A journey through my mind. Which is sometimes fabulous. Often not.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wall-e Redux

Wall-E is released to the general public today! WOOHOO! In honor of this happy occasion, I've decided to post the comment that was left in my original Wall-e character analysis posting. Many thanks goes to the Anonymous commenter, who was gratuitously much better at translating his/her emotions into words. (I post with assumed permission to re-post.)

" Anonymous said:
I completely agree with you about Wall E. I haven't been able to forget about this character, this movie. Everytime I think about him, or the last scene, I either cry or get choked up. I have thought about it a lot and I think it is powerful because of contrast.

The contrast to our experience today is stark: 700 years alone, a destroyed planet, a superficial world on the axiom devoid of connection and meaning, even robots. The hope for and final appearance of love for us, and for both of these characters is so powerful because of the bleakness and uphill challenges its is contrasted against.

Wall E is effective because there is so much fear, loss, pain, and sorrow within it. The joint appearance of new life and love is powerful because it offers a way out of darkness, away from our worst fears : that we will destroy and lose our home, our way of life, end up alone, without all that we love, and in doing so end up soul-less, media attached and fat, losing what makes us human: hope and love. For Wall E on Earth, however much he had grown used to and accepted despair/destruction of green earth, we feel sorry for him, almost guilty. The appearance of Eve and transformative love offers them and us a way out of a dystopian nightmare and the confirmation of our worst fears. Wall E is a look in the mirror. Even now we see ourselves disconnected from each other, like the people on the Axiom, and as Americans stuffed on prozac, we dream of such deep healing connections with people as Wall E experiences with Eve. We are as happy for love in this sci-fi setting as he is; with love and new life, an offer of redemption is given.

The appearance of a single plant as a source of hope is elegant and speaks to the human drive to survive and continue in the face of death and darkness. It is literally new life. Biologically, photothsynthesis and the appearance of life on earth is exceptional; a miracle and a beautiful anomale in the vast lonely universe of space. The deserted and destroyed setting of dystopian Earth in Wall E resembles primeval conditions on the planet before there was life: hostile, vast, and soulless. The plant represents the unlikely appearance of life as it has always appeared and continues to thrive in the bleakest of climates. Salvation and hope lie with a single plant, a reminder and proof of the miracle of life; when humans alter their perspective they see that their fate is intertwined with the fate of life on earth. Upon embracing this symbol of life, they are brought closer to one another and their planet, a manifestation of the health of humankind, is revitalized. As Wall E shows us in equal and perfect simplicity, so magically appears love despite obstacles. When Eve and Wall e embrace, after overcoming their obstacles as a pair, and after the Captain states “it’s good to be home” the camera pans over new green growth rengenerating all over the planet. The planet’s and humanity’s health and happiness is tied in this final minute to the cultivation of life and love.

Love in this film is like the symbol of the plant, a single ray of hope in a world without any. N0 matter how bleak, love lightens/brightens, eleviates pain. The moment of greatest fear is when it appears that Wall E has lost his soul, at this moment there is the sound of a hollow and determined wind blowing, the music stops. When he is resurrected we instantly hear a love song, coupled by the convergence of their newly formed robot community, and they hold each other close. When you have lost or have come close to losing the one you love, you know that the measure of love is how much pain you feel in its absence. Thus fully loving includes the painful awareness that you must hold on and fight to keep the thing you love because of all the sadness you will inevitably feel without it. Thats why I cry when I hear the love song in the last scene and see them put their heads against the others. Love is what motivated them to act unselfishly, love is what saved them from a bleak world, Love that, however beautiful and meaningful, cannot last and so is clung to with every breath. The comforting power of love is contrast against the devastation, carelessness, and towering tasks behind and in front of them, which despite the circumstances provides hope, healing, joy, and relief from pain.

I cling to this movie because it offers hope, even though sadly like love, Wall E is fleeting. When contemplating this movie I am emotionally close to all that matters most to me, to most people: love, mortality, a planet that needs healing, a sense of responsibility, and a profound appreciation for those things in life that reminds us of love's power, things that add beauty and hope(like films such as Wall e) . I want to stay in the place that this movie brings me. The reflection and empathy inspired by Wall E as well as a vision of horrible consequences of our selfishness as a culture, remind us how valuable the things we love are; the people, the places, the moments, our home Earth, the time we have and the role we play in making a difference (in one person's life: Wall E for Eve) and for the future of mankind (Wall E's many sacrifices). The choices and meaning of life are made clear and stark in Wall E. Personally, after watching this movie, I held the ones I loved a little bit tighter and joined the Nature Conservancy (no lie.) Now that is a testament to the power of the arts and living proof of why Pixar is so damned good at what they do.
-October 2, 2008 5:14 PM"

Now go out and buy/rent the movie! :)