The point? and the doctor (spoilers)


Was the doctor playing matchmaker? Was it some sort of attempt to repopulate the planet? He seemed to be rather grudging in allowing the Man with access to the woman. He was clearly affectionate toward her himself. He even wore a tie. But did he think he was too old? did his equipment not work? or did he want the best for the woman and decided that would be someone her own age who was a decent enough sort?

He seemed to be examining the Man's private bits before agreeing to take him along without a blindfold so that would seem to mean that he was looking for sex to happen for one reason or another.

and what was the overall point? The sagely and artistic doctor takes on a strapping young man to give over his secret of something that seems very rare and valuable in this time, being a woman. They must protect themselves and her from the Brute which is some sort of symbol of how terrible the world can be. Eventually the brutality of the world overcomes both youth, innocence and wisdom to destroy the woman.

so is this saying that the brutality of men will win out? But the movie doesn't end there. The Man returns to the bandits and assigns another leader seemingly at random and decides to free the dwarf. Was this just random kindness? did he see that keeping people locked up was a bad plan after what happened to the woman?

and so having committed a selfless act in letting the dwarf free he is rewarded with a woman afterall? meaning that kindness will win eventually against brutality?

maybe i'm reading too much into it, but it seems that there is some sort of food for thought here.

also the nature of god is in question. sometimes food rains down from the heavens. other times its skull crushing rocks. he giveth and he taketh? good is a fickle maniac?

or is there no mention of god and its just a sign of a world gone wrong?

reply

Very good points, diesockmonkey, and I thought all these things myself. Like me, you probably found yourself just sitting and thinking quietly about all the questions and points the movie raised while the credits rolled, right?

I think this is a brilliant movie and I'm surprised I never saw it before. The lack of dialogue, the fundamental plot, the archetypal characters suggest it's a mythological tale and like most mythological stories it's an allegory. This means it has both a literal and symbolic/universal meaning.

The movie follows the rules of a parable in that it's short and reveals its information clearly without subtlety, but contains possibly more than one meaning.

I wondered also if the Doctor was keeping the woman out of altruistic or selfish motives. Given that he helped heal the Man, and didn't give the Imprisoned Woman her freedom, I wondered if he was just protecting her. He did, after all, cook for her, caringly providing everything she needed, and went to great length to protect his home and her life.

I don't know if the movie was about brutality overcoming innocence and wisdom. I don't think it had any sociological messages in it at all, but contained more universal themes of the human heart's condition. This might be supported by the fact that our first meeting with the Brute and the Doctor, the Doctor appears to be the thief and the Brute appears to be the victim, however as the story unfolds we realise that the roles are reversed. True to all good mythological stories, our Doctor is a Shape-Shifter (a mythological term referring to someone who can alter his role any time during the story) and is introduced as a Threshold Guardian, and is revealed later as a Mentor, roles which he maintains right up to the end.

Jean Reno was well casted as the Brute and the fight between the Man and the Brute was brilliantly choreographed.

I tend to feel that the Man, like in the Greek myths, went through an adventure that taught him something about himself and humanity, and he returned to his original base as a Hero rather than a Thief. And, true to all permutations of Hero, he removed the bad Boss, released the slaves, and probably wanted to restore community rather than brutality as a means of survival. After all, that is what he'd learned from the Doctor. Only at the end did he realise the Boss's game-plan surrounded ownership of a woman just like the Doctor's - for the same or different reasons - but the irony was too great to ignore. And maybe that's the point of the whole movie - we can all do the same things out of different motives. Whether or not the Man takes the new woman or releases her or even keeps her hidden for her own safety is something we can only speculate, but we probably all hope that he's learnt from his life lessons in the derelict hospital.

reply

These are all very interesting perceptions!

I personally saw it in a prehistoric context. With basic weapons, limited population and communication, the doctor drawing 'cave paintings'.

I also saw the two women as 'prizes/posessions' for the alpha males (I am not sexist!) And thought that this was the reason for the main character to embark on his journey in the first place - to find a female - he was having intercourse at the beginning with a plastic blow-up doll.

I thought at the end, having killed the Boss, he had been led to the woman at the camp - he had won the right to breed as the dominant male.

This was my basic take on the film, unfortunately I do not know much about Religion and Myth but found the previous comments interesting.

reply

Very close to my own reflections. Very enjoyable, thought provoking film.

reply

Just finished watching it for the first time.

I got a very strong vibe that the woman was the old doctor's daughter. I mean the ages are appropriate. I really got the impression of the doctor honestly looking to give his daughter a future where she would obviously be protected by a young man who also proved to be a decent man. He was taking precautions with the blind folds just like a good dad making sure her daughter's boyfriend brings her back before midnight :)

That is kind of what I see the story being fundamentally about. It is why the first scene is the man banging a doll honestly. The story is a story about a man trying to find love when there is nothing else left; not even your voice.

It is a very simple story about honest human emotions and realities. Obviously those realities about people can be extended to deeper more philosophical and symbolic meanings but I honestly took the movie for what it was; a very brutally honest movie about human nature.

Unlike most post-apocalyptic movies this one had a unusually bright tone. This is not to say that the movie wasn't full of depressing or dark moments - but rather that the overall message was positive. The good sides of humanity and the bad sides are amplified by each other. I saw two decent guys teaming up to defend what was precious to them in a harsh world with a murderous brute only intent on pleasing himself.

It also said a thing or two about love. It paints a clear difference between the way that the doctor and young man respected the girl in the cell. They cherished her and sought to protect her. The doctor wanted to even groom the young man to make him decent enough looking for her. Present that against what happens to her and you can see an unfortunate reality about mankind. Some men fight long and hard to protect something (anything) and there is always men that simply want to defile it and destroy it.

Lastly; the ironic point that love was never far away from the young man to begin with :) he went to all that trouble to build a plane for gosh sakes! After all that trauma and energy only to find that love might actually be a lot closer than he thought if he had looked a little bit deeper :)

Overall a brilliant film open to numerous interpretations due to the lack of dialog. But honestly, that is the beauty of film at its finest. Art is always in the eye of the beholder anyways so films that go for more minimalist approaches always stand the test of time and often reveal more about the human condition than one that spells everything out for you.

Cheers!

reply