The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Ending Explained!

Wes Anderson’s brilliance was captured in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Netflix short movie (40 minutes), and the synopsis read “A beloved Roald Dahl short story about a rich man who learns about a guru that can see without his eyes, and sets out to master this skill to cheat at gambling’.

It’s barely a three-line synopsis but we know that it’s much more than just the description mentioned.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar begins with Roald Dahl’s perspective – playing himself and portrayed by Ralph Fiennes.

He explains how Henry Sugar (since it is based on a true story, real names were changed for privacy reasons) was born into a family with immense privilege, thus making him so financially free and independent that he never had to work a day in his life to earn his bread.

However, things change and turn Henry’s life upside down when he finds a book in his library that intricately detail a doctor’s notes about a man who could see without his eyes being open.

These notes shock Henry to his core and inspire him to learn and master the technique so that he could cheat at blackjack and of course, win more money.

However, he finds himself rather unsatisfied when he does win the money since there is no thrill in actually playing cards by knowing what will be coming.

Sugar could see what was in the cards and that lacked appeal in the game, thus he is shown throwing his money out of his London apartment which causes a riot.

The police chastise him for being incredibly careless and remark that there are hospitals and orphanages that can’t afford toys for the children – and he (Henry) is careless enough to just toss money around.

This, however, inspires Henry to don multiple disguises, travel the world cheat at blackjack, and finally donate the money to the needy.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Ending Explained!

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
Los Angeles Times

Towards the end of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, we are given an explanation that Henry Sugar soon after having a pulmonary embolism which he knew was coming to him, since he had the knowledge to see inside his own body.

However, instead of making heavy weather about it, Henry chose to accept his death peacefully after 20 years of following the plan of making money and donating to the needy.

Henry Sugar ultimately made several million pounds (£644 to be exact) and left it all to the less fortunate, thus dying without a penny to his name after having lived a privileged life filled with adventures and a beloved group of loved ones and acquaintances.

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What Do We Understand from the Ending Though?

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

It’s pretty simple.

Although the magical ability to see without the use of eyes calls in tons of ‘oooh’ and ‘ahh’ from the viewers, making it the central plot – The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is more about reading between the lines. It delves into darker themes such as greed and the emptiness of wealth.

As the movie ends, the message becomes clearer and clearer that no amount of money can really substitute for a life well lived, and surrounded by good people.

We see that at the beginning of the movie, Henry has a lot of money but no friends because of his vain and self-centered, emotional-unavailability to others. However, towards the end of the movie, he died without a penny to his name – but the privilege of living a rich life surrounded by close and loved ones.