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'Cry Macho' Ending Explained

'Cry Macho' Ending Explained

Clint Eastwood's heartwarming neo-Western drama film follows a weary cowboy on a "kidnap to rescue" mission. But what is the true meaning behind the movie?

The legendary Clint Eastwood is back to prove that he is the king of Western.

'Cry Macho' finally hit the theaters, and it is a testament that the 91-year-old actor still has the acting and directing chops after all those years. 

'Cry Macho' is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by N. Richard Nash.

The film is produced and directed by Clint Eastwood himself, who also starred in the lead role.

'Cry Macho' follows a weary cowboy Mike Milo (Eastwood). He gets hired by his former boss to rescue his son Rafael “Rafo” Polk from Mexico.

Along the way, the old man and the young boy get confronted with gun-totting and violent adversaries. While there is no doubt at Eastwood's capability to achieve a deadly mission at any age, the true meaning of the Western film lies beyond the caprice of being a "macho."

Saddle your horse because we are now going on an emotional ride. Here is everything that happened in 'Cry Macho'.

'Cry Macho'

'Cry Macho' Synopsis and Ending Explained

Michael "Mike" Milo is a former rodeo star who fell on hard times after a severe injury. He gets forced to retire and now works as a ranch hand and trains horses in Texas.

One day, his former boss Howard Polk, visits him asking for a huge favor.

Howard asks Mike to retrieve Rafo, Howard's young son, who is in Mexico. His former boss believes that Rafo's mother abuses him, and Howard wants Mike to bring Rafo to Texas. 

Sounds like kidnapping? Mike thinks so. However, he gets forced to accept the task to honor a past promise.

When he gets there, Leta tells Mike that Rafo indulges in unlawful activities. She adds that Rafo spends his time cockfighting. 

Mike tracks down Rafo and meets his pet rooster, Macho. The old man convinces Rafo to go with him to Texas. 

Cry Macho

Rafo initially agreed but did not show up at the meeting place.

Mike tried to talk to Leta about the incident. When Leta tries to sleep with Mike, he turns down her advances, and she is offended. Leta asks Mike to leave.

Mike finds Rafo in his car and learns that Rafo is truly getting abused by his mother, Leta, and friend Aurelio. He knows the kid needs to get rescued, so he decides to finish the task and reunite Rafo with his father, Howard.

However, their car gets stolen on the road, and the police come searching for them.

They ended up in a small town named Janasco where Mike meets Marta, a widow who owns a cafe. Mike and Rafo stayed a little while in Marta's place. They became closer to Marta and her family, and eventually the whole town.

During their stay, Mike fell in love with Marta. He also grows closer to Rafo and teaches him horseriding.

Sadly, happy moments do not last long.

Aurelio comes looking for Mike and Rafo. The two decide to hit the road to escape. On their way to the border, Mike explains to Rafo his father's true intention. He gives Rafo the option to decide whether he wants to meet his father or not.

Cry Macho

'Cry Macho' Ending Explained: What Is Howard's True Intention?

Since the beginning, Rafo has always hesitated meeting his father. After the abuse he has been through, it is understandable that he would not even trust his own family.

But the good ole Mike manages to earn the boy's trust and respect.

At first, even Mike is unaware that Howard only wants Rafo back to negotiate about the investments he made in Mexico in Leta’s name. The revelation ends up in an argument between the two.

Not long after, Aurelio arrives and pushes Mike and Rafo’s car into a ditch. He points a gun at Mike and attempts to take Rafo with him.

Thankfully, Rafo's chicken, Macho, intervenes. That gives Mike the time to take the gun from Aurelio.

Mike, Rafo, and Macho steal Aurelio's car and escape. They make it to the border, where Howard waits for them. Before the two parted ways, Rafo gave Mike his pet rooster, Macho.

Cry-Macho

'Cry Macho' Ending Explained: Why Rafo Gives Macho The Chicken To Mike?

When Mike tells Rafo about Howard's true intention, the young boy felt betrayed because Mike hid the truth from him. However, the two had a heartwarming talk where Mike tells him the regrets of his life.

“This macho thing is overrated,” Mike says. Mike says that being tough has only left him old and alone.

He helps Rafo understand that being "macho" does not mean he has to do everything on his own. That is the valuable lesson that the aging cowboy imparted to the young Rafo. Mike's words of wisdom opened up the eyes and the heart of the young boy. He decides that he wants to meet his father.

Macho the rooster is a symbol of Rafo's idea of being a "macho." Rafo loved the rooster deeply, so it was surprising that he gave it to Mike before they said goodbye.

However, Rafo's action was a significant part of his character development. It was a symbol of his maturity.

After learning a valuable life lesson from Mike, he is now willing to let go of his "macho" viewpoint. 

'Cry Macho'

What Happens To Mike After The Mission? 

After uniting Rafo and Howard, Mike returns to Janasco to be with Marta. We see them dancing together in a cafe, and it looks like Mike has found his new home there. There is no reason that the two wouldn't end up together.

Marta and Mike looked graciously good together. Her granddaughters get along with Mike, and even the townspeople love him, too. Earlier in the film, the townsfolk came to Mike upon hearing his inner gift with animals. He is an expert at breaking horses and is generally good with all animals, although he explains he is not a veterinarian.

With a new job and a new love of his life, Mike will likely spend the rest of his life happy and content.

The journey that Mike and Rafo took changed their lives for the better. It's funny how the trip made them realize that the lives they wanted to live are awaiting them across the borders. Rafo is now about to start his new life in Texas after escaping Mexico, while Mike does the opposite. All these things wouldn't have happened if Mike didn't accept the mission from Howard. 

Rafo and Mike are now about to start different adventures on their own.

Although the two have parted ways, the lessons that Mike imparted on Rafo during the journey will, without a doubt, last forever. 

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