In The Lion King the supposedly good and noble king Mufasa banishes a race (the hyenas) to a barren wasteland, wherein they are starving, for no apparent reason. We are never even given a hint as to what Hyenas could have possibly done to deserve this treatment, which is oppressive if not outright genocidal. Mufasa and his dynasty can easily be seen as pompous, racist tyrants and Scar as a Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to liberate oppressed people from Mufasa's regime. An alternative alternative take is that both Scar and Mufasa are jerks, Mufasa exiling the hyenas to the badlands, and Scar exploiting their desperation for his own gain.
In Real Life, Lions and Hyenas don't get along, stealing kills from each other all the time, and will not hesitate to harass or harm one another given the opportunity. In fact, male lions will sometimes venture into hyena territory with the specific goal of assassinating the clan's Alpha Female.
Also, was Scar's hatred towards Mufasa caused only by envy or was there a solid Freudian Excuse (like being always The Unfavorite, maybe also mistreated by his brother)?
According to the children's books accompanying the movie, Scar's original name was Taka, which translates to 'garbage'. Imagine your parents literally naming you Garbage. It's no wonder he wants to overthrow Mufasa so badly. He's been mistreated and viewed as inferior his whole life. It kind of makes the horrible condition of the Pride Lands when Simba and crew return slightly tragic. His father most likely spent all of his energy teaching Mufasa how to take care of the Pride Lands and never bothered to tell Scar what he was supposed to do.
Also, how did the lions receive their place as "royalty"? For all we know, the first "Lion King" was crazy and decided to fight and kill one of every animal and after killing the last one crowned himself king. The other animals fear the lions especially when you consider that the movie makes no effort in disguising the fact that the lions hunt other animals and they all fled after Scar became king (and the pride lands became a wasteland but that's beside the point).
There is the rather amusing retelling of "Evil aliens destroy Earth, Humans find new home" in Titan A.E.. The "Evil Aliens" are made of pure energy, and the humans had just invented a planet-making machine that requires a butt-load of energy to work.... Predictably, the humans do use the "evil aliens" as an energy source. But it's all right — isn't it? The aliens shot first.
Well, what's easier for humanity: trying to chase down a fleet of aliens who can blow up planets, or using a nearby star?
The aliens might not be thinking that way. They're alien, after all; our psychology doesn't necessarily apply to them. To them, blowing up the Earth might have seemed like a reasonable response to a potential threat.
The novel says the planet-creating "Artifact" tech was something only the Drej were supposed to have. The Queen at the time instantly decided to destroy them. Her successor regretted her predecessor's being so hasty. Ironically, if the Drej had left the humans alone, they probably would've found a star or something or used that. They would've still had the Artifact tech, but since the guy who made it is dead, and the Drej need said tech, who knows what the Drej would've done then?
The fact that he builds himself a wife when he finally gets fed up with her does make you wonder...
Also, in an alternative ending where Dr. Ficklestein is Oogie Boogie, the latter interpretation is blatant.
Shere Khan from Disney's The Jungle Book could be interpreted as an avenger against Man, seeing how they have hunted and killed his species purely for their striped pelts.
Gothel from Tangled. Does she genuinely care for Rapunzel but has a warped way of showing it or does she feel nothing for the girl and only care about her hair? If you think too much into her character this argument becomes deeper. She is drawn looking very much like one of the Roma, which means that in the real world she would most likely have been the victim of years of hatred, distrust and persecution. This would mean that, for her, the twisted view of the world she imparts to Rapunzel is a pretty accurate one. She might really believe that she knows best.
Then there are those who think Belle might be a beauty on the outside but ugly on the inside. For example, she breaks the one rule the Beast set up for her and invades his privacy. Then she calls off their agreement and runs away
Then there's Gaston—is he just a complete jerk, or is he actually a fun guy with a zest for life who just winds up going mad after Belle rejects him and humiliates him in front of the entire town? It's worth noting that he was originally supposed to die by falling off a cliff and laughing hysterically, indicating that he had indeed been driven mad in his desperate effort to impress Belle.
Also, note that we never see what happens after the film. The Beast has turned back into a human, so is he now going to revert to the same personality that he had before as well? Even if he doesn't, Belle is now going to have to find another witch to return her beloved Beast back into the person she fell in love with.
Dopey from Snow White might be an Idiot Savant, having diffculty in doing simple things but being a vastly acomplished musician.
Films — Live-Action:
Brokeback Mountain: Two men shamelessly cheating on their wives and neglecting their families for years? Or two men forced into their situation due to the circumstances of the time, and would have probably would have not be unfaithful to anyone had they lived in a more progressive era/society?
In the Gene Wilder version, Willy Wonka comes off as a Mad Scientist who is genuinely unconcerned how dangerous his environment is. In the Johnny Depp version, Willy Wonka is shown meticulously planning and organizing events, which make the various accidents come off as the machinations of a Diabolical Mastermind. The original novel can support either interpretation.
A possible interpretation of the Gene Wilder version is that Wonka never wanted anyone to get through the factory. Unlike Depp Wonka who simply seems detached from other people, Wilder Wonka seems to enjoy their pain. So maybe the entire factory tour project is just for his enjoyment and so he can prove to himself that no-one is his equal. Note he seems quite irritated when he realises Charlie and Joe have actually got past all the hazards he's lain out, and so lashes out at them. He changes suddenly partly because Joe then treats him like the arrogant and egotistical figure he really is, but also because he realises how much of a hero figure he had been to Charlie.
There's a more sinister interpretation. Wonka enjoys seeing people suffer. He brought a bunch of people into his factory and set up situations where he knew they would hurt themselves. Charlie and Grandpa Joe were supposed to get hurt in the fizzy lifter but they unexpectedly escaped. So Wonka had to improvise. He came up with the idea of denying them their prize and it partially worked; he finally broke Grandpa Joe. But Charlie still persevered. So Wonka had to improvise again and offer Charlie a chance to move into the factory. The purpose of that offer was to keep Charlie from getting away. Wonka wanted to keep him around until he could figure out how to hurt him like he had all the others.
Also in the Gene Wilder version, Grandpa Joe is played as a beloved, sympathetic character. But after a bout of unfortunate Fridge Logic, it becomes apparent that he's kind of a bastard. Think about it: He spends twenty years lying in bed doing nothing (except consuming tobacco) while Mom takes in laundry, and Charlie busts his ass on a paper route, all so they can barely afford their broken-down shack and cabbage water (which he complains about). But all that changes as soon as the kid finds a magic pass into to the candy factory inside a chocolate bar with money he fished out of a storm drain on his hands and knees. At that point, Grandpa Joe is suddenly able to dance like a broadway veteran, kick up his heels, and sing about how "we've" got a golden ticket, completely dismissing the notion that Charlie might want to take one of his actual parents. Then, when he gets into the factory, he insults the other children, (possibly) gropes Mrs. Tee Vee's rump, and encourages Charlie to steal the Fizzy Lifting Drinks...All before berating Mr. Wonka at the end, claiming that Wonka appears to believe himself to be entitled. As in, entitled to decide for himself who to leave his own inheritance to. An inheritance consisting of a company and factory built from the ground up by the genius Willy Wonka. Man...What a DICK!
In the book, the Oompa Loompas are an explicit case of Values Dissonance — they're pygmies. In the Gene Wilder version, Wonka sees them as completely dependent on his good will, so much so that he chooses his successor solely on how he believes that successor will treat them; this could make him the leader of a cult. In the Johnny Depp version, they're privacy-loving immigrants; given that Wonka's a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, it must be a laid-back job.
For the Tim Burton reimagining, there seems to be a case of Michael Jackson in the newest Wonka. The stunted childlike minded celebrity recluse with oddities and grew up in a home with a father that never really let him be a kid.
However, Johnny Depp stated that he based his character on Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue magazine.
Aside from Augustus Gloop, who is relatively unchanged between the films (aside from coming across as meaner, since in the original he offered Charlie a pen to sign the contract whereas the later one offered Charlie some chocolate and then yanked it away), this also applies to the naughty children:
Violet Beauregarde: Violet's gum chewing obsession and her rude manners were her flaws in 1971 version, but in the 2005 version she's made an obsessive competitor who has won numerous trophies and is determined to win the factory at any cost. Also, both films portray her having a rivalry with Veruca Salt, whom she does not interact with in the original book.
Veruca Salt: A spoiled rich girl in both versions, but '71 Veruca is louder and brattier while '05 Veruca is colder and snobbier. And in both versions she has the aforementioned rivalry with Violet Beauregarde.
Mike Teavee: '71 Mike Teavee is so obsessed with TV Westerns that he goes around wearing a cowboy outfit and seems to find his Golden Ticket less interesting than the television. In the '05 version, his obsession with TV is updated to include video games and he's additionally made an Insufferable Genius who looks down on Wonka for his nonsense inventions.
