41 Movie Explained (2012 Film Plot And Ending Analysis)

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Hi, this is Barry, and welcome to my site. 41 is a 2012 time-travel movie written and directed by Glenn Triggs made with a teeny tiny budget. The plot is centred on a man whose life gets turned upside down when he lands up at a motel to discover a hole in the bathroom floor that takes him back through time. A big thank you to many of my readers for recommending this movie to me. There’s a lot going on in this film, so I’ve created a timeline diagram to help with the plot-walkthrough. Here’s the plot analysis and the ending of the 2012 time-travel movie 41 explained, spoilers ahead.

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41 Movie: Full Film

Contents

Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:

Before we begin, we need to establish the rules of time travel in the movie 41. When one goes back in time, they leave their own timeline and land up in the past by 12 hours in one of many parallel universes (a.k.a timelines). This is similar to the time travel in Avengers: Endgame and Primer’s time travel logic. What does this imply? It means that Aidan can’t go back in time to change his own past; he can never save his Lauren. He can only alter and affect the past events of other timelines. What’s more? Every timeline has visits from more than one Aidan at various points in time. I know this sounds confusing, so let’s go through the events one timeline at a time.

41 Movie: Timeline Diagram

41 2012 Movie Timeline Diagram small
Click Image To Enlarge

41 Movie: Timeline-1 Explained (Prime Timeline)

This is the prime timeline where the movie begins. This is the Aidan the film follows from the beginning to the ending of the movie 41; we’ll call him Aidan-1. This does not mean that Timeline-1 is the one to initiate the time-travel mess. It is merely one of the countless timelines caught in the web of interlocked timelines. The numbering from 1 is just for convenience. It’s essential to know that there are other Aidan’s in Timeline-1 that the plot doesn’t follow. They are from other undisclosed timelines:

  • Aidan-a, who shows up and says, “Don’t go to the Heathscape motel”. He appears to be here to stop the accident but is the one who causes it in Timeline-1.
  • Aidan-b, the old manager of the motel. He appears to have gone to the past to save his grandfather but failed. Why failed? Remember, the grandmother is alone in Timeline-1.
  • There could also be others – Aidan-c, who is taken into custody, and Aidan-d, who breaks Aidan-c out and leaves a hacksaw for him. Though this is not shown in the film, it is very likely that these events happen in Timeline-1 just as they do in the other timelines.

Timeline-1’s Main Events

41 Movie Timeline 1 Explained

  • Aidan-1’s day begins well enough with his philosophy exam. 
  • Aidan-1 is met by his doppelganger (Aidan-a) warning him to not go to the Heathscape motel. 
  • Aidan-1 goes to the hospital to spend time with Grandma-1. 
  • Aidan-1 gets a call from his friend Nick-1 who asks for his brother’s middle name. Aidan-1 responds correctly and hangs up. At this point (not shown), Nick-1 is sitting with another Aidan (perhaps Aidan-a) who is claiming to be a time traveller.
  • Aidan-1 goes to the motel and meets his ex-girlfriend, Lauren-1.
  • Lauren-1 and Aidan-1 head to a diner. We hear someone drop plates. This is caused by the other Aidan (possibly Aidan-a) but is not shown on screen.
  • Aidan-1 offers Lauren-1 a lift home, and they meet with an accident. We are shown that the person on the road is another Aidan, but only for a fraction of a second (again, this is probably Aidan-a).
  • Aidan-1 is at the hospital, and Lauren-1 dies. 
  • A set of cops (cops-1) tell him to stay in the hospital as he’s being charged with murder.
  • A patient tells Aidan-1 that he needs to go to room 41 of the Heathscape motel and find a hole in the bathroom floor. This is not shown, but this man was earlier at the motel and happened to see another Aidan (Aidan-a) magically appear from the bathroom. After that, he investigates the bathroom and finally cuts his wrists and is admitted (Aidan-a makes the 911 call). We’ll call this chap Patient-X1.
  • Aidan-1 goes to the motel, finds the hole in room 41 and enters it. He travels back in time and leaves Timeline-1, and goes to Timeline-2.

