Right. Let’s see then.
The Hunger Games series, IRobot, Bones, Daybreakers, Demolition Man, The Divergent series, The Inhabited Island, The Matrix, Oblivion, Total Recall, V for Vendetta, Ultraviolet…
Very recently, my sister and I saw Divergent finally. I haven’t had the felicity to read the books yet, alas. But I enjoyed the movie very much.
My sister, on the other hand, went ballistic. Granted, she’s the extreme kind. You know, she doesn’t like, she loves. She doesn’t frown, she bawls.
But, she was lost in the movie in a very different way than other movies she’s loved. She loved The Fault In Our Stars. Badgered me to get her an Augustus Waters, DOA. But with Divergent, she was in a different zone altogether. She wanted to know if she was divergent. Whether she belonged in Abnegation or Dauntless or Erudite. Whether she had what it took to be a part of the whole system.
It got me thinking. It’s human nature to want what it can’t have, to pine for what is forbidden to it. Is the same logic applied to these films as well?
These movies have wowed the world. Some have their own fandoms, some got rejected, but all were watched in awe and wonder.
These kinds of movies depict dystopian worlds.
Dystopian fiction (sometimes referred to as apocalyptic literature) is creation of an utterly horrible or degraded society that is generally headed to an irreversible oblivion, or dystopia.
It is poetic irony that dystopian movies, those which depict an alternate universe, if not a parallel one, should be the ones the masses love. It is ironic that these movies, instead of simply wowing the audiences and moving on, press into their thought processes long after they are over, to the extent that the audiences want to actually be a part of these twisted, run-down, survival 101, dog-eat-dog-eat-man-eat-everything worlds.
What is the psychology behind this? What part of imminent death and extreme survivalist techniques is so appealing to us?
Would it be the same if it was the other way around? In a parallel universe; a world where we don’t live, we survive, where we don’t ask for things, we fight for them; would a simple movie about a boring middle class man travelling to work and back excite and enthral us as much?