Exposed Movie Explained-The Floating Albino Man, The Woman In White, And Elisa
Exposed is a confounding mix of undercooked crime drama and supernatural thriller. Just who was real, and what did it all mean?
Exposed starring Keanu Reeves isn’t the best of Reeves’s films. In fact, most would say it is way far down the list. That being said, the slow-burning, meandering film leaves so many questions and loose ends it requires explanation. The 2016 film starring Reeves as a burnt-out, emotionally distant cop investigating his partner’s murder and a mysterious beautiful young woman with too many secrets and a host of spirits haunting her wants to be so much more than it ended up being. The director Gee Malik Linton wanted so little to do with the result he went to court to have his name appear as Declan Dale. It is clear Linton’s vision was mutated and so over-produced it lost every twinge of interest it might have had. Here’s everything you need to know about the confusing mish-mash of disparate storylines.
Exposed is divided between two storylines that are loosely tied together. Isabel, played by the lovely but underused Ana de Armas, is a young woman who is living with her fiance’s family while he is fighting in Iraq. She has a series of visions of an angelic man and an equally confounding woman in all white. Her brother in law to be Rocky is being pursued by a couple of gangsters, and Reeves’s character Detective Galban is also pursuing her because she appears in several photos alongside persons of interest. Midway through the movie, Isabel finds out she is pregnant with no knowledge of how she got that way. She thinks it is a miracle, but her husband’s fiance’s family does not share the same faith. Little by little, the true story of what happened to Elisa and Detective Galban comes out.
What happens at the end of Exposed?
In the final act of Exposed, Isabel remembers being raped at the beginning of the film. The sequence, which is shown to us first from her traumatized perspective at the beginning of the film, shows her simply waiting for a subway, dropping her ring, and witnessing an angel. What really happened is Galban’s partner attacked her in the subway and raped her. Isabel had been blocking out this entire event the entire movie. After the rape, Isabel stabbed Detective Cullen and pushed him onto the tracks, and walked away. Galban had been searching for Isabel the whole time but not because she was a murderer per se but because she was a victim.
Elisa claims Isabel’s father hurt her. This is what triggered all the memories. Elisa stabs her father and immediately sees the woman in white. She sits rocking in a chair while she waits for the police to come. The camera pulls back to reveal there is no Elisa, and Isabel had finally recovered her memories of her childhood abuse by her father. The final scene is of Isabel at church praying for the strength to go on.
Who are the woman in white and the albino man in the black suit?
These two figures are angels of sorts who are there to guide Isabel to the truth. Isabel has not one but two traumatizing events in her life. Through her interactions with Elisa, she realizes both of them. As a young girl, she was molested by her father, and later she finds Elisa is also being abused by him when she comes to stay with them. Supernatural elements are at play with both Elisa’s name, which is the name Isabel wanted to be called as a child and the two angelic figures.
The woman in white appears each time Isabel needs to remember something to have her attention drawn to it. She is Isabel’s patron saint of abused women and children. A symbol of maternal protectiveness and spirituality. The man is an angel who is there to collect the dead and soothe the living who witnessed it. As a whole, their entire purpose is to provide spiritual healing to Isabel.
What about Rocky, his dog, and Galban?
Despite it being billed as a police procedure vehicle for Reeves’s, he is really just a supporting cast member. The film’s original title, Daughter of God (which would have made so much more sense), and the intended focus of Linton’s film was Isabel. Somewhere in the editing room, someone or someone’s thought it was a great idea to shift the story to Reeves but not give him anymore to do. Likely, Galban, who has been unable to connect with his daughter or partner’s widow, will have to choose to return to the living instead of living with the pain of his dead wife.
Rocky is an ex-con who is rumored to have been sodomized with a broomstick by Reeves’s partner Detective Cullen. He is shot by the gangster who has been looking for him the entire film but manages to stab him to death and walks away. What happens to him after that we never see. In the end, Rocky was attempting to go straight but ended up not being so successful, and Galban discovered his partner was more than just corrupt; he was a rapist.
Rocky’s dog gets hit by a car about midway through Exposed, and although this seems oddly shoehorned into the film, the dog’s death is foreshadowing. It foreshadows both the death of Isabel’s fiance and the symbolic death of her innocence.
Exposed is a film about the lies we tell ourselves and the supernatural forces that may or may not exist who are trying to help us. Everything you need to know about the movie is in the beginning sequence. The subway feels dangerous because it was to Isabel. She drops her ring and never picked it back up because she was traumatized. She sees visions because her mind desperately tries to come to terms with the continuous childhood abuse and her recent rape. Everything that happens after that is window dressing to help make sense of what happens at the end. The film was intended as a rumination on violence against women, children, and the marginalized. It became something else. Exposed is streaming right now on VUDU for free.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.