Now Voyager is an American movie directed by Irving Rapper. It was released in 1942 and is based on a book by the same title, written by Olive Higgins Prouty, and published in 1941. The film follows the life of Charlotte Vale, a young woman who lives with her overprotective tyrannical mother. The film starts with how Charlotte has a nervous breakdown and is sent to a sanitarium run by Dr. Jaquith and the subsequent changes her life undergoes. Know how the Movie Now Voyager End?
The movie ends with Charlotte and Jerry agreeing to keep their relationship platonic and focus on Tina. Rather than have more, they decide to enjoy the chances of interaction that Charlotte taking care of Tina will bring up.
The ending of the movie might leave one confused and with numerous questions, but it must be kept in mind, that the movie was released in 1942. Once Charlotte comes back from her cruise, she is a changed woman. She is now confident, does not rely on her glasses, and most importantly, believes in herself and her judgment. Know how the Movie Now Voyager End? Read further.
For a movie set in the 1940s, it is surprising that the female protagonist does not end up with either of the men. In fact, she breaks up her engagement with Elliot Livingstone for this very reason, remarking on how some women just aren’t meant to marry or have children. Both she and Elliot agree that while they might appear perfect on paper, they both enjoy different things and so, agree to separate amicably.
She does not end up with Jerry either despite reuniting with him in the end. Initially, she is distressed upon hearing him say that he was going to take Tina away for he couldn’t let Charlotte sacrifice herself for his daughter. Charlotte is taken back at this and remarks on his male pride and ego, for assuming such things about her. His comments on how she should find a good man, get married and be happy further agitate her, bringing her to the conclusion that maybe they don’t actually know each other well. She also reveals how a part of her was happy that by keeping Tina close, she could have a part of Jerry, and in a way, it was like Tina was their daughter.
Why Didn’t Charlotte and Jerry End Up Together?
Though they do makeup after their argument, Charlotte and Jerry agree to keep it platonic. Charlotte wants to keep taking care of Tina, which would not be possible if she has a romantic relationship with Jerry, for Tina is a patient of the sanitarium. Such a relationship would become a conflict of interest, which would result in Tina being taken away from Charlotte, and being handed over to another nurse.
Divorce in the 1940s was hard and required proof of adultery and abandonment. Though Jerry’s wife is a neglectful and a bad parent to their youngest daughter, it would probably not have been enough to get a divorce. Moreover, it would have harmed the reputation of everyone involved. Thus, it wouldn’t have been as easy for Jerry to get divorced, marry Charlotte, and live happily together with his daughters, as would have been the case today. Know how the Movie Now Voyager End?
The Last Line Explained
When Jerry asks Charlotte if she is happy now, she remarks on how one shouldn’t ask for the moon when they have the stars. This reveals how much she finds contentment in her life even if she does not have everything she wants.
Charlotte, having lived a life entirely under the tyranny of her mother, is able to appreciate the happiness and freedom that she is now being afforded. She would rather enjoy what she has now than despair over what could be. This is why she gives such a reply to Jerry.
Main Characters and Actors
- Charlotte Vale/ Ms. Beauchamp (alias)/ Camilla (alias/ nickname): The protagonist, who was oppressed and emotionally abused by her mother. She falls in love with Jerry, a married man she meets on a cruise. Later on, she takes care of his daughter Tina who reminds her of her younger self. Played by Bette Davis.
- Jeremiah Duvaux Durrance or Jerry: An unhappily married man whose wife is a neglectful selfish parent. He falls in love with Charlotte. He loves his daughters very much. Played by Paul Henreid.
- Mrs. Windle Vale: Charlottes’s tyrannical and oppressive mother who constantly ridicules and undermines her daughter. Played by Gladys Cooper.
- (Christina) Tina Durrance: Jerry’s twelve-year-old daughter, who suffers from an inferiority complex because of her neglectful mother. Like Charlotte, Tina too was considered an unwanted child by her mother and was made aware of it. Played by Janis Wilson.
- Dr. Jaquith: The psychiatrist who sends Charlotte to his sanitarium and helps her break away from her mother and become her true confident self. He is also the one responsible for Tina’s wellbeing when she is later sent there. Played by Claude Rains.
Now Voyager is certainly a must-watch film when you consider the period it was made in and the themes it deals with. For one, it talks about the emotional trauma that children might experience due to their parents and how therapy is necessary in such cases. The film does not portray seeking help through a sanitarium in a bad light but shows how helpful it could be in reality. The portrayal of how a woman does not need to be married and give birth to children in order to be happy is also commendable.