The Mill (2023) Ending Explained: Hulu’s original Thriller film ‘The Mill’ is now streaming on Hulu. The film is a good thriller showing the Corporate culture nowadays. The film is around 100 Minutes long and here goes a recap and ending of the film.
The story of the film starts with a man named Joe waking up at an abandoned place, and he is surprised to see how he got there. There are high walls all around, and he can’t escape from there. Later on, we get to see that Joe works for a company called “Mallard.” The next day, a guard comes to the door and asks Joe to clean the room, and if he fails to maintain cleanliness, strict punishment will be given.
Next, Joe listens to an announcement. It says that Joe’s work efficiency for the company has been down for the last few months, and thus he needs to work here. The announcement also mentions that the company faces a huge loss and a decline in stocks too. The announcement further mentions that his workday will now start at 6 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. He now has to push a ‘Mill,’ and he needs to complete at least 50 rounds as a daily target. There is another twist in the tale: an employee with the lowest number of rounds will be terminated, also known as being killed.
Joe starts pushing the Mill, but it is so heavy that he can’t even move it an inch. Slowly, after pushing hard, Joe manages to cross the daily quota and completes 100 revolutions on the first day, thus getting into the safe zone on the first day. In the middle of the night, Joe hears the screams and cries of the employee who had the lowest rounds. On the second day, Joe completes around 150 revolutions and again gets saved.
The next day is more humid and hotter than the last day. Joe is feeling thirsty, but when he asks for extra water, he is not given any. On the third day, Joe completes more than 375 rounds and is awarded a pen. Here, Joe notices that a name, Alex, is engraved on the wood of the Mill. When he asks his neighbor about it, his neighbor explains that Alex was the first and last person to escape from there.
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The following day, the minimum target of 50 is increased to 375, and now Joe has to complete 375 minimum rounds to save himself. Another twist occurs: Joe is given a penalty, so he has to complete 750. Joe fails to complete the quota on the fourth day, and the announcement warns Joe that if he doesn’t meet the daily quota the next day, they will send his wife, Kate, as a coworker. On the fifth day, Joe manages to complete the target in the last minutes, and his penalty is also revoked.
Joe discovers a patch in the wall and digs it with the pen he was given as an appreciation token. After working hard for 5-6 days and continuous digging, he manages to make a hole in the wall and tries to escape through it. When he gets out, it is pitch dark, and he falls to the ground. When he opens his eyes, he finds himself back in the same place with everything the same. Soon, while talking to his neighbor, he learns that the whole program is designed on the computer, and the entire place is operated by a computer.
He devises a plan and shares it with everyone: no one will work today, and if everyone has “0” zero rounds completed for the Mill, then there will be no one at the last spot automatically. Somehow, he manages to convince everyone of his plan, and no one works for the entire day. As Joe predicted, there are no punishments given the next morning. Joe realizes that this is a loop that won’t end, and he starts verbally abusing the narrator and the announcement lady.
He receives a warning that if he continues to behave like this, he will be terminated. Joe continues to behave in the same way, and a guard comes to the room, threatening to kill him. Before the guard can do anything, Joe attacks and kills him, but soon after, he realizes it was a massive mistake, and he regrets it.
The next frame shows us a shocking revelation: Joe is in his office, and everything that happened until now was just his imagination. He is informed by the HR team that it was just an enhancement program, and none of the previous events occurred in real life. They also inform Joe that he has passed the test and is getting a promotion. Joe is shocked by this revelation and remains deeply shaken by everything that happened a few minutes ago. He goes to his new office and signs an agreement promising not to disclose the program to anyone.
Joe then calls his wife and tells her that he loves her. He asks her to put the phone on her womb so he can hear the baby’s heartbeat and then hangs up. In the final minutes of the film, we see Joe very angry, vowing to ruin the company, and the film ends.
Who Is Alex? Is he a real person?
No, Alex is not a real person. He was just a part of Joe’s mind, and he was interacting with Joe according to the programmed data. Everything that happened there is part of the program.
What happened to Mallard?
If we listen to Joe’s last words, it is clear that he intends to expose the company tonight. We also see how he talks to his wife as if it’s the last time. He knows that he will have to face consequences, and thus he bids a final goodbye to his wife and child. There are high chance that Joe will expose Mallard, and the company may shut down. However, the makers didn’t show this at the end of the film, and the movie ends with an open ending.