The film treats replicants as 'supermen who cannot fly' and sets them up as pitiable, sympathetic victims-of-humans. The book the film is based upon asserts that 'the replicants are inhuman, uncaring machines (not unlike uncaring, inhuman humans, but even less caring) and so cannot exist safely alongside authentic humans'. This 'what is humanity' question is the core of much of the later cyberpunk literature.
One way this has been dealt with: in the original movie release, Deckard isn't a replicant; in the director's cut, he is. The fulcrum of the change is one scene cut from the original, in which Gaff (Edward James Olmos' character) leaves an origami unicorn at a table for Deckard. Since Deckard had a dream about a unicorn before then, and replicants have implanted memories, this is taken as a sign that all of Deckard's memories are implanted and that Olmos' character knows this. Take out this scene, and there is little reason to support "Deckard is a replicant" (beyond his general toughness).
His eyes "glow" like those of the replicants in the director's cut. Film crew told later that it was a lightning mistake, nothing intentional
But his getting his ass kicked by practically every replicant he comes across and surviving mainly through sheer dumb luck is a human trait.
With the exception of Pris, all of the replicants are described as military models (and Pris, given her line of work as a 'pleasure model' probably has a pretty extensive self-defense repertoire). Deckard probably was not designed to go up against opponents this hardcore.
Two other hints, even in the "standard" version. One, his tiny apartment is covered in photographs, which seems to be a defining obsession with Replicants, a sort of "proof" of their existence. Two, when he is going to Sebastian's, he describes himself to the caller as "an old friend." Sebastian does not have human friends.
... But that's why, when he describes himself as an old friend of J.F.'s, Pris immediately knows he's lying and hangs up. An alternate explanation for the unicorn dream and the origami unicorn at the end are that they represent Rachael: unicorns are feminine, beautiful, and unreal. Gaff's origami had, up to that point, only been used to represent people: the chicken was Deckard reluctant to come back to the job; the stick-figure with the big penis was Deckard in his element as a detective. At the end of the film, Gaff sees Rachael in the same way Deckard saw her in his abstract daydream, and so decided to let her live. This doesn't mean that Deckard isn't a replicant, but the unicorn origami is ambiguous proof that he is at best.
An interesting theory: Deckard in the film is a human because of how his character and the replicants act. The Skinjobs, as they're derogatorily called by the humans, are emotional and passionate in their drive for life. Contrast the human characters, like Bryant and Gaff, who are cold, emotionless, and detached toward the world around them. Deckard didn't display any of the emotional qualities the Replicants had throughout the movie, which makes him more "human". In the book, this issue is raised explicitly. Deckard takes the Voight-Kampff test and is proven human.
Many viewers are disturbed by Deckard's forcibly stealing a kiss from Rachel and believe that it implies that he raped her. Whether he did tends to be hotly debated in online discussions of the movie. If Deckard is a replicant, he (like the others) still has the emotional maturity of a child despite physical and mental maturity, hence explaining his actions as emotionally misunderstanding the implications of what he's doing.
Aside from the issue of whether Deckard is intended to be a replicant or not, and to what extent this is hinted at in the movie, a more fundamental issue is to what extent he is "the good guy" and Roy Batty is the villain. According to one interpretation, the entire movie is about Deckard realizing he's fundamentally on the wrong side (helped by Rachael) and that replicants are not really evil but just WellIntentionedExtremists whose desire for more life and freedom is understandable. This explains why in the director's cut, the ending is him going on the run with Rachael.
Blade Runner is also an example because Ridley Scott is invoking the genre. In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel Blade Runner is based on, Deckard is definitively shown to be human multiple times. Even without the Voight-Kampff test, he is shown to be human and the implication that he isn't is fueled primarily by paranoia rather than any real evidence. Ridley Scott still places Deckard through largely the same plot, but re-interprets him as a replicant. Rachel is a more minor example. She serves largely the same role in both the novel and film, but she is a far more active character in the novel than the film.
The Live-Action Adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas invents new motivations for the Grinch. In the book and the 1966 cartoon, the reason the Grinch hates Christmas is not explicitly given, but it's suggested to be because his heart was "two sizes too small". The film provides him with a Back Story, mainly to fill screen time; this backstory does provide a good excuse. In this version, Whoville's Christmas is openly consumerist with conspicuous consumption and forced cheer, and the Grinch's home is directly linked to the town dump. And then there's the racism against green furry people and the PHB mayor. But the Narrator doesn't seem to notice; he still says "no one quite knows the reason," and "two sizes two small" is still the spoken explanation. The Grinch even speaks of himself as a Card-Carrying Villain.
Maybe he's been vilified and pointlessly hated for so long that he accepts his role as "monster," just as people who are degraded constantly start to believe that they're worthless. Taken to a further extreme, he may even believe that the Whos WANT him to be a monster and that he is doing them a service by indulging their "wish" at great personal harm to himself (his self-admittedly miserable life). The way he handwaves his saving of Cindy could be a sudden realization that he failed his duty. These sorts of things are always interesting to ponder...
In the first Evil Dead movie Ash reacts in much the same way you'd expect someone to react to zombies. By the third film, Army of Darkness he's the one-liner spouting, ladies man, parody of the typical action hero we all love. The change happens in Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn. But, what if, instead of the character just changing due to his experience, it causes him to go insane, and begin behaving in a manner suggested by movies and the media in general? In fact, this can be pinned down to one scene. At one point in Evil Dead 2, everything in the house begins laughing. After a few moments Ash begins laughing as well. Perhaps this is where the weight of his friends (Or just girlfriend depending on whether you go by Evil Dead 2's recap, or the first movie) becoming demon possessed zombies that he was forced to kill, and he himself being possessed for a short time. Going by this theory, you can even say that everything afterward, in both Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness is just one long hallucination, and Ash cut off his own hand for no good reason. Perhaps the "knights" who capture Ash are really police and doctors, and the "castle" they take him to is a mental institution. And, if he is hallucinating, this would explain the much more lighthearted tone of Army of Darkness.
The two interpretations of Ash in Army of Darkness alone each exemplified by the AlternateEndings. In the first ending where Ash drinks too much potion and sleeps too long he is portrayed as more of a bumbling fool who can't follow simple instructions. In the second ending where we cut back to S-Mart in time for Ash to kick ass when some zombies show up for an encore, he comes off as more Brilliant, but Lazy. It's not that he can't follow instructions or hold a better job, he just can't be bothered. This is backed up by the tools and science textbooks in the back of his car and his general nonchalance throughout the whole picture. Sam Rami has stated that he wanted the first ending to make Ash look like more of an idiot, however in an interview Bruce Campbell said that Ash was actually quite brilliant, but he worked at S-Mart because it was the only place he felt loved. You decide.
One can think of The Passion Of The Christ (and the Biblical chapters it's based on) as a story about a liberal social reformer who was done in by religious fundamentalists for questioning their orthodoxy.
There's a line of Catholic theology known as "liberation theology," mostly Jesuit in origin, that identifies Jesus Christ as a liberal reformer trying to make socioeconomic conditions better in Judea. Which contradicts telling people that the important thing is saving their souls.
Social Justice is one of the major tenets of the Catholic church and their interpretation of Jesus' life, and recent church leaders like Pope John Paul II emphasized it greatly. But it's not the only mission of the church, just part of it.
The Last Temptation of Christ created much controversy from Moral Guardians who objected to its Alternative Character Interpretation of Jesus as a doubting human man beset with uncertainties about his role in life and tormented by his love for and lust of Mary Magdalene, as opposed to the all-knowing Messiah of traditional depiction, and of Judas as not the greedy traitor he is frequently depicted as, but as Jesus' best friend and most loyal disciple who reluctantly betrayed Jesus (on Jesus' own urging, no less) to fulfill his role in prophecy.
Then there is The Man from Earth, in which Jesus is just a normal guy who has somehow lived since the dawn of time, studied Buddhism at one point during his long life, and later taught Buddhist morals to the people of Judea. The rest is history.
Word Of God wanted it to be open to interpretation, ostensibly because this would give the movie more weight, but in fact because the filmmakers were juvenile-minded provocation artists. It also depends on which filmmaker you ask; one of them leans more towards the first interpretation.
The writer/creator wasn't trying to provoke people into outrage by being controversial and vulgar (though he was trying to be controversial); he was trying to get people to think about it and decide for themselves. It adds to the psychological thriller aspect if you find yourself conflicted about who to root for or who to be afraid for, or if you're rooting or fearing for both parties; Evil Versus Evil applied to pedophiles vs. serial killer of pedophiles is a novelty. There is not supposed to be a right answer, and that does add to the weight of the film.
This was probably intended in the I Am Legend movie. Early on, Robert Neville captures a female ghoul. When a male ghoul braves the sunlight afterwards, Neville dispassionately states that they're regressing and starting to ignore the pain reflex. The more obvious interpretation is that the male ghoul is trying to get his girlfriend back.
