Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dream Big! (But Know That Humanity Is Basically Doomed)

So here's the thing. I just saw TOMORROWLAND (I know, I'm way behind on movies) and it puzzled me.  The message of the film (hammered home with the delicate subtlety of a piano being repeatedly dropped on your head) is that Dreamers are our most precious resources, we must foster them and they can fix any calamity but only if we never ever stop believing in the possibilities of the future.

Yay!  Lovely message, eh?

And it would be, if the basic pretext of the entire film wasn't an assumption that human beings, as a whole, will latch onto any hint of negativity and replicate it diligently until they destroy the world with their persistent Doomsday thinking.

It was strange to me that a film whose entire purpose was to be all "Optimism, rah!" was founded on an assumption so inherently pessimistic.

Also, I gotta say it kind of bugged me that they used dystopian novels like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 as negative examples--examples of that negative Doomsday thinking--when the entire movie was set up as a dystopian story.  Seriously?

The point of dystopian novels is not to show us that we're doomed!  It's to show that we can break out of that doom if we are only aware of it, that man can rise above, even when we have boxed ourselves into a corner in our quest for perfection/safety/etc.  So why would you use dystopian stories as a symptom of the apocalypse in your heavy-handed Story of Hope?  Especially when your Story of Hope is a dystopian story!  Come on, people.  Think it through!

So while I loved the "Yay, Dreamers!" aspect and several other elements of the story, the basic contradiction of optimism/pessimism confused me like there was no tomorrow.  (See what I did there?)

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