I haven’t posted in quite awhile. But I saw a movie tonight that blew my mind. This is storytelling. This is filmmaking. This is Chappie.
“Chappie” is a movie in theaters right now by Sony and Colombia Pictures, staring Hugh Jackman and Sharlto Copley. Set in South Africa, it involves a company pursing an all-robotic police force. Deon is the founder of this idea, but on his own he pursues a hard drive which can give a robot human consciousness. When he experiments with this hardware on a malfunctioned robotic scout, his efforts are not in vain. The robot–Chappie–learns human behavior as if he was a child. It (or he) learns behavior, emotion, right and wrong, sacrifice, selfishness…everything beyond what a computer can feel…and more.
If you haven’t seen the movie and despise the awful occurrence of a spoiler, read no further, as I am too excited about this movie NOT to refer to its contents.
Why is this good storytelling, J.L? What makes it brilliant and the best movie of 2015 so far (in your humble opinion of course). I’ll tell you why. This movie is brilliant not just because of its sci-fi concepts of transmitting consciousness neurologically into a robotic system. It goes beyond the awesomeness of a robot growing up as from a baby to a young adult in only a few days. These things are cool, but c’mon people we’re missing the main point here.
This movie is a metaphor for life itself.
Don’t stop reading; this is where it gets good. I had trouble wording that without sounding cheesy.
This robot was created by Deon. Deon reminds Chappie throughout the movie that he made it. He insists that Chappie remember: “I made you Chappie. I am your maker.”
Now I don’t want to get all religious on you or anything, but I believe in a sovereign Creator. He told us that He was our Maker. Keep that parallel symbolism in your mind as you read on.
Deon gives Chappie a book called “The Black Sheep” and say it is just for him. Chappie is excited as he cries, “Chappie’s got a book! Chappie has stories!”
Our Creator gave us a book full of stories didn’t he?
Chappie discovers during the film that his battery is damaged, its running low, and soon he will “die”. He asks Deon in his croaky mechanized voice, “But…you made me. Why did you make me if I’m going to die?” Deon replies, “I didn’t make you to die, Chappie. I made you to live.”
Were we not made to “live” as well?
Chappie “grows up” in the outskirts of the city with three homeless criminals who made a deal with Deon. So, naturally, they teach him how to shoot, kill, roll blunts, cuss, etc. When Deon finds Chappie imitating them, he tells him no. “I don’t want you to be like them. I don’t want you to roll narcotics, or commit crimes…Be creative Chappie. Do not stop your creativity!”
This…is exactly what our Creator wants from us. As far as living goes of course. Given a mind, soul, and ingenuity and creativity…we were meant to use it for something right?
Just like a child and any human, Chappie struggles to see right from wrong. Living and fighting with the criminals vs. being a “good boy” and doing what his maker has told him to do. We have these exact same struggles in life, do we not? Its simply fascinating how parallel these two stories are.
“I don’t want to die. I want to live.”
“If you want to survive Chappie, you must fight.”
This movie was spectacular. It opens up new worlds of sci-fi concepts, including human consciousness mixing with robotic engineering. “Transcendence” staring Johnny Depp is another recent film in 2014 that is similar to this, only it is about maintaining the human consciousness after death. But that is for another post.
I strongly recommend “Chappie” for anyone interested in these types of concepts and perhaps the hidden symbolism I’ve been talking about. For anyone who didn’t think the trailer looked that interesting and in fact kind of lame, such as myself, believe me. It doesn’t do it justice in the slightest.
We often forget how complex and amazing human consciousness is…until we see it in something other than our own kind.
Forever only human,