The next time Neville goes out to scout around, he gets caught in the same type of fall trap he used to catch the female ghoul. Then the same male ghoul sics a pack of ghoul-dogs on Neville while he is incapacitated. Those are not the actions of a dumb brute; he learns and plans ahead. So this ghoul probably retained his intellect even if his behavior has regressed. Or his behavior hadn't regressed — he was ignoring physical pain to deal with something even more important. Or the difference between Neville and the rest of remaining humanity is the same as it's always been: elitism, and the belief that the best should lead or improve the herd.
The Interview (starring Hugo Weaving) makes this its central theme. The main character is taken from his home and interrogated ruthlessly by two police officers. The senior officer is dead-set on convicting our poor protagonist and seems malicious by the end — but there are hints that the protagonist may not be entirely innocent. People have debated this. There are opinions that support and opinions that reject the protagonist's innocence. The alternate ending of the movie practically says he's guilty; that it was cut supports open interpretation of the final cut.
The two lead female characters in The Descent. Some see one or the other as either a sympathetic hero or an unsympathetic irredeemable asshole who got what she deserved.
The Descent itself can be interpreted as a tragic story about a Native American tribe defending its homeland from invaders. The tragedy is that, due to the language barrier, the crawler tribe did not realize the spelunkers were just lost and not dangerous (or that they were human and not monsters).
Rare in-series example: The six actors who have played James Bond over the years each gave a different interpretation of his character. Connery is tough and businesslike, Lazenby is more caring and great with women, Moore is a light-hearted Bond who will kick your car off a cliff and then make an ironic joke about it, Dalton is a dark Turn In Your Badge sort, Brosnan is quiet but full of emotion with an "oh yeah, I get to drive a tank through Stalingrad for a living. My life ROCKS!!!" look on his face all the time, and Craig is a morally ambiguous Bad Ass (he's arrogant and an extremely bad timer). Oddly, the fans generally accept all of these as essential pieces to Bond's character.
There's also a widespread fan theory that the differences are because Bond is a cover identity given to any agent who is assigned the 007 designation. (Following this, Alec Trevelyan of GoldenEye, for example, would be the cover name for anyone given the number 006.) It's about the only way to fit Casino Royaleinto the backstory.
This makes you wonder, how come Roger Moore's 007 was mourning by George Lazenby's wife's grave? And why was Sean Connery's Bond so furiously trying to get revenge for Tracy's murder? Additionally, when Anya Amasova mentions Bond (Lazenby's) wife in The Spy Who Loved Me Bond (Moore) becomes very upset.
Another possibility is that Moore's Bond is reflecting on the cost of being Bond, i.e. no real personal life lest those who he grows close to are brutally killed. As for "furiously" pursuing Blofeld to get revenge for Tracy's murder, see this . Not exactly the five stages of grief, with enough leeway for the first five minutes of Diamonds Are Forever to be interpreted as an apparent one-in-a-million chance to assassinate Blofeld when he was vulnerable.
A scrapped plot element of On Her Majesty's Secret Service mentions that Bond has recently undergone plastic surgery (into Lazenby) so as to better infiltrate Blofeld's infrastructure (whom had already met Bond) which would imply at least Connery and Lazenby's Bond are the same.
Different interpretations of Bond are possible within a single Bond movie. In Quantum Of Solace, for example, there's a fair amount of ambiguity surrounding 007's motives - it's just as easy to view Bond as just doing his job with his usual... err... efficiency as to believe he was on an ill-conceived vendetta.
Skyfall seems to lean toward the 'one Bond' theory, given that the climax takes place at the Bond family estate where he grew up, which features the graves of his parents nearby, and a caretaker who is on a first name basis with him. This makes him hard to fit into the 'multiple Bonds' theory, unless this agent was already named James Bond before he joined MI6.
On the other hand, the Daniel Craig films are heavily hinted to be a reboot of the franchise, as he's just getting his 00 status at the beginning of Casino Royale, and by the end of Skyfall Q and Moneypenny have only just been introduced. So maybe this is the original Bond, and subsequent Bonds have taken/will take his name after he's retired/been killed.
In fact, an alternate interpretation of the final shot is that Chance can walk on water because he doesn't realize it's not possible, and so he is still The Fool. Incidentally, the director conceived the shot when he was inspired by how believable the film, especially Sellers, was playing out; the ending in the script was more akin to the novel's.
For his part, Sellers admitted he liked how open this was to interpretation. He saw the character as an analogue to himself (that is, constantly being what others wanted on and off screen, with no "true" self), which is why he wanted to play him. He felt the point of the story was "God's message again that the meek shall inherit the Earth," and so his personal interpretation of Chance (and himself) may have leaned more towards Fool than Messiah.
Alternately, the scene involved Chance walking on a sandbar directly beneath the surface of the water with deep water to either side to emphasize that Chance's progression through the film has been based entirely on taking fortunate steps in exactly the right places, walking a razor's edge.
Roger Ebert opposes this interpretation on the grounds that it violates the implicit rules of film: "When I taught the film, I had endless discussions with my students over this scene. Many insisted on explaining it: He is walking on a hidden sandbar, the water is only half an inch deep, there is a submerged pier, etc. 'Not valid!' I thundered. 'The movie presents us with an image, and while you may discuss the meaning of the image it is not permitted to devise explanations for it. Since Ashby does not show a pier, there is no pier — a movie is exactly what it shows us, and nothing more.'"
Alternately alternately, Chance is a person with no real mind or personality. There is no weight to him, no depth nor substance. He is so "light" that he can walk on water.
Or, still further into alternatives, Chance really is more than he appears. Throughout the film, he constantly does exactly what the people around him need him to do: the infamous "I like to watch" scene allows the wife to feel sexual without cheating on the husband she seems to love, for example.
Total Recall (1990): is Quaid savior of Mars, or is it all a glitch in his programmed dream memory vacation, or did the dream vacation go off without a hitch? This is even argued about in the DVD Commentary between Paul Verhoven and Arnold. One theory argues that the fade to white at the very end is supposed to represent the real Quaid, who is indeed imagining his vacation on Mars..
Election: Is Tracy Flick a ruthless evil politician and Femme Fatale in the making, or is she just an ambitious teenager manipulated by her mother, abused by a teacher, and sabotaged by another teacher (who might lust after her too, if some of the sex scenes are any indication)?
And is Jim simply a member of the Noble Profession whose entire life was destroyed by Tracy? Or someone who couldn't admit to himself his marriage was falling apart, and took all his frustrations out by sabotaging the election of a student he had resentment (and Foe Yay, or No Yay) against? It was a student election, losing it would hardly stop her from moving up in the world as he told himself it would.
A single deleted scene of Donnie Darko calls into question the visions that Donnie sees throughout the movie: are they clues and hints to guide his hand in creating a Stable Time Loop that results in his own death, or are they deranged hallucinations caused by his anti-psychotic medication being a placebo? Although Word Of God does say that it is that first option.
One more for the road: Donnie is a Superhero in a universe with no room for Superheroes. He raids the school, cracking a water pipe with an axe and burying that axe in the head of a 16 foot tall solid brass statue. Then he writes on the floor in huge letters. He'd have to possess both Super Strength and Flight to do that. Then when he burns down Patrick Swayze's house, the damage from the fire reveals the kiddie porn dungeon, causing the arrest of Swayze and, we can assume, the saving of some kids from exploitation, at least by Swayze. The Time Travel is an aspect of his abilities, and the Bunny is his subconscious trying to process his new-found abilities and interpret the prophetic visions he has. A perfect example is the scene in the bathroom when he stabs Frank the Bunny in the eye, then sees Frank the Bunny with a damaged eye, without his mask, then later shoots real life human Frank, in the eye. They come off as hallucinations, but they are his psyche struggling to process the information. It's possible that he has so much trouble because his medication was dulling his mind and making it harder for him to control/process what's happening around him. As the film goes on and his powers grow in strength, he as a person becomes more confident and assertive.
He even calls out Swayze from moment one, declaring him the Antichrist without ever explaining why. It could be argued he sensed the 'evil' within Swayze from the get go without realising why. He's a flawed Super, but at the same time not; when his girlfriend is the victim, he goes back in time a month to die under the plane engine. This means he never meets, thus never endangers Gretchen, and his sister and mother are never on the plane from which the engine falls, and his other sister's boyfriend is never killed. It also means Swayze is never caught and Gretchen's mother, and presumably Gretchen, with nowhere to run to, fall victim to her abusive father.
Drew Barrymore and Dr Carter are Guardians/Guides of a sort, the Scientist/Professor friend every superhero has who can explain the powers without possessing any themselves. (Mohinder, any one?) Except in this case they explain philosophical concepts which lead Donnie to an understanding of his own powers.
Donnie appears schizophrenic to his family because...well, how would a superhero look in the real world we live in today? How many people do we lock away who claim they can fly or come from another planet...?
They build on this idea without 'getting it' in the sequel 'Samantha Darko', suggesting she's inherited the same abilities as her brother. Her choices at the end leading to equally damaging and tragic consequences: a little boy starving to death only miles and days from rescue thanks to a psychotic townsperson's insane agenda.
