As You Are: the movie ending, explained

As You Are

As You Are is a 2016 movie set in the 1990’s about a group of friends who are navigating their complicated and interconnected lives.

Beware, the article contains spoilers!

The friend’s group

Tom and Karen are dating and plan to go on a dinner one day to introduce their boys, Mark and Jack to each other. They connected pretty well in their first meeting and become best friends. Shortly after that, Tom and Mark moved into Karen’s home.

One day, while they were being bullied by some guys, a girl named Sarah helps them out. All three of them form a tight friendship.

Ongoing investigation and recordings in the movie

The movie isn’t just a storyline screenplay. All the scenes that are shown are actually flashbacks to complement the investigation over something unknown that had happened. Jack, Karen, Tom and Sarah are all brought in for questioning.

Most of the questions revolve around Mark and Jack’s relationship, how everyone else fits in and all. The answers to the interrogation are further explained through the flashback scenes.

Exploring life, friendship, feelings and breakups

At first, the friend group is platonic, they have fun and go out together. But soon, the dynamics start to change. Jack is visibly jealous when Mark kisses Sarah. One day, when Jack confesses that he hasn’t been kissed, Mark makes out with him ‘teach him’ how to kiss. That further complicates everything.

On the other hand, problems occur between Karen and Tom over their different upbringing styles, with Mark and Tom eventually moving out. Before that, many scenes indicated Tom to be physically abusive to Mark over petty things.

The boys get separated. Jack and Sarah start dating (but it doesn’t last long) and Mark gets involved in a shady friend’s group. However, he reaches out to Jack again and they make out. In the interrogation, Jack comments that Mark just seemed lonely.

Things move from bad to worse

Towards the end, we come across the investigator being more assertive in demanding what happened. It is revealed that sometime later, Sarah and Mark come to Jack to disclose their relationship. At that, Jack is furious and confused.

He thought they were going to be a couple and accept things as they are. Mark tells him that it’s too much pressure to be like that. Both get in a scuffle; Mark falls down and hits the back of his skull on a rock.

At the hospital, Tom lets them know that the doctor said that he’ll be okay.

Apparently, that’s not what the investigation was about…

One day, Mark comes to Jack’s house, all beaten up. They talk and get drunk. When Jack makes a move, Mark pushes him off and comments that he wishes Jack were a girl. At that, Jack goes off, puts on his mom’s lipstick and dress and seduces Mark. Mark dismisses it and gets 2 guns to go off in the woods to shoot.

And this is the point from where the movie starts.

What happens in the woods that day?

Both boys, drunk, wander in the woods at the sound of animals. They’re not close together. In the last eerie scenes of the movie, Jack is shown as pointing the gun towards the tree behind which Mark is.

Mark is seen as holding the gun too. In wide angle shot of the forest, a gunshot goes off and Jack comes out screaming help. Mark is dead, and the police thinks Jack shot him. In the last scene, Jack asks for his lawyer.

Did he really shoot Mark though?

Although its easy to come to that conclusion, but it’s not explicitly shown. It could as easily be Mark killing himself too. There have been scenes where it’s shown that his father was way too strict with him. He was also separated from a mother figure, from his best friend.

Perhaps Tom knew about Mark’s homosexuality and beat him up. Maybe it was too much for him to both hide his feelings and tolerate everything that he thought dying was better.

However, all of this is speculation. No concrete ending was shown by the director and it depends on what the audience wants to believe. Did Jack kill him because of being rejected or did Mark kill himself?

In an interview with Variety, director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte said he “…wanted to make a movie about teenagers that didn’t talk down or belittle, something that dealt with the severity of their issues the way a film about adults would.”