Roads Not Taken

Leo lies in bed seemingly unaware that the phone is ringing and the doorbell is buzzing. His daughter, Molly, soon arrives and questions Leo as to why he did not answer the phone or the door. Leo mutters to himself as his caretaker, Xenia, begins to vacuum. Due to his dementia, Leo struggles to stay focused on getting ready for his medical appointments. He and Molly eventually make it out of the apartment and into a taxi. They head to the dentist, where Leo fails to comply with the dentist’s instructions and urinates himself. After changing his clothes, Molly gets her father into another taxi only for Leo to get confused and stumble out the passenger door, hitting his head. The taxi driver calls an ambulance and Leo is taken to the emergency room. Molly’s mother, Rita, arrives and chastises her ex-husband for his behavior. Molly gets into a disagreement with Rita and Leo’s attending doctor while Leo fixates on his dead dog, Néstor.

Once discharged, Molly takes Leo to Costco, where he disappears as she takes an important phone call from her boss. She finds a sobbing Leo tightly clutching a dog he claims is Néstor. A woman then calls security, accusing Leo of trying to steal her dog. The woman makes racially charged insults towards Leo as he is tackled to the ground by security. The guards let Leo go after Molly explains his medical condition. She takes Leo to the optometrist, where he again fails to properly follow instructions. Outside, Molly receives a call from her boss stating that her project has been given to someone else. She tells her father that she cannot go on pretending anymore. Later that night, Leo walks out of his apartment and roams the streets barefoot as Molly frantically searches for him. He is eventually rescued by two taxi drivers.

Leo’s wife, Dolores, pleads with him to get out of bed and get ready. In the kitchen, Leo finds Dolores preparing a bag filled with flower arrangements before she walks out the door and drives off in their truck. Leo chases after her. In the car, Leo bickers with Dolores over what road to take, leading him to exit the vehicle in a state of delirium. Dolores drives off and leaves Leo on the desert road. He hitchhikes his way into town on the back of a truck carrying maize.

That night, Leo comes across the townsfolk celebrating the Day of the Dead at the local cemetery. Dolores guides him to the grave of their deceased son, Néstor, where Leo breaks down and blames himself their son’s death. Dolores and Leo tearfully embrace as they reflect on their sadness and desire to have their son back.

Leo sits by the sea at a tavern run by his friend Mikael. Leo meets and makes conversation with a German tourist, Anni, who reminds Leo of his daughter back home. They discuss Leo’s unfinished novel about a man who must make the difficult choice between returning home, or continuing on his journey in exile. Throughout the day, a frenzied Leo seeks out Anni’s opinion on his work, much to the annoyance of Anni’s friends. Anni asks Leo if he’s truly comfortable with the idea that he gave up his family in order to write, which Leo cannot bring himself to answer.

That night, Anni and her friends board a party cruise that Leo secretly follows with his rowboat into the open sea. The cruise leaves him behind and Leo tires himself out attempting to catch up. The next morning, a group of fishermen find Leo dead in his rowboat and search his body for identification.

Leo is delivered to Molly by the police and takes him back to his apartment. He begins to recount the stories he believes are running parallel to his own life, including his marriage in Mexico as a young man and his unexpected death in Greece. Molly tells him he was once married to a woman named Dolores before he emigrated to the United States and that he had tried to escape familial responsibility by traveling to Greece when Molly was born, but came back after realizing his mistake. Molly sits by his bed and promises to stay by his side; meanwhile, a parallel version of Molly packs her things and walks out of Leo’s apartment.