MovieChat Forums > InnocenceĀ (2004) Discussion > Why did no1 see what I thought was obvio...

Why did no1 see what I thought was obvious?

*If you haven't watched the movie, don't worry. I've given spoiler warnings wherever necessary*

When I finished watching the movie, I came to IMDB to discuss about the first idea that popped into my mind about what the movie was about. But, I didn't find my interpretation anywhere on the board. I thought that the interpretation was pretty obvious, which is why I found it surprising that, apparently, no one else thought about it.

Anyway, my interpretation:

The movie Innocence is kind of an allegory for the life cycle of a butterfly. The process of turning from an ugly worm to a beautiful butterfly. Butterflies are often shown in the movie. The limping teacher even explains the butterfly life cycle, ending with the butterfly finding a mate.

The girls spend the starting few years of their lives outside, growing and getting ready (Larvae stage, "Maggots" is what the dance teacher calls them). Then they enter the boarding school (Pupa stage) which is enclosed by walls from all side (Cocoon). The point at which they enter the Pupa stage is the end of its life as a larvae. In other words: the death of the larvae (hence the coffin). Here, at the school, they are turned from "Maggots" to mature graceful ladies (Butterflies). After this, they leave the boarding school (the cocoon)to return to the outside world and find a mate, as Bianca does at the end, near the fountain.

That was the obvious part. Now, I'm going into a more speculative territory:
In the school they learn life lessons needed to become a "lady". We start with the lessons for the youngest and finish with the oldest:
*Everything that follows may be a spoiler*
01. Knowing that there's a large society out there(Swim in the river) and we may all seem to be together, but...
02. Everyone belongs to her own group (The 5 houses)
03. Friendship (Iris' relationship with Bianca)
04. Education (learning numbers, the limping lady's classes)
05. Grace (The ballet dance)
06. The world is a dangerous place, especially for kids (Iris' & Laura trip to the wall)
07. Bullying (Laura bullying Iris)
08. Motherhood (Bianca's relationship with Iris)
09. Suicide (The boat "escape". Also, she stopped rowing when the boat started to flood)
10. Separating lies from reality (Bianca says that the stories are just lies to scare you)
11. When faced with fear, a friends support can help a lot (Bianca consoling Iris when she hides in the bathroom)
12. Death of loved ones (The funeral)
13. Accepting defeat (Headmistress' tests) Bianca accepts it well and goes on to succeed in life, Alice doesn't and she'll probably never grow up (Mentally, at least).
14. People may sometimes suddenly leave your life and you will never hear from them again, and you don't know why (No one knows what happened to Alise)
15. Discovering your body (Bianca's nude scene)
16. Confidence (Performing at the stage show)
17. Discovering the effect girls have on men (The guy with the flower)
18. The fears of becoming an adult and leaving childhood behind (Bianca didn't want to leave)
19. Discovering your sexuality (The scene with the glove)
20. The roughness and apparent loneliness of adolescence which is filled with bright and dark times (The train ride)
21. Discovering the joys of being an adult (Enjoying the outside world)
22. The emotional surge of sexual love (The fountain)

AFC to PUA. That's the dream.


You wasted your time censoring some of your post. This movie was made a long time ago, so if somebody who knows that this movie exists doesn't know about it's overall plot (the "plot summary"), it's their own fault for willingly remaining in the dark about it for so long.

Anyway, I like this movie, but while it's a nice enough school for the girls to attend, the movie (& it's source material) go out of their way (just before & during the performance) to demonstrate that the true purpose of the girls' "education" is much more lurid & lecherous than the girls are made aware of (until late into each girl's final year at the school). While your "caterpillar to butterfly" analogy has it's merits, the movie (& it's source material) uses very little analogy & chooses to "play it straight" instead, so the true purpose of the school is much darker than a "caterpillar to butterfly" analogy would indicate (unless the butterfly got eaten).
IF I want your opinion, I'll GIVE it to you.


I wanna eat the same mushrooms as you have...
Very pretty interpretation of what seemed to me at first as a very illicit kind of school...
I prefer your vision!
Will need to watch again.