she didn’t know anything about the fireworks. Add to that, Stephanie left’s from the place, making her alone to her side, only left with the option to repeat her accusation to Towson.

Towson believes Amy’s claims, and the meeting concludes with Luce having no harm, whereas Harriet is still trying to argue her side. At night, a firework explosion inside Harriet’s desk causes a fire, which makes principal Towson put Harriet on leave while the investigation is happening since she falls under the shadow of heavy suspicion against her.

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Amy soon learns that after the incident in the school, the fireworks in the home are not seen anymore, and after letting this known to Peter, Luce was involved in the incident that happened in the school. Even though both of them have huge doubts about their son, Amy still insisted to Peter that they would stand up for their son and not defend Harriet.

Later in the movie, Luce visits Harriet with a bunch of flowers since he feels guilty of making her lose her job. He confronts Harriet about ruining DeShaun’s athletic career and even putting Luce on a pedestal, along with saying that she stereotyped them. To this, she replies that America stereotyped them, and all she did was to protect them.

Harriet calls Amy, Luce’s stepmother, to the school and shows her Luce’s assignment, which promoted violence in his assignment.

Continuing her reply, she accuses Luce of being hypocritical by using other black students to run his errands so that he wouldn’t be caught. To this, Luce says that that is not the same thing, not denying the facts he is accused of. After that, Harriet orders him out of her house.

Amy follows Luce to a hideout where he has sex with Stephanie, who sees Amy outside the window but does not react. When Amy returns home to where she had hidden the fireworks, Luce arrives and reconciles with her. Later, Luce gives a speech at school, thanking Amy and Peter for raising him and saying how lucky he feels to be an American, with the chance to start over and tell his own story. Afterward, Luce goes on a jog, during which his face contorts with rage.

Luce Ending Explained

Looking at the plot of the movie lefts most of us confused. The viewers are all left with many questions, including Who left fireworks in Luce’s locker? Who lit fireworks in Harriet’s classroom? And which character lied to whom and why? To answer all of these questions, we must unravel some of the film’s important layers.

'Luce' Ending Explained

Harriet becomes concerned since she knows that Luce was adopted and was a child soldier before coming to America. To her, him promoting violence with this background can cause trouble in the future.

The movie, on the surface and sub-textually, deals with how stereotyping leads to unsubstantiated, speculative assumptions. The sustained assumptions in the movie have played an important role in the movie. Various characters have landed in many baseless assumptions based on sex, race, and status stereotypes. Sometimes they can’t even understand each other, to which they were cole for quite some time.

The movie gives us a strong meaning that context forms the basis of all our judgments. The film insinuates the viewer, thus making them confused about the context of the movie since we never truly know who is who in reality. Many of the stereotypes in the movie are based on each character’s actions. One such example is how Luce, the title character, is shown in the film.

Luce, in his assignment, chose Frantz Fanon and said that colonialism could be overcome through violence in his assignment.

Even though he is an all-star track athlete, successful debater, and skilled public speaker, thus standing out from other African-American students, he was still made to look like a dangerous person to both the viewer as well as many of the other characters in the movie. For that, Luce is shown smoking weed, having relationships, attending parties, lies, breaking the rules, and being manipulative, just like other teenagers.

But the movie keeps us reminded of his past from the war-torn African country and what he wrote in his paper, supporting Frantz Fanon, a controversial African philosopher, as he advocated for political action through violence. In this way, the movie was successful in changing the viewers, as well as the character’s perspective to a particular person by taking a different way of narration, making the viewer stereotype in order to pick sides with the film’s characters, thus showing us that how implicit bias and stereotyping unintentionally leads to conclusions and assumptions that may not always be true and sometimes may lack resolution.

We still don’t know the real name of Luce or the extent of his background, or what he wrote in his essay. We didn’t even get the chance to hear his entire speech. We are left to Judge Luce with what the movie presents to viewers on the film, thus clearly mentioning that we can’t judge someone on the surface level based on limited information since it will never help complete the image. Regarding the ending of Luce movie, all we see is LUce running with none with him and no one around him.

Peter and Amy had to confront Luce, only to know that the track team members shared lockers and the fireworks were not his.

Luce, in the movie, is told to be a great writer and skilled at debating and public speaking. Throughout the film, Luce has never seen using violence to further his ends but has only used words and images to may or may not manipulate others. The examples are shown in the movie as he shows a video of Harriet’s sister and a video of his friends smoking for the imagery and tells elaborate stories, and conjures successful, apologetic excuses for the words. Maybe the principle is right; Luce’s paper may be indeed above Harriet’s mind.