The Matrix itself. An intricate scam designed to subjugate and enslave humankind, or a symbiotic environment that gives humans a last chance to lead normal lives in an irreparable Crapsack World? Are Neo and Co. valiant freedom fighters, or deluded fools who wreck things and kill uninvolved people for nothing?
There is a FanFiction that supports this alternative interpretation. In short, the behavior of all the machines followed Asimov's Zeroth Law of Robotics: no machine can harm mankind, or, through inaction, allow mankind to come to harm. So, they realized that darkening the skies would ultimately lead to the extinction of the humans (no plants, no animals, no food) and they built the Matrix to keep humans alive.
There is also the popular "Zion is part of the Matrix" theory, which posits that Neo was able to shut down Sentinels with his mind and see despite losing both eyes because what everybody thought was the "real world" is a second layer of the Matrix designed to let the one percent who reject the first layer's programming think they're free. It's certainly not beyond the machines' programming abilities, and it gives the humans the illusion that they're free while keeping them from escaping for real. Everybody's happy! Oh, except the millions of people who die.
What we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. The machines have actually been engaged in civil war for at least 6 iterations of the matrix. The two opposing sides disagree over whether their natural evolution leading to qualities that are considered to be more "human" is a good thing. Humanity has only been brought into this conflict by The Plan of the Oracle. This lends interesting new depth to many events of the movies such as Agent Smith's rant about needing to get free (feels a lot like a soldier having fought for too long, no?); programs going into exile; and many quotes from The Oracle and The Architect - "You've played a dangerous game", "There are levels of survival we are willing to accept". Also, "What about the others? . . . The ones who want out" - humans hooked into the matrix who aren't ready to be freed, or POW programs? So you tell me, was Humanity (the group) the enemy, or was humanity (the quality)?
Star Wars has several, but the one closest to Epileptic Trees was sparked by the Knights of the Old RepublicRevan-went-dark-to-protect-the-galaxy argument: Darth Sidious wanted to unite the galaxy under the Empire to protect it from the threat of the Yuuzhan Vong. If one thinks about this long enough, then it starts to make sense: the Yuuzhan Vong practice complete planetary terraforming to make their weapon/ship farms, and the Empire wouldn't be able to reverse it. The Death Star would be used to a) crush the Alliance and unite the Empire, and b) eliminate Yuuzhan Vong worlds. When the Alliance beat the Empire, this ended, creating a nice big Nice Job Breaking It, Hero situation, and so the New Republic had to struggle against the Vong.
However, when thought about even longer, one realizes that this theory starts to break down. The Empire engaged in large and pointless discrimination against a significant percentage of its population, as well as brutal oppression of other parts, meaning that the Yuuzan Vong likely would have had a much bigger support base from the local population against the Empire (considering how much damage the Peace Brigade was able to do, now imagine if most of the galaxy had good reason to go with them). Furthermore, the Empire ultimately lost against the Rebellion, meaning it failed to deal with a galactic-scale conflict, something that Gilad Pellaeon, then current leader of the Imperial Remnant, pointed out to a subordinate who made the "Empire would have won against the Vong" argument in the Dark Tide duology. Similarly, in Destiny's Way, Han Solo snidely comments to an Imperial officer that what the old Empire would have done when faced with the Yuuzhan Vong was build some enormous superweapon that had a critical flaw or didn't work. This was as much a jab at many of the early Star Wars novels as it was the Empire, but could easily be applied to the films seeing as how two-thirds of the Rebellion-Era movies revolved around superweapons that had exploitable flaws. The logic behind the original ACI still exists, it's just that the Empire probably overestimates its chances against an established, fanatical, merciless, fairly populous invasion that can negate the Emperor's foresight, when it couldn't take down an insurrection headed by idealists.
The interpretation of Palpatine being aware of the impending invasion is a development of Thrawn's character. There's a lot of hints that Thrawn joined the Empire because he was aware of a threat and continued to serve because he thought that the New Republic would collapse due to internal infighting (though the Empire itself collapsed due to infighting). Later interpretations transferred this to Palpatine. (The current canonical interpretation is probably that any mentions of a "greater threat" by Palpatine during his reign was an excuse to hold power; the Vong invasion bolstering that was a coincidence.)
The Force and The Dark Side: tools enabling justice or power, or a single cunning entity manipulating everyone in the galaxy? Or at least the Jedi and the Sith. The two aspects of The Force are just that, aspects of one singular thing. Sith believe The Dark Side gives them power over The Force and others, but their quick descent into anger quickly makes them tools of it and not the other way around. Jedi, on the other hand, actively seek to follow the will of The Force because it has an Omniscient Morality License. What kind of long con it's trying to pull is anyone's guess.
For that matter, is the Force intelligent? After all, the abilities possessed by the Jedi apparently come from microscopic creatures in their bloodstreams. We are expected to believe that these microscopic creatures are somehow able to convey the wisdom and guidance of the all-knowing, all-powerful Force. There are reasons to give that idea a healthy dose of scientific skepticism.
Read about how Mitochondria have their own separate DNA chains.
And... symbiont microorganisms serving as the conduit for the Force are less believable than cells in one's brain serving as one exactly how?
Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back was a Rebel sympathizer, not just clumsy and stupid. Amid several significant glances and nods, he tried to divert Vader's attention from Hoth and then alerted the Rebel forces to the impending invasion.
There is always the idea that the movies are like history textbooks, created by and in the style of the "heroic" side. The Jedi are pure and benevolent and completely justified in their resistance of the Dark Side! Except.. while they depict the Sith as evil for using evil emotions, they themselves seem to eschew ALL emotions, and seem to consider all emotions, even the most positive, as evil ANYWAYS... What if the Sith were just another religious order, maybe hailing from a planet with a dangerously intense sun (thus, Dark Is Not Evil and Light Is Not Good for them), where they had learned to channel their passions and emotions in a positive way? Love to empower, fear transformed into to protection, anger at the injustice of the world mastered and channelled into focused will to accomplish good things.. Good, passionate people. Then in their spread across the Galaxy, they encounter another religion, the "Jedi". The Jedi, an order of strict and passionless fighters, are horrified at the blasphemous emotionality of the newcomers, and make them into Acceptable Targets in order to crush them in a patriotic, faith-based crusade... Thereafter, the very name of the other religion would be used to describe the violation of their stricture against emotionality, and anyone walking their left-hand path would be labeled Sith.
People who watched the prequels as kids don't hate Jar Jar Binks because the character was aimed at their age group when they first watched the films. If they had been able to animate hair, then he would have probably been a younger Chewbacca. Jar Jar is also open to some interesting alternate interpretations, particularly once he becomes Senator. Is he really as dumb as he acts, and is he really a patsy for Sidious when he offers the motion to create the clone army? Or is it all just Obfuscating Stupidity, and he in fact knows exactly what he's doing (possible motives: vengeance against the Gungan leadership who humiliated and exiled him around the time of Episode I).
Upon first viewing the Yoda/Dooku fight, you would be forgiven for thinking that Dooku got his ass handed to him by the little green man. Take a second look, and you'll see a Dark Jedi Master take on Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker and simultaneously school them in the art of lightsaber combat. Then, after proving himself equal to Yoda in knowledge of the Force, he chalks up a no-score loss by defending against everything the Green Pinball of Destruction can dish out. He only retreats to report back to the Emperor when it's clear the fight has become a stalemate, Yoda's backup is seconds from arriving, and Obi-Wan starts to regain consciousness.
But it is that Dooku, who had all his attacks repelled and resorted to a dirty trick, also clearly became too afraid even of distracted Yoda to attack him when the latter was stopping the falling pillar.
Oh, it's not that Dooku would have won had the fight continued. It's just that the fight wasn't the Curb-Stomp Battle that everyone assumes it was. The Count holds his own (albeit barely) and retreats when it becomes clear that he can't win against Yoda. Add that Obi-Wan is regaining consciousness and Yoda's military backup is seconds away, and the odds are about to tilt against him rather badly. Probably didn't hurt that his master had a backup plan.
No, no. This is all touched upon in the novel "Yoda: Dark Rendezvous". Yoda has not lost hope that his ex-apprentice can go back to being good and probably held back in that fight - Heaven knows he holds back in the fight which he has in that book. At one point he just looks at Dooku and the guy recoils in horror because his ex-Master's face reminded him of Palpatine (It Makes Sense in Context). Yoda can wipe the floor with him if he chooses; he just can't bring himself to kill him while there still might be hope of him turning back (and other guys to be saved).
Speaking of which, what about Dooku himself? How evil is he really? Yoda appears to believe that there is still good in him and it has been brought up that he spoke out against corruption in the republic before coming into contact with Sideous. So in the end did he want power, or was he really trying to create a better system of government and if so how far did he go? Was he simply a knight-templar or was he deluding himself?
There's quite a bit of Alternate Character Interpretation present just between the novels and the films. Luke Skywalker: desperate kid with marginal Jedi training, or most powerful Jedi who ever lived? Boba Fett: Just some bounty hunter who had Han Solo handed to him by Darth Vader, then was killed by a blind man flailing, or the Ultimate Badass of the Universe? As said above, in the novels, Yoda holds back fighting Dooku and could actually completely destroy him in a legitimate fight, but this is never suggested in any way in the films, where Dooku seems to hold his own just fine against Yoda. And the most notorious example of Alternate Character Interpretation, between different versions of the same film: who shot first?
