Sunday, March 16, 2014

The envy of less happier lands

Despite rave reviews from everyone I know, I resisted the call of The Lego Movie until one day I finally gave in. Movies about toys are not generally my thing -- and it did take me over half the movie to get into it -- but in the end I liked it. Mainly because it's partially geared toward adults, but in a way that's palatable to children. And it emphases creativity over conformity, revolution over resignation. But it managed to bring out the anti-Type A facets of my OCD nature.

I knew nothing about the film going into the theatre, but the general plot actually appealed to me: a seeming nobody in a world of automatons supposedly fulfills a prophecy for rebellion and leads the movement toward a free society where individuals actually have agency and an identity of their own choosing.

The Matrix is, after all, one of my favorite movies.

Also, the Legos had a catchy techno theme song.

In a weird way, it reminded me of The Giver, which I finally read because I've been going in and out of my "read the Newberry- and Pulitzer-winning books" phase.

It's kind of a dreary setting, but the underlying principle is the same as the Legos and Matrix: homogenous lifestyles and identities are imposed on communities in order to control them. Since the main character is a kid and is in the middle of being socialized to obey the rules in a colorless, predetermined order.

When he's twelve, he's given his future job: to receive the memories, good and bad, of all humanity. And -- surprise, surprise-- what he learns about what it meant to be human inspires him to seek out the missing links in an Ethan Frome-meets-Pleasantville-meets-1984 kind of way.

Fallaces sunt rerum species... but here's to hoping hope isn't deceitful.

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