Birds of Paradise is an American drama film on Amazon Prime about two dancers at an elite ballet academy in Paris who find their friendship tested when they compete for a contract to join the Paris Opera Ballet.
Birds of Paradise opens with two girls Kate Sanders (Diana Silvers) and Marine Durand (Kristine Froseth) both hailing from different backgrounds. On the first day, they get into a fistfight due to Kate’s insensitive comment about Marine’s twin brother’s (Ollie) suicide.
Kate comes from a modest background and is there on scholarship (set up by the Durand family in Ollie’s name), having won every dance competition back home in America.
Marine, on the other hand, is the wealthy daughter of the American ambassador to France and takes everything for granted, and despises Kate from the beginning.
The two soon find each other pushed together as roommates and are forced to reconcile. They move back and forth from being close confidantes to bitter rivals as one question remains—who will win the grand prize?
Birds of Paradise ending explained in detail:
What happened to Ollie?
Marine opens up about how Ollie took his own life after their mother caught her and Ollie alone in a room and thought the twins were having sex. Ollie was so ashamed that he fell into using drugs and eventually jumped off a bridge.
Before his death, Ollie and Marine were inseparable and also had a pact to become the greatest ballet dancers together. The day Ollie took his life, he tried to call her, but Marine didn’t pick up his call. In the voice message he left her, Ollie hinted that she had forgotten about their pact.
This weighs down heavily on Marine as she continues to grieve his death and still carries that guilt plus her overbearing parents don’t make it easier.
Enemies to best friends to enemies
After their initial tiff, Kate and Marine become close confidants who even make a pact similar to Marine and Ollie’s (to win the prize together or not at all).
Marine does everything she can to help Kate, sometimes even performing mediocrely on purpose so Kate stands higher in the rankings. Kate even starts using performance-enhancing drugs.
After reaching close to the top Kate calls off the pact and is angered when Marine is paired with Felipe (Daniel Camargo), who is the best male dancer in the academy and a ‘ticket to the prize’. Calling off of the pact hurts Marine deeply.
Kate later finds out that her scholarship is revoked by Marine’s parents and her dad had to sell their house to keep paying for the academy. In retaliation, Kate tells everyone at the academy that Marine slept with her twin brother, which resulted in him dying by suicide.
Who wins the grand prize?
Marine, initially paired with Felipe, decides to perform alone which results in Kate being paired with Felipe. Kate’s performance is flawless and gets her a standing ovation, while Marine’s is experimental and provocative, leaving the audience speechless.
In the end, Marine announces that she doesn’t want the prize, leaving Kate to receive the contract.
This affects Kate so strongly that even after receiving the contract, she can’t stop thinking about who between the two was a better dancer — something the judge refuses to tell her.
3 years later, Kate is revealed to now be a famous ballet dancer. Marine now appears free and is following her passion for experimental dance at an underground club.
Kate finally apologizes to Marine for how she treated her, and the film comes to a close with Marine overseeing a surreal dance performance at Jungle, which is inspired by a story Kate told her when they first met.
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