The Tearsmith (2024) Plot and Ending Explained

The Tearsmith Ending Explained
"The Tearsmith" Ending Explained

“The Tearsmith” (translated from “Fabbricante di lacrime”) is an Italian teen fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Erin Doom. Newly launched on Netflix, this movie is directed by Alessandro Genovesi and features Caterina Ferioli as Nica and Italian singer Biondo as Rigel.

Plot Summary

The story follows a young girl named Nica, who ends up in Sunnycreek Orphanage after her parents die in a car crash. There she meets Rigel, a mean young boy and favourite of the headmistress of the orphanage who seems to dislike her. Things take a turn when, a few years later, the two get adopted by an older couple and realise their feelings for each other, while battling to come to terms with their trauma caused by Sunnycreek’s headmistress Miss Margaret. 

Here’s the detailed plot along with the ending of this intense teen drama movie on Netflix

How does Nica end up in Sunnycreek Orphanage?

The opening scene where Nica's parents die in a car crash
The opening scene where Nica’s parents die in a car crash

The movie starts with Nica and her family driving somewhere. Nica notices a wolf and comments on how scary they are; however, her mother tells her that wolves are only made to look bad in fairytales. Nica’s father looks to the side to see the wolf and misses the incoming truck due to the rain and slightly cloudy weather. Their car crashes with the truck, and her parents die, consequently making her an orphan.

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Nica arrives at Sunnycreek Orphanage and meets Ms.Margaret
Nica arrives at Sunnycreek Orphanage and meets Ms.Margaret

She is taken to Sunnycreek Orphanage, also known as the “Grave,”  as narrated by Nica. The day she arrives, Ms. Margaret (Sabrina Paravicini) strictly tells her the rules of the orphanage: order, respect, and obedience. She ruthlessly proceeds to ask Rigel to take Nica’s mother’s butterfly necklace and throw it. She cries, but it’s of no use in front of the heartless Ms. Margaret. Nica befriends a fellow white-haired orphan named Adeline (Eco Andriolo), and the pair become best friends. 

How did Rigel get adopted alongside Nica?

Rigel got adopted alongside Nica

Fast forward a few years, and the 17-year-old Nica is finally getting adopted by a couple, Anna and Norman Milligan. She entrusts her pet rat to Adeline, and the friends bid farewell to each other. As Nica’s biggest dream was to have a family, the day was a special one for her. As the three are on their way out, Anna and Normal hear Rigel play the piano. They are moved by his aura and skill with the keys and, thus, decide to take him home along with Nica. Ms. Margaret tries to reason with them about how Rigel is better off at the orphanage, but the Milligans are adamant about taking him.

How do Nica and Rigel adjust to their new lives?

During dinner Nica tells Anna that she and Rigel are like brother and sister, Rigel then keep his hand on Nica's thighs
During dinner Nica tells Anna that she and Rigel are like brother and sister, Rigel then keep his hand on Nica’s thighs

Nica is not thrilled to have Rigel live with the Milligans and her due to their rough past in the orphanage. In the Milligans’ house, they get to know about Alan, their son, who died a few months earlier. Nica tells Rigel that she wants things to work out with Anna and Norman, and Rigel responds by telling her to stay away from him for that to happen. The family has dinner at night together when Rigel touches Nica’s thighs. Nica gets up as tension arises between the two. In this scene, it is evident that there’s something more between the two. That night, Nica recounts her nights at Sunnycreek when she would cry after getting punishments so severe that they would leave wounds on her hands.

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Rigel gets into a fight with Phelps who makes an inappropriate remark on Nica
Rigel gets into a fight with Phelps who makes an inappropriate remark on Nica

On the first day of school, Nica befriends Billie (Nicky Passarella) and her best friend Miki (Sveva Romana Candelletta). Rigel, on the other hand, gets into a fight right after the bell rings when a student named Phelps makes inappropriate comments towards Nica. Both hide the incident from their new parents when they get home. Later that night, Nica and Rigel get into a heated conversation. Lionel, a good-looking boy from their school, sparks a conversation with Nica.

Does Nica forget her past?