Just to make a point here, Timeline-1’s people would have suddenly had their Aidan-1 disappear on them. All they’d know is he ran away from the hospital and went missing. And would be experienced by every parallel universe as long as Aidan from that universe uses room 41’s bathroom floor portal.

41 Movie: Timeline-2 Explained

41 Movie Timeline 2 Explained

  • Aidan-1 arrives in Timeline-2 12 hours earlier than he left Timeline-1.
  • Aidan-1 exits the bathroom and runs into Patient-X2, jumping on the bed. Patient-X2 has not yet met an Aidan yet.
  • Aidan-1 leaves the room to see Aidan-2 and Lauren-2 heading out. Aidan-1 follows them.
  • At the diner, Aidan-1 runs into his professor, Wertz-2, who tells him about a meeting he has with other professors to discuss philosophy.
  • Aidan-1 knocks over a bunch of plates. This event tells us that Timeline-1 also had another Aidan (Aidan-a) who broke the plates.
  • Aidan-1 runs to the spot of the accident and waves his hands desperately. Lauren-2 sees him and pulls at the steering wheel, causing the accident.
  • Aidan-1 returns to the motel in disbelief. In the room, Patient-X2 is lying with his wrists slit, and Aidan-1 calls 911. This is how we know that in Timeline-1, another Aidan (Aidan-a) saved Patient-X1.
  • Aidan-1 enters the hole in the bathroom floor and leaves Timeline-2, and goes to Timeline-3 12 hours prior.

41 Movie: Timeline-3 Explained

41 Movie Timeline 3 Explained

  • Aidan-1 hoes home, takes a nap and talks to Nick-3 and Jess-3 about his time-travel episodes. Aidan-1 asks Nick-3 to call their Aidan (Aidan-3).
  • Nick-3 calls, Aidan-3 picks up. Nick-3 asks what his brother’s middle name is and gets the correct response. This is how we know that in Timeline-1, the other Aidan (Aidan-a) was with Nick-1 when Aidan-1 receives the call at the hospital.
  • Aidan-3 goes to the site of the accident to see another Aidan (Aidan-e) waiving his hands. Aidan-1 pushes Aidan-e out of the way and punches him in the face. I find it odd that a person could smack himself from a completely different parallel universe yet feel the pain.
  • The accident occurs anyway. We don’t know why. Perhaps another Aidan (Aidan-f) came to that spot and waved as Aidan-1 was beating up Aidan-e.
  • Aidan-1 goes over to the car, takes dead Lauren-3 and heads to the motel. He tries to take her with him through the hole. Aidan-1 leaves Timeline-3 and goes to Timeline-4 12 hours prior.

41 Movie: Timeline-4 Explained

41 Movie Timeline 4 Explained

  • Aidan-1 arrives in Timeline-4, but Lauren-3’s body didn’t make it. It looks the dead don’t travel through timelines, or Lauren-3’s body was sent to a different unknown Timeline.
  • Aidan-1 goes over to his professor’s house, Wertz-4. Here he learns that he is lost among the infinite parallel universes. And neither can he hope to go back to his own Timeline-1, nor can he save his Lauren-1. Wertz-4 advises that any jump back in time should be made for the right reasons.
  • Disappointed, Aidan-1 wanders the city and is caught by cops-4.
  • At the station, Aidan-1 tries to tell the truth. He is broken out by an Aidan from another timeline, Aidan-g.
  • Finding a strategically placed hacksaw, Aidan-1 cuts himself free and makes a run for it.
  • Aidan-1 loses cops-4 and breaks into a garage to saw the remainder of the handcuff. As he picks the hacksaw, Aidan-1 realizes that another Aidan from another timeline helped him get free.
  • Knowing he needs to do the same in his following timeline, Aidan-1 takes the saw to the motel. Aidan-1 leaves Timeline-4 and goes to Timeline-5 12 hours prior.

41 Movie: Timeline-5 Explained

41 Movie Timeline 5 Explained

  • Aidan-1 triggers the alarm at the station and leaves the hacksaw under the trashcan. He does this as he knows some Aidan (Aidan-h) is held captive by the cops-5 in this timeline.

