The final scene of The Conversation is a scene of purely over-powering paranoia. After Harry’s big realization about what the true motives of the couple were, he succumbs to an extreme revelation. He knew the truth. At this point he heads home and starts playing his sax again. The camera pans back and forth. This is the setup for one last twist. Harry plays his instrument and tries to fit in with another place. I find this to be symbolic, but it isn’t even close to the meat of the scene. While Harry is playing, the phone rings, suddenly he’s pulled back into the real world. He gets up to answer it, but no one is there. He sits back down, and starts playing again. The camera pans back to that side of the room. But then the phone rings again. He gets up again and this time Martin is on the line. He tells Harry that everyone knows that he knows the truth and who murdered who etc. Because of this, they’ll continue listening to Harry. They play a recording of him playing saxophone from moments earlier. At this point we pan the room, and Harry bursts into a fit of paranoia. He tears his house apart looking for contraptions or bugs that they are using to spy on him. At this point in the film we know he hates being spied on (although he’s pretty much completely susceptible to it). He tears up the floor and walls looking for the bug. He smashes everything, even his statue of Jesus. This proves his total commitment to his cause, altered incredibly by paranoia. He’s so paranoid and scared that he doesn’t even remember that we learned how this bugging trick was done earlier in the movie. Obviously Harry isn’t exactly stable at this point so he rips up his house until it’s no longer recognizable. This represents his cutting off of ties to the real world. Then he goes back to playing the sax, giving Martin something to listen to.
BY FRIEDMAN, SAMUEL