A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope: R2D2 and Chewie are actually the Rebellion's top field agents, with C3PO and Han unknowingly distracting attention away from them. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Yoda are scared shitless from day one that Luke and/or Leia will go down the same path as Anakin, especially with Luke's ability to blast womp rats hinting at Force sensitivity.
When Watto insists on releasing either Anakin or Shmi Skywalker (but not both) to Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon chooses Anakin. Maybe this is him making the best of things and making the only real choice—after all, he did first try to get them both released—but it does work out rather well for him: he intends Anakin to be trained as a Jedi, and they would have separated him from his mother eventually anyway; this way, the separation is achieved immediately, and in such a way that Watto is the bad guy rather than the Jedi. Pretty sneaky...
There's also the idea that he really wanted to free both of them. However Shmi for different reasons (as in he had the hots for her). I'm betting had his life not been cut short he would have gone back and bought her freedom.
Chewbacca convinced Han to go back for Luke to keep Luke and Leia from doing the do. Chewbacca knows Luke and Leia are twins, and knows that is very wrong.
Speaking of Twincest, Leia has a fetish for it. That's why she kept flirting with Luke when she's "always known".
28 Days Later: Is Major Henry West an utter psychopath completely desensitised to human suffering, or is he just a desperate commander trying to make sure all his "boys" survive the apocalypseby any means necessary? The fact that he's effectively ordering women to be raped pushes him a good way down the slippery slope, but listen to his justification for it. And watch how he comforts Jones as he lies dying from a stomach wound, and his ultimate reaction to Jim's rampage. "You killed all my boys."
Or is he a good military officer who went mad after watching (and killing) human beings who had turned into inhuman psychopaths and watching the country he'd devoted his life to serving crumble all around him?
The makers of the The Usual Suspects have a laugh about this trope in the DVD commentary, noting how some people thought that the wrong person was the "real" Kaiser Soze. According to Word Of God, it's Verbal.
A fun theory: there is no Keyser Soze. He's been made up and attributed to a number of crimes from several criminals to throw off police from the real culprits.
Yet another: there wasn't a real Keyser Soze, until Verbal Kint heard the stories and decided to become Keyser Soze. He is, canonically, a con artist, after all, and, Keyser Soze or not, the events of the film are clearly an elaborate long con orchestrated by him. What better scam could there be than convincing the criminal world that you are the big bad boogeyman who should be feared and respected?
There's a theory regarding Donny from The Big Lebowski which suggests that Donny doesn't exist, but is simply a figment of Walter's imagination, as the Dude (the protagonist of the film) only talks to Donny once during the whole film. Alternatively, Donny is figment of both The Dude and Walter's imaginations. This brings up questions such as: Whose ashes were those, then? And was the funeral home worker also imaginary?
Is Walter Sobchek an incompetent, ultra-nationalist gun-nut who feels the need to relate absolutely everything to Vietnam because of his friends who died there? Or is he a spineless man who never went to 'Nam, felt incredible survivor's guilt because of his friends who did go and died, and acts crazy to overcompensate?
Supposedly a line was cut from the film where The Dude, fed up with the constant 'Nam references, points out that Walter was never even in 'Nam.
Or is Walter a Vietnam vet more traumatized by his divorce than by Vietnam, realizes on some level how that's kind of screwed up, and so uses Vietnam as a cover for his own insecurities? Notice how he blows up when The Dude tells him he isn't really Jewish (he converted for his wife and never left after the divorce).
Nim's Island makes a lot more sense if you imagine that a good deal of what happens on the island, from just after Nim falls down the mountain to when Alexandra arrives, is hallucination. Which is more likely - a young girl fending off pirates with her talking animal friends, or a young girl lying in bed delirious from an infected leg wound? The main characters are a Dysfunction Junction anyway; interpreted this way, the movie can be seen as a chilling portrayal of mental illness. But it's still heartwarming.
Likewise, are Riff Raff & Magenta an evil brother/sister duo plotting Frank's downfall, or merely the victims of Frank's abuse and completely justified in their actions? Fanfics will vary greatly on the answer.
North: Wonderful child whose parents don't appreciate him, or raging egotist who doesn't get other cultures? (Consider the fact that all the cultures were depicted in the dream would seem to indicate that is how he views them, not how they really are, would seem to indicate the kid's a bit of a bigot.) Considering his age, and his seeming to live in a suburban bubble, how factual would he have been in the first place? Granted, he's smarter than every other kid in his neighborhood, but there are plenty of people who think they know all about a culture or area and are quite wrong. And when do you control what you dream? Alaska seemed like he overlapped what he might have known over an episode of The Flintstones.
"When do you control what you dream?" When you are a lucid dreamer. It happens.
The primary prerequisite of lucid dreaming is that you know you're dreaming, and being able to control what happens is a side effect. Another side effect would be rendering the All Just a Dream ending completely moot.
North's freakout at the beginning of the film. It sounds like this is definitely not the first time this happens at the dinner table. For all we know he might be an overachiever to make his parents happy.
In Night at the Museum, the director is angry at Larry for making a mess of the museum, but he never asks HOW it happened. Some people on the IMDb take this as evidence that he knew about the exhibits coming to life.
Optimus Prime: living legend, hero of heroes, all-around good guy. But Revenge of the Fallen gives us gems like "Give me your face!". This might be explained as post-death high spirits, but some think even "Any last words?" without at least a perfunctory offer of surrender is Out of Character, especially given how he was all "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" in the previous film. The theory is that the death of the Joker to his Batman, followed by two years of combat, has turned Prime into a mutilation-happy psychotic.
An alternative to this is that Optimus is a nice guy — in general. It's just that, over the millennia of war, he's decided that the only way to stop the Decepticons is to take them out lest they destroy even more. It's possible that he tried to take prisoners before, and they escaped and caused even more damage. And the Fallen is an interdimensional being (according to the TFWiki entry), which means that the Fallen has tried to do this in multiple universes, which means that he's not likely to repent any time soon. Assuming Optimus knew this, he decided that he wouldn't give the Fallen a chance to try again and kill him. And his obsession with facial gorn? We can assume that the head is the least armored part of a Cybertronian, and is therefore a better target — especially considering that the head contains the processors, which are the Transformer equivalent of the brain.
The Decepticons in the movies are waaay more brutal than the original G1 Decepticons. Demolishor was rolling across the highway, crushing cars and likely killing thousands, and the Fallen was going to destroy the entire solar system. The movie's Decepticons are also much larger and pose a significant threat. Optimus had to fight fire with fire.
Except that the Decepticons only killed Autobots, who were combatants, and humans, who were another species (even another form of life), so it's not the same as murder from their perspective. Considering how humans gleefully slaughter billions of other animals yearly for their own enjoyment and use, the Decepticons squashing even a thousand humans hardly sounds so evil (and it makes humans denouncing the Decepticons for their treatment of humans extremely hypocritical "Torturing, enslaving, and brutally killing us innocent living beings is horrible and makes you all evil. Luckily we have the Autobots to protect us, so we can torture, enslave, and brutally kill other living beings in peace."). From a non-human perspective, wiping out humanity, or at least enslaving humans, would make the world a better place.
Remember, though, the Fallen's stated motivation is that he hates humans and wants to wipe them out. Killing humans wasn't an unintended side effect of gathering energon, it was his goal. The Sun Harvester was developed by the Primes, and the Fallen could've easily used it on another, uninhabited planet. But no, he deliberately set out to wipe out a sentient species. Prime may hold that freedom is the right of all sentient beings, but that doesn't mean he's going to hold back if you're planning genocide.
Optimus is pissed. He's already been killed and, upon his resurrection, is almost killed again. He's hooked into a giant life-support machine (Jetfire's parts) and, on top of it all, the Fallen taunts him about how he killed all the other Primes. Prime loses it. Cue asskicking. In the case of Demolishor's execution, the number one rule for the NEST op was to keep the hostiles within the quarantine zone- which, as Demolishor shows, failed miserably. Optimus probably realized that both the secrecy of the mission and thousands human lives were in jeopardy and acted as quickly as possible, resorting to brutality in order to protect the majority.
The Twins are seen by many as jive-talking Scrappies. However, as some ancillary media has pointed out, it's made clear that they have been recruited into the war at a very young age (approximately 8-10 human years old). Some fans have theorized that they are trying to act tough in order to hide their fears and impress the others.
Sam's mother. Just a scrappy or just moderately mentally impaired?
The Duke in "Moulin Rouge!!" did nothing wrong. He made an agreement with the main characters: He would fund the rebuild of the entire club, all in exchange for sex with Nicole Kidman. This was agreed upon in advance. He held up his end of the bargain; but she didn't do her part, nor did she ever intend to. So they scammed him out of a ton of money, feeling entitled to it because he had money and they didn't. His understandable anger after that led to the violent actions that followed.
