Saltburn Ending Explained: Oliver Was a Monster

Saltburn is like a gothic love story. There is a lot of intrigue, sex, and of course there is murder. The movie is filled with many twists and turns, and it plays well with the British narrative. Barry Keoghan plays Tom Ripley, who is a queerer and a hornier.

Just like Promising Young Woman, Saltburn also ends with an open interpretation with an ending that has many answers and more questions.

Remember, it is a psychosexual plot with disturbing scenes and a villain who is the best of the best this year. In this article, we will take a look at the ending of Saltburn and how Oliver’s master plan was laid down.

Remembering the Plot

The plot of the movie focuses on Oliver Quick, played by Barry Keoghan. He is studying at Oxford, comes from a low economy, and has no friends.

He slowly becomes frustrated with fellow student Felix Catton, played by Jacob Elordi, who is popular and posh, after getting friendly and learning about Oliver’s dead alcoholic father and his fixed thought of getting back to his addicted mother.

Saltburn
Saltburn (Credits: Warner Bros. Pictures)

He invites his new friend to his family’s lavish estate to spend the summer. Very quickly, Felix’s mother, Elsbeth, played by Rosamund Pike, and sister, Venetia, played by Alison Oliver, become fascinated with Oliver and his depressed life.

On the other hand, his cousin Farleigh, played by Archie Madekwe, is not completely sure of Oliver and is waiting for Felix to drop him off as Felix did with his last friend. But the kids get along well.

Things change when Felix takes Oliver to visit his addicted mother, and that’s where the truth comes out. The dead father is alive and living a normal life with his non-addict wife in a cozy suburban home.

What happens at the end of the movie?

Felix gets angry and stops talking to Oliver. Things become worse at a themed party where Oliver tries to declare his obsession turned live for Felix.

The very next morning, Felix is found dead, and his family is broken. Oliver has manipulated Elsbeth to a point where she trusts him more than his own family and asks him to stay and behave like nothing has happened.

Farleigh and Venetia suspect the truth, and soon, Farleigh is kicked out of the house as he is trying to sell their family’s heirloom. Venetia is guilty of it and kills herself.

Saltburn
Saltburn (Credits: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Elsbeth’s husband, Sir James, played. Y Richard E. Grant asks Oliver to leave the estate. Now, 15 years later, around COVID, Oliver discovers that Sir James has passed away because of an illness.

He so happens to run into Elsbeth, who asks her to come back into the estate before falling ill, but before this, she has already signed everything to Oliver.

Oliver’s master plan is revealed; it was he who planned everything from the start, from Felix’s death to Farleigh’s expulsion to Venetia’s death. He even planned the first bike accident when the two of them met for the first time. The movie ends with Oliver dancing naked around the estate.

What does the ending mean?

Oliver’s confession makes the movie much more than the conventional psychosexual thriller or romance. It makes the movie Oliver’s perfect plan and sheer cruelty are not completely backed by the movie.

The movie looks very much like Parasite, but it has a British blend to it. A young man fakes his way into a rich family by exaggerating the lies about himself and his family, and another man offers him charity by believing all the lies.

Saltburn
Saltburn (Credits: Warner Bros. Pictures)

By making Oliver the murderer, the movie shies away from the eat-the-rich theory that it was trying to be from the first scene. It still was playing with the same theory.

The rich people were right from the start not to trust him; he was a total monster, and he had a desire for rich houses and luxuries, so he meticulously killed them. Still, the end scene where Oliver is dancing is very entertaining.

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