There are no words to describe ‘Wild Mountain Thyme.’ This idiosyncratic and quirky movie features a complicated love story between two neighboring farmers. However, it is hard to wrap your head around the ending, which has certainly left everyone abuzz. If you’re still unclear about it, we don’t blame you. After all, John Patrick Shanley hasn’t gone down the conventional route either. So hang on tight, because there’s a lot to uncover. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Wild Mountain Thyme Plot Synopsis
For as long as Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) has existed, she has loved her peculiar neighbor, Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan). Needless to say, he has been oblivious about her feelings all this time. One night after Rosemary’s father dies, Anthony invites the Muldoons over for dinner. Aoife Muldoon, her mother, asks Tony Reilly (Christopher Walken) if he plans to leave the farm to Anthony, who is his son.
Tony states that he isn’t sure yet, especially since Anthony hasn’t done much with his life; the “weird” son isn’t even married. Later, the father gets a letter from his nephew, Adam (Jon Hamm), who lives in New York. It turns out that Tony intends to sell the farm to the American instead. The film then explores the many conflicts that arise and how the characters aim to resolve them.
Wild Mountain Thyme Ending
Rosemary tells Anthony that she and Adam kissed while she was in New York. They then have a heated discussion about why Anthony wants her to marry his cousin instead of him. She begs Anthony to tell her his secret. In an unexpected turn of events, Anthony reveals that he thinks of himself as a honey bee. They then leave to pick Adam up from the airport. Naturally, Rosemary doesn’t know what to make of the situation.
They continue their conversation in the car, and when she crashes it, they talk about their status in the lush Irish fields. He eventually ends up calling her the most beautiful flower he has ever seen. However, Anthony laments that he has lost his mother’s ring, which is why he doesn’t deserve to marry Rosemary. After all, if he can’t even look after a ring, marriage is completely out of the question. But Rosemary is stubborn and steadfast and refuses to give Anthony up without a fight.
Rosemary reveals that she found the ring on her property, and she’s had it ever since. She gives it to Anthony, but he tells her to keep it as it was always destined to be hers. He states that the voice he heard in the field told him to “go to her.” The two lovers kiss and eventually get married. Adam also gets together with the kind stranger that he meets on his flight. In the end, all characters (whether dead or alive) are seen in a montage singing the titular song along with the now married protagonists.
The Star-Crossed Lovers
So, the ending is a lot to take in, we concur. But it definitely leaves you laughing, because let’s be real, no one saw that twist coming. At first, it may just feel as though Shanley has pulled a fast one on us. But how do Anthony’s thoughts fit into the larger picture? Here’s what we feel. Firstly, to dissect the ending, we need to go back all the way to the inception of the film. In one of the first scenes, we see a young Anthony smelling a flower in the fields.
In fact, he even ends up getting pollen on his nose. Fiona points out that he looks like a clown, and Rosemary (who is observing all this from a tree) doesn’t really like it. Rosemary goes after the sibling, but Anthony pushes her down. Following this rendezvous, Rosemary is feeling bummed out. This is when her father introduces her to the very iconic ‘Swan Lake,’ and from that moment on, the young girl feels as though the world is hers.
This oddly positive outlook leads Rosemary to never give up on Anthony, despite the fact that he doesn’t even take notice of her feelings. In retrospect, this scene foreshadows the ending and the accompanying twist. We’re going to be the first to accept that we couldn’t stop giggling at Anthony’s secret. (Can you really blame us, though? Even the stranger he meets at a pub falls down laughing from the wall).
However, it seems as though Anthony has hindered his own happiness all this time. At multiple points throughout the movie, it is made clear that Anthony wants Rosemary to be his wife. (He even practices the proposal on a donkey, which then leads to rumors all around town). But he has always lacked the courage to ask her only because he thinks that his secret is one that people won’t understand.
Anthony may be right about most people not being able to comprehend him, but this is Rosemary we’re talking about. Rosemary, who at dinner with Adam, refers to herself as the white swan. Now, she isn’t necessarily as literal about her “other persona” as Anthony is, but this does affirm that they are on the same wavelength. Bees are known for three things majorly – pollination, producing some delicious honey, and stinging people. Anthony does neither of these, which begs the question – why does he think of himself as a honey bee?
Well, we think this is Anthony’s way of coping with his reality ever since he was a child. After all, he isn’t the same as everyone else, and not fitting in is difficult for a child to process. This is evident in the scene where a wee Anthony asks mother nature why she has “made him so.” Therefore, it is safe to assume that this notion is something that Anthony has held on to just so that he can justify his idiosyncrasy to himself.
Considering that ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is a romantic comedy at the end of the day, we think that the whole point of the climax is to prove that no matter how odd someone is, they can still have a happy ending. Anthony is weird, and there’s no denying that, but Rosemary has always loved him, and she even fights hard for their relationship.
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