Or... the idea that he 'did nothing wrong' is absurd, considering that the Duke attempted rape and murder.
Was it just sex? It seems like a lot of dough for just one high-class prostitute. He bought her, and not just for one night.
While the most common interpretation of The Fountain is Who Wants to Live Forever?, it's possible that Jackman's character's pursuit of immortality was a genuinely benign goal. He had to accept death in the end, but if he hadn't artificially extended his life for centuries, then he would have died bitter, miserable, and alone. His immortality cure allowed him to search himself and find peace before he eventually died. The pursuit of life was a worthy goal by itself when most face death with fear and denial.
Or another interpretation: The past was his wife's novel written by a historian, the present is what is actually happening, and the end is his attempt to end the novel using his own knowledge pool — science — to finish what his wife started. The trip through space is a literary coping mechanism for his failure to save her.
The 2005 version of Casanova staring Heath Ledger portrays Casanova as the protagonist, a man desiring to enjoy sexual intercourse as often as he can with as many different women as he can manage. As is to be expected in a story based on Casanova, the Catholic Church (specifically, the Inquisition) is portrayed at best as an obstacle to Casanova and at worst as the villain. The moment you see Jeremy Irons arrive on the scene as Inquisitor Pucci, one can be sure that Pucci will be the Designated Villain of the story. Even a large order of nuns, to a woman, seem to throw themselves at him as he races down several corridors that are not even in the same building, including one that belonged to a wealthy merchant family. Through it all, he manages to avoid the long arm of the Inquisition, in part with thanks to his personal friend the Doge, and eventually gives up his incorrigible ways and makes regular love to only a single woman, passing on his moniker to a young man he helped to get over his shyness.
That's the intended interpretation (probably), but change one small assumption of the movie, and you get a Perspective Flip. The filmmakers see sexual intercourse out of wedlock as something to aspire to; the Church (and this includes the real Roman Catholic Church) views it as a sin. Recall that adultery is a sin spoken of in some of the harshest terms because it corrupts the body as well as the soul. Casanova was not only someone in deep need of salvation, but someone who was placing stumbling block after stumbling block in the path of others on their road to salvation — which is a sin in itself. The previous local head of the inquisition, while seeking to capture and convict Casanova, has attempted to convict Casanova in the past and might have shown some leniency had he been able to force Casanova to clean up his act without the interference of the Doge. Further, even after choosing a woman to devote himself too, Casanova is never shown to marry her, which means he hasn't given up his incorrigible ways altogether. He's still having escapades — he's just narrowed the focus considerably. Finally, the young man he left in his place continues the line of sexual escapades; before the interference of Casanova, he was eager to devote himself to a single particular woman.
HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Word Of God said that he went kill-crazy because he was given conflicting orders about how to treat the crew members. There are two other theories for his motives: he was aware he was going to crash/go nuts and was trying to drop hints to Dave to figure out the secret purpose of the mission; or he, being a perfect computer, felt threatened by the monolith and wanted to keep mankind from acquiring it and reaching a point in evolution where they don't need tools like himself. Naturally, the film itself gives no hints at all.
HAL screws up at chess early on in the film. He announces that it is checkmate in two moves. It's actually three. Kubrick was a chess enthusiast (the character Dr. Smyslov was named after a Russian chess champion, and the piece positions in question were from a famous 1910 game), so there's a good chance he put the goof in intentionally. Was it an early hint that there was something wrong with HAL? Was HAL testing his opponent to gauge how observant he was, and if he was willng to question HAL's claims? Or was he indeed dropping intentional clues that something was wrong with him, but this one proved too subtle?
The directors of The Heiress, when adapting it from the Henry James book Washington Square, changed the story deliberately to allow an alternate interpretation of maybe-Gold DiggerLove Interest Morris Townsend. Did he only want Catherine's money, and ran off after finding out she wouldn't be as rich as he thought? Did he truly care for her and didn't want to destroy the relationship between Catherine and her father? The former is unambiguously the case in the book and play.
The 39 Steps by Alfred Hitchcock hinges upon the fact that a girl in Richard Hannay's apartment ends up dead. The movie includes information that points to the girl being a spy, but all of this could easily be a hallucination by the schizophrenic Hannay. This turns Hannay from national hero to murderous psychopath and re-shades his interactions with women throughout the film in a much darker light. Considering this is one of the first "They think I did it but I didn't really do it" films, it could be considered a trope-maker.
This article argues that Ferris is a textbook sociopath in the making. Dr. Insanoconcurs, calling the movie "A dark, bleak story about the ultimate triumph of evil over reason and decency."(Though it should be noted that the Dr. Insano example was an April Fools Day joke, and maybe half-serious at most).
This completely ignores that Ferris got that way by helping other people out, and the day itself was an excercise to help his friends. All claims of "manipulation" are wiped away when you can hear the characters inner thoughts.
Unless one is aware that part of the diagnostic process for most personality disorders is the determination that the disordered person believes highly aberrant, often destructive, behavior to be normal, even beneficial.
War, Inc. could just be another over-the-top, post-9/11 socio-political satire... Or it's where Martin Blank ended up after trying to live a normal life with his long-lost love and their new daughter, finding out he couldn't stand it, doing some work with the government again, getting in bed with a villain, losing his wife and daughter to senseless violence/kidnapping, and now is spiraling even further down than he was before. Add to this his grip on reality completely being lost and everyone becoming a horrible caricature to him (people even look similar to ones he's met and killed before). A lot of visual and plot elements that the cast and crew carried over help this:
John Cusack uses a lot of the same moves in fight scenes.
He only opens up and is honest (at first) with a person he talks to over the phone.
He sizes himself up for hits in the mirror.
He procrastinates killing the target he's there for and eventually doesn't go through with it, actually telling the target he was sent to kill them.
And extensions of his descending character arc include nervous tics like a shaking hand/eye twitches he claims weren't previous conditions, a streak of grey hair, a propensity for dulling emotional pain with physical pain (via hot sauce); all signs of severe PTSD.
The only major snags are the actress playing "Mr. Hauser's" wife (could've been Debbie with a dye job for identity change) and the age of his daughter the singer if real-world time between when the two movies were produced is taken into account (probably Sliding Timescale, or Twenty Minutes Intothe Future).
The age of his daughter could be explained by adoption.
And for that matter, did they really succeed in their mission, thus placing this film in an alternate universe, or were the Nazi High Command in the theater body doubles? Or, perhaps, were they the real ones and body doubles were brought in to keep the war from ending?
Speaking of Tarantino, there is the case of Reservoir Dogs's Mr. Pink to consider; is he really an experienced thief, or does his nervousness and obsession with 'professionalism' indicate that he has almost no idea what he's doing?
Or is his nervousness a byproduct of being the last competent criminal in the group, but being completely powerless to prevent his associates from screwing things up.
Consider one of his first lines when he gets back to the warehouse. It could be he's looking to White to properly assess the situation, or he could just be asking about Orange's wounds.
Pink: This is bad, this is bad, this is bad. * Looks at Orange and then White* Is it bad?
Is Sky High's Stitches just another Mook, or is the greatest henchman in any medium? Royal Pain is de-aged into an infant, and out of pure loyalty, takes her in and raises her as his own daughter. And once she's old enough for her powers to manifest, he willing resumes his old position as her henchman.
Ace indicates in the voiceover that it was Nicky's increasing alcoholism and cocaine addiction that was making him sloppy.
Forrest Gump is insane, and everything that happens is a figment of his imagination. See here.
Except he pulls out a Forbes magazine with himself on the cover. Missed that scene, didn't ya?
Though the look on the old woman's face when she sees the magazine can be interpreted two ways. She saw what Forrest (and the audience saw) and was shocked at the truth, or the cover depicted some celebrity that she would instantly recognize and knew wasn't anyone named Dan, and she just got a glimpse into Forrest's psychosis.
Shutter Island, Edward Daniels AKA Andrew Laedis. Is he really hallucinating or was it a giant conspiracy by the island? Either side can be proved, and the hallucinogenic drugs in Edward's system could still have an effect by the lighthouse seen, so he could really be insane OR he could be the only sane person on the island. You can't prove that he isn't sane, even though the author said it is canon that he is insane.
The bandage on Teddy's forehead is never fully explained, either. According to some, it indicated experimentation and that the events of the film were all hallucinations while Teddy was being lobotomized.
In Edward Scissorhands it's been argued that the whole thing is simply a fairy tale the old woman is telling her grandchild. This seems to be a case of some people failing to understand Burton's little twist at the end - i.e., the opening is supposed to give the viewer the impression that an old lady is recounting a mere story to her grandchild but in the end that story is revealed to be true as the old lady reveals herself to be Kim. The alternate explanation not only negates the twist but makes the old lady rather strange given that she's therefore getting all emotionally attached to, and involved with, a fiction.
