Postmodern classic?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Psychoanalyst review of Cruise/Spielberg "WOTW"

Cruise/Spielbergs 21st century remake of 'War of the Worlds' was a watchable film. As my friends and family said, Spielberg always brings great production value to a film. And Cruise, despite (or perhaps because) of his oddities, is a great actor. So, the film was entertaining.

Well, move on to discussion, there was a debate over what kind of hero he was- and of course, in vogue is the 'Everyman' archetype. A flawed guy, not a great family man, but rises to the occasion to get through safely. Is this preferable to an unrealistic hero who we should emulate? I don't know. Definitely more comforting to sympathize with other flawed people, instead of trying to live up to ideals. Not that Schwarzengger is ideal, but I digress... it's Hollywood.

However, I did stumble across a common theme in the movie- they kept repeating 'they've been here all along', 'they've waited for millions of years'. And the emergence of the genocidal aliens from the ground was stirring. I wanted to analyze why... and I quickly came up with the idea that it was a primal fear. But of what? Of ourselves... Underneath our civilization, too, lies a lurking destructive impulse, primal and base urges to exterminate and oppress those weaker than us. Don't think that was Spielberg's aim, but he used it very well. The aliens had to be inserted into the death machines, like a compelling leader offering ideology or religion to murderous masses, because alone they were inert and unused. Just like us 'moderns' living our 'modern lifestyle', so far removed from our 'savage' past that many seem to want to return to, for crazy reasons.

Don't know how compelling others think my explanation is, but it might be interesting to see. Human nature is a fickle thing, one we ignore at our peril.


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