How is Patient-X a Lawyer in that diner scene?

  • Aidan-1 goes to a diner where he sees Patient-X5, who’s not lost his mind and claims to be a lawyer. Patient-X5 says that he had enrolled for the war in his youth, but something made him change his mind. While we’re not shown this Patient-X from some timeline has arrived in the past of Timeline-5 and altered a critical moment causing a cascading effect on Patient-X5’s life. Instead of going to war and losing his mind, he is now a reputed lawyer.
  • Aidan-1 gets a call from the hospital and heads over to meet Grandma-5. Looks like she’s fading and is going to die soon. She sorrowfully remembers how a golf ball caused her husband to drown in 1957 and has missed him ever since. Aidan-1 realizes that in at least one timeline, he can save his grandfather.
  • Aidan-1 heads back to the motel and leaves Timeline-5, and goes to Timeline-6 12 hours prior.

41 Movie: Timeline-6 Explained

41 Movie Timeline 6 Explained

  • Aidan-1 runs into Patient-X, who is not from Timeline-6. How do we know? This Patient-X seems to know about time travel and recognizes Aidan-1. It appears he has no recollection was what day it is. 
  • The hotel manager shows up, and Aidan-1 and Patient-X run into the bathroom. Patient-X confirms to Aidan-1 that it is possible to change a timeline if one influences the right moments.
  • Patient-X uses the hole and disappears to an unknown timeline.
  • Aidan-1 leaves Timeline-6 and goes to Timeline-7 12 hours prior.

41 Movie: Timeline-7.8.9.10.11…… Explained

Aidan-1 repeatedly uses the hole to keep going backwards in time through various timelines. He takes breaks to revisit his breakup and then the earlier unforgettable moments of his relationship with Lauren. Remember, Aidan-1 is traversing through multiple timelines here, one per each jump backwards in time.

41 Movie: Ending Explained: Timeline-N

41 Movie Timeline Ending Explained

After countless trips in and out of the hole (about 40,150 times, okay, I counted), Aidan-1 goes back to the year 1957 in Timeline-N, a day before Grandpa-N drowned and meets him. To ensure Grandpa-N doesn’t swim over to the golf ball and drown, Aidan-1 gifts him a golf ball but tells him not to open the present just yet. When Grandpa-N strikes his ball into the lake, he decides to go swim and get it. Upon feeling his pocket, he realizes Aidan-1 has gifted him a golf ball. Content, he walks away home. Grandpa-N doesn’t die and lives happily with Grandma-N. In the ending of the movie 41, we are shown that in Timeline-N, Grandpa-N is by the bedside of Grandma-N.

Who is the manager at Heathscape motel?

At the end of the movie 41, it is revealed that the old motel manager is Aidan. In this timeline (Timeline-N), Aidan-1 has was able to save his grandfather. This is an exceptional timeline. If you notice, the grandmother was all alone in all other timelines even though those timelines had an old manager Aidan. Perhaps the golf ball gift trick didn’t work in alternate timelines, or the other Aidans took a different approach to save the grandfather and failed.

Is Lauren saved, or is she dead?

dafna kronental 41 movie was lauren saved

While the 41 movie ending shows Aidan-N and Lauren-N deciding to walk instead of taking the car, this didn’t happen in many of the other timelines. In Timeline-N, old Aidan-1 meets a young Aidan-N to tell him to go to the Heathscape motel. When Aidan-N is contemplating dropping Lauren-N back home, he looks up to see the manager, old Aidan-1. Aidan-N doesn’t know why the manager called him to the motel, but he considers this to be a moment of divine intervention. Perhaps, to spend a longer time with Lauren-N, Aidan-N offers to walk her home. She agrees, and the two leave. Old Aidan-1 smiles happily as he’s understood how to influence circumstances to change the events. 

So yes, this Lauren-N has been saved, and this Aidan-N may not travel through time. But this happy ending is limited to a small set of timelines where an Aidan could make the right impact. Sadly, the remaining majority of the universes will have Lauren dying and Aidan disappearing.

What are your thoughts on the movie 41? Drop a comment below, let’s discuss!

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