In Mean Girls, we already know that Janis and Regina were once best friends until Regina ruined Janis's reputation. It's possible to interpret their friendship dynamic to be just like how Regina and Cady's ended up: Janis was the sociopathic Alpha Bitch with Regina as the innocent friend who was slowly becoming popular and evolving. So the only difference between the Janis/Regina and Regina/Cady dynamics would be that Cady never actually followed through in ruining Regina's reputation.
The movie American Psycho has numerous alternate character interpretations, most revolving around the main character, Patrick Bateman. The most popular of these interpretations is that Bateman is not a serial killer, but a man hallucinating, dreaming, fantasizing or imagining (or all four) the killer aspects of the movie. One reviewer actually went so far as to state that Bateman is actually the mostly unseen character Marcus Halberstram
Other interpretations assume that Bateman did not kill Paul Allen, but someone else entirely because, like some of the other characters, he does not know who Paul Allen really is. There is at least one specific shot during the business card scene that would contradict this.
Still others think that Bateman's real name is Davis, because his lawyer, Harold Carnes, calls him Davis during the final scene.
Taxi Driver. Was the ending real or a delusion of Travis Bickle, dying after the gunfight?
Similarly, was the ending to The King Of Comedy real, or just the main character finally coming completely unglued?
Elwood Blues (The Blues Brothers, Blues Brothers 2000) has Asperger's Syndrome (which Dan Aykroyd himself has claimed to have in interviews). This would explain a lot about his character, including his predilection for sunglasses (allowing him to avoid direct eye contact) and his long, convoluted speeches about Russian politics and blues music in the sequel.
Some people with AS are particularly under- or over-sensitive to specific sensory input. Taste hypersensitivity, for example, can easily manifest as a marked preference for relatively tasteless food - which would explain the character's predilection for dry white toast.
Elwood Blues, good man who occasionally gets in the way of the law, but is willing to try so hard to save his orphanage... or destructive psycopath who should spend the rest of his life in jail for reckless behavior, especially regarding his driving through the mall, which no doubt resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damages as well as endangering the lives of everyone in the mall.
Plus, he's on a mission from God. Divine intervention, mofos!
Cheaper by the Dozen, specifically the first movie; A somewhat narmy family comedy or a Cliché Storm ridden extended Lifetime Channel Original Movie? For the family; A bunch of self centered spolied kids with overly-lenient parents or just parents that were neglectful with handling out disipline for the kids? And with that in mind upon watching the second film, are the family of Eugene Levy's character a foil for if you have too much a handle on your kids?
You mean the remake. The first film was made in 1950 with Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy.
Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's Halloween 2007 remake; Freudian Excuse leading to Badass Decay, or a deconstruction? Is Rob Zombie trying to say Michael is an evil serial killer because he had a shitty childhood, or in spite of it?
Is Chloe a Psycho LesbianStalker with a Crush, or is she just a troubled young woman who has been sexually exploited by a selfish adulteress old enough to be her mother? Does she commit suicide by letting go of the window frame because she realizes Catherine will never love her, or does Catherine murder her by pushing her out the window because she, Catherine, finds her inconvenient?
In addition was Catherine telling the truth about being with Chloe cause that was the only way she could be close to her husband. Or was she deep in the closet with genuine feelings for chloe but was in denial. Or a little bit (or a whole lot) of all of the above?
The producers of Drop Dead Fred want you to believe it's a story about a woman whose Imaginary Friend is actually a Not So Imaginary Friend, and helps her conquer her fears. The more reasonable explanation (contradicted by alarmingly little in the film itself) is that it's the story of a woman suffering from late-onset schizophrenia and increasingly violent delusions.
Not only is this not contradicted by the events of the film, it's practically justified. Lizzie has a terrible childhood with an overbearing mother, and starts to show symptoms. Her mom blames her for everything, so she lashes out and invents someone to blame things on herself. As an adult she seems to have things together, more of less. She has moved away from the mother, has a job, is married, etc. Then a single lunchbreak costs her both husband and job, and forces her to move back in with the woman who's responsible for her issues to begin with. Cue perfectly understandable relapse.
And if Fred really does have an independent existence, what are the pills, and why do they affect him? How can shrinks have a drug with no effect other than to kill imaginary friends, even though they don't believe such things exist?
Fight Club: Jack and Tyler are Calvin and Hobbes, grown up years later into the darkness of the very world that wanted to make Watterson sell out his vision for empty cash. This one will eventually be expanded out with the sub-reasons that continuously prove it.
Jack is not his real name, it's a reference to a children's book. And guess which single letter William Blake would change in Durden's first name?
Also, is the very ending where Marla and the Space Monkeys show up and the buildings blow up real, or is it all another hallucination that Jack/Tyler has while he is dying from the gunshot to his face? Novelist Chuck Palahniuk and screenwriter Jim Uhls even suggest this on the DVD commentary.
John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) has a few of these, still debated about on the Outpost 31 forums. Most of these questions were intentionally left ambiguous to allow the viewers to try to figure it out for themselves, according to Carpenter on the DVD commentary.
Is/Are Mack and/or Childs infected?
Would a person be aware that they're a Thing? Or would they experience something like blackouts when the Things take over?
This is explained actually. One of the men immolates himself. The other characters then speculate that he did so because he knew he'd been infected. This would explain why the thing proceeds to try and convert people one at a time rather then simply tapping everyone on the shoulder and leaving a single cell of itself on them.
Primitive life form that uses assimilation as a means of reproduction?
Super highly evolved life form that has evolved into a shape-shifter that can incorporate the genetics of other creatures into its own?
Some sort of alien "super flu"? Or alien cancer?
Nanotech. Some believe the Things are not actually carbon-based life forms.
How is it possible for the Things to remember so many DNA signatures?
They don't. They get rid of old or less-useful DNA signatures when they squire new ones. This would mean that they can only imitate so many organisms.
All of the cells act like braincells, remembering the DNA signatures like any other memory. This limits their forms to what information can be stored in an individual form (ie: the Blair Monster could remember more genetic information than the blood sample).
Quantum computing. This means that even a small amount of Thing biomass could store nearly limitless amounts of information.
"LEGO Genetics". The Things don't have to remember entire DNA strands, as they can re-arrange their own DNA structures. They only need to remember how to organize their DNA, much like one would learn LEGO diagrams. This is compatible with the latter two theories and explains mutations that seem to be more along the lines of "merged parts of other creatures" (like the "dog tongue/teeth flower"), rather then identifiable appendages (such as the spider-like legs, tentacles, eye stalks, etc.).
Does the Thing like the cold? Or would it have preferred to have been on an inhabited tropical island?
They can survive being frozen for hundreds of thousands of years.
If they were used to cold weather, then Blair-Thing could've shifted into a couple of sled dogs and run off, to jump into the ocean and start assimilating the rest of the world. Instead, it stays where it's warm and builds a ship to at least get out of Antarctica.
Are the "rules" such as "it has to be alone to assimilate someone" or "it rips your clothing when it takes you over" actual rules governing the Things? Some feel these are absolute rules, others feel that they're situational observations.
They may prefer to be alone with the victim during assimilation, since that lessens the chance of attack by the victim's comrades. But if the victims are perceived as non-threats, they may try to assimilate many of them at once. The mass assimilation theory is supported by the "dogtown" sequence, where Jed attacks and assimilates multiple dogs.
The clothes ripping thing may only be because of a "fast" or "aggressive" assimilation, which would cause the victim's body to mutate rapidly. A slow assimilation may simply manifest itself as an infection, with no outward mutations, and thus, no clothes ripping.
It landed on purpose, but began to sink into the ice, due to heat from re-entry.
It was a "controlled crash", minimizing damage to the top of the craft, but perhaps grinding off the bottom portion of the craft.
Why did the ship crash?
Mechanical malfunction. Causes vary from impact or weapons damage, to damages caused by Things or the fight with the Things onboard the ship. Also includes the possibility of simple wear-and-tear causing the space ship equivalent of a flat tire, with the guidance and/or propulsion systems.
The Pilot got killed or assimilated at a bad time.
They crashed on purpose as a last-ditch effort to stop the Things from gaining control of the ship.
It was a crash. They didn't have a choice in the matter.
It was the aliens trying to land somewhere where the Things couldn't get very far from the ship.
Why were they in the area, anyhow?
Just passing through.
Seeking new life to assimilate.
Smuggling Things as bio-weapons, or otherwise on the run from the space cops.
Navigation system failure. (Supported by the wobbling of the ship in flight).
Enjoying the sights. Given the ship's size, maybe it was an interstellar luxury liner. (insert Titanic joke here).
Why do the Things make so many mistakes? They're supposed to be super-smart.
See Tremors 2 for a parallel situation. They may simply seem smart in some cases, but are acting purely on instinct.
Alien intelligence may not work on the same type of logic as human intelligence. Even some intelligent earth creatures do things that are counter-intuitive to humans (and no-doubt perceive much of what we do as counter-intuitive). As such, their actions may have payed off for eons before they came into contact with humans.
Things may be powerful aliens, but they're not God. They're certainly not omniscient, at least.
