When Neil and Eady are staring at the skyline from above, the city lights are but a nondescript mass of colours, suspended against a sky that is nothing more than a layer of artifice, something telegraphed so clearly in its isolating effect upon the two. In that moment, they are the only two people on the planet. It seems almost too perfect because it is. It’s a fantasy Neil orchestrates to lie to himself, to tell him that he’s more than what he does. Simply put, the artificiality exists because the promise of escape isn’t real- at least, in any sense that matters.
In the film’s final moments, there are once again lights suspended against a tapestry of pitch blackness; this time, though, they are distinct and separate. They flicker uniformly, guiding flows of information and capital as though there weren’t a dying man lying underneath them. Business as usual. Neil and Vincent don’t exist in a void, unlike Neil and Eady; their worlds have come crashing down upon them precisely because of the attempts to lie to themselves- lying about there being a chance that they wouldn’t, at the slightest sign of an opening, let go of a normal life and run to each other to do the only thing they know how to do. In that moment, they aren’t the only two people on the planet. Their minds are already drifting towards separate directions before their hands meet- one towards the ethereal and one towards the material. Yet, in that moment, unlike with Neil and Eady, there exists something real, in spite of their carefully-constructed worlds practically begging them to return in the form of the whirr of jet engines. In that moment, Neil is truly alone in his journey towards an afterlife, but he isn’t lonely because the only person he’s told the truth- that is, that he’d rather die than go back to prison-is standing right there, anchoring him to some semblance of reality as his soul drifts off into another tapestry of pitch blackness.
It feels reductive to describe this as a love story, but it’s difficult to see anything else in a tale of two men walking amongst the dead, fixated on each other because they make each other feel alive.