As we mentioned before, the stereotypes are not limited to LUce, as all characters in the movie are not simply good nor bad. By closely examining the film, we can clearly see how every character in the movie is the image of the real world. Harriet, in the movie, is also a victim of this stereotype. She stereotypes Luce as a token black student to help African Americans overcome stereotypes, provoking her claim that she was trying to protect her.

But that doesn’t mean she was a pure saint, as she encouraged Luce while at the same time punishing DeShaun. And even after both smoking weed, she only searched DeShaun and thus kicked him out of the school. She was not always good to Luce, as despite having good academic accomplishments, Harriet believes she has reasonable suspicion to search Luce’s locker after knowing about his background as well as what he wrote in his paper.

Harriett has told one thing that the movie tries to tell while she lectures on the function of language codes for cultural communities as communication is the best way to know more about the person and to know if he or she is a good or a bad character simply bad or good. Ironically, she struggles to find the right words and correct tone when speaking to other parents, including Luce, the principal, and even to other students like DeShaun, Luce, and Stephanie, showing her that she is not great in communication with others.

'Luce' Ending Explained

Luce mentions to his parents that Harriet is not a good teacher as she doesn’t handle the situation very well.

As for what Luce thinks about DeShaun, he believes that an athletic scholarship is the only way DeShaun can make his way to college. And seeing the actions of Harriet makes Luce believe that she was racially motivated. Regarding Stephanie, we may believe her as an innocent, trustworthy, and feeble Asian student. But that may not be what she may actually be, as there is a high chance that it could be Stephanie who could have performed the most violent actions against Harriet in the movie.

This seems true as she left the meeting instead of waiting for her call and have lit the fireworks. Some theories say that she could be the one who has written the expletives on Harriet’s window. Another big question that many may have is was Stephanie sexually assaulted in Luce. In the movie, we saw her agreeing and disagreeing with the rumors regarding her being sexually harassed by some boys, especially Luce.

She lied to both Harriet and Luce’s mother regarding the same. This saws the seed for many rumors. The strongest among them was Luce’s actions in the movie might not be actually done by him, but was planned by Stephanie, thus making her the mastermind and primary instigator behind the film’s malicious actions, contrary to the belief that Luce was manipulating her. The reason is that she has also faced various types of stereotyping and tokenization since she is a female as well as a minority from the Asian-American community.

What we do know is that she had told the truth to one between Amy and Harriet. The reason because we may think Luce is pictured as the one who did the violence is because of the comment believe that women commit fewer violent crimes than men. Throughout the movie, we are always met by the question of the people we believe are in reality like that always?

All these instances again reinforce the theme of the film: Context matters. We cannot simply apply the holding of one case to another without knowing all the facts. Even though we believe we know everything, we may only know something, or even everything we know could be wrong. The movie strongly tries to prove that we judge others based on limited information and assume.

Stephanie opens up and tells Amy about the sexual assault that she faced at the party, and it was Luce who saved her from the others.

Since we never saw an actual ending to the movie, all we could do is to rely on to assumptions other than anything. And since the movie has proved that we cannot judge a person just by looking at some random instances, we are left with confusion regarding Luce Ending and left keep asking what happened at the end of Luce.

Luce may be telling the truth or not, he may have sincerely felt bad for Harriet and brought her flowers to apologize, and he may have never done anything bad to Stephanie, or he was lying all the time and was doing bad to her or maybe, what happened between them was consensual. Nevertheless, the point of Luce was never to let the viewers arrive at an accurate conclusion but to make us aware of why he or she forms judgments about others with very little information.

Cast of Luce

After the huge plot and ending explained in the movie, let us now look at the cast of the movie. The movie stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce Edgar, the title character of the movie. Octavia Spencer appears as Harriet Wilson, the teacher Luce has his clashes with. Naomi Watts is Amy Edgar, Luce’s adopted mother.

'Luce' Ending Explained

The movie stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce Edgar, the title character of the movie.

Tim Roth plays Peter Edgar, Luce’s adopted father. Brian Bradley as DeShaun Meeks, Luce’s friend. Andrea Bang as Stephanie Kim, the girl with which the sexual allegations were charged. Norbert Leo Butz as Dan Towson, Marsha Stephanie Blake as Rosemary Wilson, Noah Gaynor as Kenny Orlicki, Omar Brunson as Corey Johnson, and Christopher Mann as Coach Reeves

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