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Feb 17, 2023Liked by Anna Rettberg

For a "Casey Picks" movie month, I think Casey should pick 4 movies that he actually, really likes. =)

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While I support this, I still want to hear Casey’s Spider Verse and Lightyear takes!

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Feb 17, 2023Liked by Anna Rettberg

I interpreted this movie as a metaphor for how people get trapped in certain mindsets and ideologies when it comes to finding a partner and getting married. In this interpretation the hotel and the city represents a conservative society with very specific expectations and definitions about what it means to have a partner. Everything is extremely formal and rigid. There are numerous demonstrations of the benefits of having a partner that have primitive underlying justifications and that make a lot of assumptions, but they are hard to argue with. For example, yes, if you choke on your food then having someone around means you are less likely to die because they can help you, but it does not mean that you have to have a romantic relationship with that person.

The people in the hotel do not willingly go there, as far as I understood at least; if someone in the city was found to be single they would be sent there. To continue the analogy to a conservative society, the time limit represents the pressure to quickly find a partner, otherwise one becomes worthless as a human being and is reduced to something lesser, i.e. an animal. To me the threat of becoming an animal is not such a horrible thing that everyone definitely wants to avoid. They still get to choose the animal, and can therefore live any way they want. They just won't receive the same dignity as a human being. They are trading freedom for inclusion in society.

Successful hunters are allowed to remain single for longer because they help reinforce the institution and keep it alive by bringing in those who have rebelled against it, The Loners. The Loners are not perfect either. They simply reject the extreme that the hotel and city postulate and go to the other extreme instead, which is that you should strive to remain single for the rest of your life. They have their own rules and rituals, but they pretend to be "normal" by regularly visiting the city to keep up appearances, much like people would in real life when they are afraid to reveal their true nature.

In the end, neither side is "right". Both of them stand in opposition to different aspects of human nature. The protagonist and his lover are "lucky" in that they were able to find "true" love in that chaos of dogma and extremism, but they remain psychologically scarred. Their ideas of true love are still tainted, thinking they have to have something in common in order to love one another. There was no reason for him to become blind too, nobody would punish him for it, he could've come up with any other random thing he had in common as an excuse to those around them. The way the movie ended was kind of perfect in that regard because it left open the question of whether the protagonist was truly able to break free from these external constraints imposed on him or not.

It's kind of a basic and straightforward interpretation. I do agree that it doesn't add up to more than the sum of its parts; every part can be interpreted in isolation. However, I find that the metaphors and the way people acted in various situations did make sense and do convey something interesting about real life. Anyway, that's my two cents :)

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