Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Movie Discussion: The Invasion

Movie Discussion: The Invasion
Starring, Nicole Kidman

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. The movie is not a great movie. It is the 3rd remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers since 1956. Entertaining, perhaps. Brilliant, no.

We are primarily done breaking down the movie now, and ready to get busy examining some of the ideas put forth in it. Leading lady Nicole Kidman plays a psychiatrist who can prescribe a pill to solve any problem. Her son has nightmares…a pill. A patient is having trouble with her husband…a pill. You get the picture, just like a real psychiatrist. She describes herself in a pivotal conversation as a “post-modern feminist”. She also calls upon the father’s of psychology and tries to tie them to evolutionary theory in a weak attempt to explain the pathetic condition of man…war, murder, rape, greed, etc. You can tell she has trouble swallowing her own theory.

When the alien “virus” begins to infect people it becomes clear that it will make mankind into something like selfless zombies. The infected retain something of their former selves, but they act as one emotionless organism, and seek to infect everyone else, while killing those who are immune to the virus. Everyone will be sort of zombie like…that’s the downside. The upside is that wars will cease, crime will be non-existent. It becomes clear that if Nicole Kidman’s son had not been one of the immune, to be killed, she would have probably infected herself on purpose.

One thing I did like about the movie is that it fleshed out some of the primary issues in post-modern feminist thought, and postmodern thought in general. I have known a number of post-modern feminists and almost to the woman, I liked and respected them all. I think this is probably for a few reasons. First, someone who arrives at post-modern conclusions has done some thinking about life and the nature of reality and begun asking questions about how it all fits together. Second, the conclusions of post-modernism (and feminism) are impossible to consistently live out in practice and require great intelligence and determination to even attempt. This movie points that out very well….although I don’t think that was the intention.

Kidman’s character desperately wants to “fix” mankind…one person at a time. She is distraught at news of wars and violence…as we all should be. Unfortunately as an evolutionist and (apparent) atheist she has concluded that societal troubles must be caused by various and widespread psychological anomalies. Her best weapon in this battle for humanity is her prescription pad. I love this. It accurately describes the current state of modern (post-modern) psychological medicine. They have failed to accurately describe the problem, thus, their solutions are at best band-aids on surgical wounds, but typically abject failure.

The fact that a self described post-modern feminist could believably have a battle in her conscience about whether or not being zombified by an alien virus is a good thing really tells us something. She realizes that there is something very wrong with mankind and that only something very radical could be expected to solve the problem. Even in prescribing of pills, we sense her helplessness in the face of the enormous problem. This is the state of post-modernism. A philosophical system has been constructed where moral absolutes have become ambiguous (philosophically) but war is not an ambiguous evil…neither is murder…neither is rape. Like I said earlier…some smart people can pretend not to believe in absolutes (like wrong and right) but try to start a war or rape them and all of a sudden you are doing something “wrong”. When you throw reality into the mix post-modernism falls flat on its face.

As a side note: I realize there are a few obstinate idiots out there who would let me hit them in the face with a tire iron or cut off their mom’s pinky finger and say that it was not necessarily a bad thing…only undesirable from their perspective….just to prove their point….but hear me now, everyone inherently knows you are an obstinate idiot. Just as everyone inherently knows that rape and murder are evil. You are the pretender.

Of course as a Christian I join with my post-modern feminist friends in condemning rape and murder. Only I have a reason to do such a thing (they do not). I have an objective standard by which I can measure good and evil. Christians have a very cohesive and philosophically robust way of understanding how the depraved state of man and human dignity can co-exist. No other philosophy even comes close to the elegance in tying these things together as Christianity. Not even close. Unfortunately, it is often the case, that professing Christians have put much less thought into the philosophy behind their religion than the post-modern feminist has….so when they misguidedly show up at the psychiatrists office for help, they take the prescription down to the pharmacy hoping this pill will be the one that makes it all stop.

Watch this movie next Friday night if you’re bored.

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