Monday, September 28, 2009

Seeking in Surrogates

I have no idea what it is this year about the movies. In the first quarter there were a few things that got my interest, but really since then the choice of films on offer has been somewhat substandard. Transformers 2 was alright, but GI Joe was disappointing. The Taking of Pelham 123 was actually a pretty decent film, but other than that the choice has been fairly poor and someone really must have thought that witchcraft and that kinda jazz sells. Whatever.

So of late I’ve been a bit bored with the fare and given the movies a wide berth which is disappointing. However lately there has been a film or two that has taken my interest and for the first time in weeks I’ve made it into a cinema. (Of course the discount I get as a student was also an inducement.)

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Bruce Willis. Not to say I hate the guy or dislike his movies, I’ve just not been taken with his material and don’t think of him as that much of a big deal. I acknowledge his skill though in playing certain roles well. He seems to choose stuff that doesn’t require too much of a stretch for his core abilities so when he does the part he can be as convincing as he needs to be. For example I was a fan of his work in Unbreakable.

So with all that on board I wasn’t going out to watch a Bruce Willis film when I heard about Surrogates I was looking forward to watching a film that happened to have Willis in it. I was so glad I did watch it because it turned out to be one of the better films of the year.

One thing that did ring true with one of the reviews was their comment that it was a bit like I, Robot. I was thinking how disappointing I, Robot was. In contrast I really enjoyed the film.

What I enjoyed about the film are the many questions it raised about identity, control, power, freedom and the role of technology in fulfilling our desires. I do love a film sets up those moral dilemmas and those are strewn throughout the film especially the premise for the climax.

One thing it also highlighted again was the following questions:

Who are we really?

Can we be anything we want to be?

What happens when the opportunity comes to do just that but at a cost?

What is more important, your ability to do what you want or your responsibility to others?

Who or what defines us?

Who has the right to rule over us?

What role does technology play in the development of who we are as humans?

What does freedom mean, in an age where it’s not always clear who is on the side of it and what its costs are?

It’s particularly appropriate as the month of October looms and we look at those issues through various means and all with the desire to get a Christocentric understanding of the topic in question.

I recommend you check the movie, although you won’t have to for answering these questions that you can begin exploring now.

For His Name's Sake



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