Saturday, July 05, 2003

The HULK, revisited. 

I went back to see The Hulk again, and am glad I did. It really is a lot of fun, and there's so much good stuff to watch. I'm a really really angry person, and often find myself wishing I could turn green, grow, and SMASH. Oh well, I'm just going to have to settle for blogging; and talking about people behind their backs.

Anyway, this time through I made notes and tried to keep track of the myriad of themes this movie probes. It's actually a good example of too many writers, too many ideas, and being just too damn ambitious a feat for one film to pull off. Here, in point form, are some of the many issues brought up in the two hours:

Spoilers included, so I've set the font to white. If you want to read this post, just select the text by running the mouse along it with it's button down:

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- Is repression a sign of strength? Or weakness?
- What happens to repressed emotions? Is it good, or bad, to show self control?
- Does our instinct, when provoked, hate or love women? Men?
- Are forgiveness and responsibility linked in any way to strength?
- Does rage bring about power and freedom?
- Should we fear the protection that our parents offer? Does it just lead to betrayal?
- Does the military promote warfare, or limit it?
- Is it inevitable that we follow in our parent’s footsteps? Can science help us to evolve past this if it is true?
- Does uniqueness lead to alienation and separation? How does society deal with people who are different?
- What is the difference between physical and emotional wounds? Is the healing process different?
- How do we listen to the inner child?
- What is our tolerance for collateral damage?
- How much conscious control do we have over our emotional state?
- Does knowledge, caring, and curiosity about ourselves lead to our downfall? Is there a cure?
- Is the Hulk really just a big super-frog?
- How strong is the power of love? Is this different than the desire of parents to smother?
- Is it possible to kill imperfection? Should we want to? Does imperfection belong? Does it even want to live?
- Do we all live in a superficial shell? What is the interaction between the lies we tell each other and the lies we tell ourselves?
- Are we ruled by petty people? Is there anything we should do about this?
- Are bad dreams/feelings an accurate prediction of what will come?
- Is learning to say sorry the best cure?

Eventually, I can only really focus on two dynamics: the father smothers the son in his own beliefs ("The more you fight, the more of you I take") and refuses to recognize that there's a difference between them: The son is not selfish, not part of the military, and doesn't wish to impose his views on others. The son, however, has not learnt to disown his father and escape, and continues to feed what is essentially his father’s rage ("I wish you had killed me").

Unfortunately, although the "B" plot with the love interest and her father work out their issues, there is no real resolution to the main dilemma - just a random act of violence that Hollywood often uses to wrap up two hours of drawing us in. The father learns nothing, the son neither, and I just want to smash everything (except the film). AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH! GGGGRRRRR! ... lookout :-o

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