One Hour Photo intense ending explained with Robin Williams

Darcy Rafter October 8, 2021

Hit movie One Hour Photo has a twist-filled ending and many fans of the film want the ending explained.

Seymour “Sy” Parrish is the main protagonist of 2002 psychological thriller One Hour Photo. Sy is played by the late comedian and actor Robin Williams.

One Hour Photo was written and directed by Mark Romanek in 2002 and was a proven hit. With timeless success, many are revisiting the movie today.

  • MOVIES: What is the monster from No One Gets Out Alive?

One Hour Photo intense ending explained

At the end of the film, Sy goes to jail. This is because he has captured photos of his former boss’ child and gets them developed at the place he used to work.

Anachronic Chronicles: Voyages Inside/Out Asia | Trailer | BFI London Film Festival 2021

His complicated past is also revealed at the film’s conclusion. It is revealed that Sy is a former victim of child abuse. This becomes apparent when he’s speaking to Detective James Van Der Zee, as he says, “You would never take disgusting, sick, degrading pictures of your children doing these things.”

It is clear Sy’s mental state is unstable and authorities hunt and track him down. There is also a scene where Sy threatens Will and his mistress in their hotel room with a knife but instead takes pictures of them in sexually explicit positions.

However, the ending of the film explains he never actually did this, and it was a figment of his warped mind instead. This becomes clear when Sy requests his photos from Detective Van Der Zee, they are just his photos of “the little things”.

The film’s conclusion reinforces Sy’s need for love and care, and reveals he is trying to deal with a deeply troubled past. The imagined “family picture” of the Yorkins with Sy shown at the end of the film reveals that all he truly wants is to feel loved and be part of a family.

One Hour Photo plot explored

The story is based on a technician, Seymour “Sy” Parrish, who works in a one-hour photo developing lab in a shopping centre. He has regular customers and keeps duplicate photographs of some of them, accumulating many over the years.

Sy becomes particularly obsessed by the Yorkins family. However, when Sy sees evidence the husband, Will Yorkin, is being unfaithful he’s determined to do something about it.

For nine years Sy has processed the Yorkins’ pictures and made copies of his own for a giant collage at his home. This is probably because Sy’s own childhood was corrupted and he wanted to live vicariously through another family.

When Sy is fired from his job, it means he no longer has access to the Yorkins’ photos. But on the last roll of film he develops for them he slips in pictures of Will having an affair. Sy is enraged by Will’s actions and scratches his face out of all the copies he has made.

Twitter reacts to Robin Williams’ scenes

  • TRENDING: How to get Favorite Music Guru for Spotify: Your listening habits explored
Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.