The Milligans take Nica and Rigel shopping. Nica has an anxiety attack and faints when wearing a belt, which reminds her of her traumatic history of being severely punished by Ms. Margaret. Nica and Anna get close after a heartfelt conversation.

Who gives flowers to Nica on Garden Day?

Billie receives White rose while Nica finds Black rose in her locker
Billie receives White rose while Nica finds Black rose in her locker

Garden Day is the day when anyone can leave a flower for anyone in their locker. Miki receives a lot of roses on Garden Day, while Billie receives a white rose. Nica is shocked to see a black rose in her locker. Nica knows it was Rigel and confronts him, consequently coming close to him. Right after, Lionel comes to visit Nica and invites her to get ice cream.

After Nica comes back home, Rigel and she have an argument.

Why did Rigel beat up Lionel?

Rigel and Nica romantic scene from movie 'The Tearsmith'
Rigel and Nica romantic scene from movie ‘The Tearsmith’

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Nica receives a video of a bloodied Lionel telling her that Rigel beat him up. Rigel himself comes back home, beaten and feverish. We can assume he does that out of jealousy. Worried, Nica takes care of Rigel while the Milligans were stuck in traffic while it was raining. Rigel requests that Nica stay with him, and the two come even closer. In some romantic scenes, we get flashbacks of their past at the orphanage, revealing that Rigel always had Nica’s back.

What happens between Miki and Billie?

Nica catches Miki kissing Billie
Nica catches Miki kissing Billie

On a hangout at Miki’s house, Billie falls asleep. Nica catches Miki kissing Billie and realises that she’s the one who’s been giving flowers to Billie every year on Garden Day.

Rigel’s birthday

Alan's girlfriend Asia creates a scene on Rigel's birthday
Alan’s girlfriend Asia creates a scene on Rigel’s birthday

On Rigel’s birthday, Alan’s girlfriend, Asia, makes a scene claiming that the Milligans are replacing Alan with Nica and Rigel. Adaline visits, much to Nica’s joy, and tells her about the boy from the orphanage who wanted to sue Ms. Margaret for her crimes.
She advises Rigel to come clean about his feelings for Nica.

At night, Nica asks Rigel what he wants as a birthday present, and the two share a romantic moment. However, the moment is ruined as an obsessive Lionel comes knocking at their door and accuses Nica of having a relationship with her soon-to-be brother. 

When Nica comes back into the house, Rigel is seen as conflicted. On one hand, he wants to be with her, but he knows he’s not good for her, so in spite of wanting to be with her, he pushes her away.

“The Tearsmith” Ending Explained

Before the school dance, Miki reveals to Billie that she is the one giving her white roses every year and professes her love. Billie becomes mad and goes out. She drinks a lot at the party. 

Rigel decides to leave the house but is unable to do so, so he goes to see Nica at the school dance.

Lionel, finding Nica alone, grabs the opportunity and apologises. The two dance together and have a fun time. Lionel takes Nica to an empty room and forcefully tries to kiss her when Rigel enters, stops him, and beats him up. Then they both profess their love for each other and finally share a kiss. 

Lionel chases Rigel and Nica and threatens them to tell everyone about their relationship
Lionel chases Rigel and Nica and threatens them to tell everyone about their relationship

Later, Lionel stops the pair at a bridge and threatens to expose them in front of everyone. He chases them in his car, and the two of them fall into the water. 

When Nica wakes up, she’s horrified to learn that Rigel is in a coma, and the reason behind that is saving her from the fall. Ms. Margaret takes control of Rigel and blames her for his condition.

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In the end, Rigel and Nica are happy and have a daughter together
In the end, Rigel and Nica are happy and have a daughter together

Nica testifies against Ms. Margaret in court, with some hesitations and anxiety attacks in between. She confesses her love for Rigel and explicitly describes why the orphanage was called the “Grave” and how Rigel was mentally manipulated by Ms. Margaret, which is why he had to take many pills even now. This heartfelt speech made everyone in the room applaud. Nica runs back to Rigel’s hospital room and is elated to see that he has finally regained consciousness.

In the end, Nica and Rigel are happy. They have a daughter together, which makes Nica’s dream of having a family come true!