They've been frozen for hundreds of thousands of years. Maybe they're suffering from an epic case of brain freeze, or cabin fever, or something.
At the very least, they predate humanity. They could've been frozen or kept in stasis for billions of years prior to the crash, giving them little time to brush up on situational protocols. Toward the end of the movie, one can't be sure that either or both of the survivors haven't been assimilated.
The Man Who Knew Too Little provides an in-universe example. We're supposed to see Wallace Ritche as a bumbling fool who accidently foils an international conspiracy to start the cold war back up. But if you look at it from the point of view of those actually in the conspiracy...
We get the American Agent, a man with no name except for when he stole the code name of other agent he murdered. A double agent, already working for both the CIA and the Mafia, he laughs at and mocks peoples attempts to kill him, and apologizes for being too loud after shooting at someone. He pretends to execute people just to cover up his murder of other people, and plays with dead bodies just to make sure they really are dead. He often acts bored or just plain annoyed by life-threatening situations. He cannot understand emotions, nor why a woman would cry at the thought of her selling herself sexually because of desperate financial need. He holds prisoners in front of two perfectly ordinary people by claiming to just be an actor, not breaking a sweat. He dodges a poisonous dart by interposing a matroishka doll in the way, while disarming the bomb inside it, all while making it look like interpretive dance to a large televised crowd. And at any point, it's never clear whether or not he's doing or saying something just for his own amusement. In short, this is James Bond if he were even less professional and at least slightly sadistic.
Lori, however, thinks that all of his personality issues is just a cover for a genuinely decent man, presumably to keep his enemies in the dark about how dangerous he is, or in an attempt to psych them out. After all, after all his work, he was far more concerned about that matroishka doll than three million dollars, and was extremely humble about foiling the bomb plot.
Channing Tatum's character in Fighting. Hustler and up-and-coming pit fighter with a heart of gold or creepy homeless stalker in a wife beater who most likely smells like a yak in heat from not showering after physical exercise?
Carmen from Starship Troopers is considered by some to be a nice girl and others phoney and untrustworthy
Poppy in Happy Go Lucky. Kind hearted and cheery or insensitive and irritating?
The "Distant Planet" promotional animation for Sucker Punch portrays the robots protecting the bomb on the train as freedom fighters. The upper-class citizens of the city (who may or may not be robots themselves) have forced the lower-class robots into ghettos, keeping them down with martial law. One robot sees his wife's horrified reaction when she watches a newscast of a protest being put down, decides he has had enough degradation, and joins the rebellion. The last scene shows the robot looking at his wife's photo before picking up a gun and shooting at something... the silhouettes of Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, and Rocket. Cue the narrator, who had been explaining the oppressive nature of the regime and the motivations of the rebels, saying a line about how we are all the same in one aspect, because we all have a time to end.
The Boondock Saints: True vigilantes striving to destroy evil without killing an innocent? Or is the entire film focused on the warped view of two downtrodden brothers from the wrong side of Boston who decide to kill criminals only to keep others from coming down on them.
Or are they, in fact, on a Mission from God and being protected/guided by divine intervention?
In Thor, Loki has inspired a lot of this discussion because the film leads the audience to potentially doubt everything he says since he's such an effective Manipulative Bastard: Did he always hate Thor or was it a simple grudge from Sibling Rivalry that grew to Cain and Abel levels only after he found out he was a Frost Giant? And does he really still consider himself a son of Odin, or was he just saying that as another manipulation?
And it could go either way. As notoriously having a "silver tongue" he could be manipulating both the characters in the film and the audience. On the other hand, however, he genuinely comes across as a “Well Done Son” GuyUnfavorite who wants nothing more than to move out from under the shadow of his older brother and receive some recognition for what he has done. The more popular opinion is that he is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and this is the more likely possibility. If one just considers how much it would break a person to have always been The Unfavorite all his life and then discover that he is in fact one of the creatures he was raised to hate and that is the reason why he was The Unfavorite, then it is not shocking what Loki did. He set up a situation where he would have saved his father from an assassination attempt, an event that his father could not ignore. He attempted to destroy the creatures (which, keep in mind, he was one of) that were threatening war upon his land in the hopes that it would finally make him Thor's equal. But his attempt failed, as did his attempt to explain to his father why he had done such a thing. And... it's also more popular because girls do love their Draco in Leather Pants.
One could also argue whether his fall at the end of Thor was a suicide attempt or an escape route to plan more evil deeds. Depending upon the character interpretation, whether Loki is a Magnificent Bastard or a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, Odin's telling him that what he did would not make him proud could either have been the final straw that drove him to suicide or that drove him to full out, unredeemable evil.
Speaking of which, did Laufey really abandon Loki? Or did he leave him near the Casket for safekeeping and spend the last millennia thinking Odin murdered his infant son?
If Loki really was left near the Casket (which I doubt) then putting a baby you want to protect next to your most powerful weapon that the other forces are probably going to go looking for is a terrible' plan and in no way going to ensure that he'd stay safe. Besides, if Loki wasn't abandoned then why wasn't he being watched overy by a civilian or something? We didn't hear anything about Odin slaughtering Loki's guards and then just happening to find an "abandoned" baby. Although Odin would probably realize that part of the story makes him look less sympathetic.
In a scripted, but unfilmed scene Laufey admits that he believed Loki to be dead, and had no intentions of keeping him.
LAUFEY: Ah, the bastard son. I thought Odin had killed you. That's what I would have done. He's as weak as you are.
In Big Fish, Don Price is incredibly possessive of Sandra, and he beats Edward to a pulp when Edward makes advances towards her. But...is he really such a Jerkass, or was he just terrified of dying alone after the Witch showed him that he would die young? Additionally, one could see him as either an antagonistic Jerkass or as a tragic underdog who spent his whole life being overshadowed by Edward, only to die at age 20 as a direct result of Edward stealing his fiancee.
Is Roy Neary of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind a lovable everyman on an amazing, quasi-spiritual quest or just a thoughtless absentee father? Similarly, is Ronnie a mega-bitch shrew of a wife or a poor Woobie pushed to her limit?
In The Thing from Another World, the eponymous creature is treated as your standard alien invader, with characters openly speculating that it came to our planet to conquer and was merely sidetracked by its crash landing. But look at the matter from the Thing's perspective. It wakes up on a strange planet, surrounded by strange and alien creatures, and the first thing that happens is that one of the creatures (a spooked soldier) shoots it with a projectile weapon. It runs outside to get away from this attack, and is immediately set upon by a dozen quadrupedal, carnivorous predators (the camp's sled dogs), which rip off one of its arms. If that happened to you, you'd start attacking every creature you saw on sight, too. And if you had the ability to grow yourself some backup, you'd probably do that, too.
Mrs. Doubtfire is loaded with it, particularly concerning the parents. It's possible to interpret Daniel's crossdressing as a nanny to get back into his home as the sign of a obsessed stalker and possibly other creepy things. As for Miranda, some find her more interested in her work than her marriage and family. Her mooning over a former boyfriend also leads to some Unfortunate Implications especially since she tells Daniel in next scene she wants to end her marraige.
In X-Men: First Class, when Erik shot the coin through Shaw's head, was he aware that it was causing Charles incredible pain who was telepathically connected to Shaw at the time or was Erik so consumed by his need for revenge that he forgot that detail? Or did he just have absolutely no way to know it, not understanding psychic powers as such?
Erik may have caused Charles such pain on purpose. After all, Erik lived through the Holocaust, and Raven can't go out as herself without revealing what she is. Charles, on the other hand, is A) a mutant who looks normal and can hide in plain sight, B) never suffered or faced persecution the way Erik and Raven have, and C) keeps lecturing other, less fortunate mutants on morality and the "proper" way to do things. Erik may have decided to teach Charles a lesson in pain.
The HISHE parody of X men first class has a unique interpretation of Erik as a complete dick. Not even a heroic dick, like in the film, but just a dick full stop. Their reasoning is pretty convincing, pointing out how Erik is wearing the helmet of the man who kissed his mother, who he spent his entire life trying to avenge.
An interesting one during the production of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: Saavik, a Vulcan character from the second through fourth movies, was supposed to feature heavily in the plot. But Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry insisted that Saavik would never play a part in an assassination plot, even though screenwriter/director Nicholas Meyer countered that he created the character in the first place. The role ended up going to a Suspiciously Similar Substitute named Valeris.
Art Babbit, the lead animator on the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees in Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure saw him as a con artist: "What he's trying to do is making the kids [Ann and Andy] feel sorry for him. He's really not as distressed as he appears to be."
The creators of Superman Returns appear to have had it in mind that Superman was to be a Christian Allegory or at-least an all-around boy-scout. This is kind-of undermined by how he turns out to be the father of Lois' child meaning he either slept with her without her knowing he was Clark, or Jason was conceived in Superman II and he impregnated her during the night they spent together which he erased from her memory—along with everything else—at the end of the film.
He also decides at one point to eavesdrop on Lois and her family one night after using his super hearing to listen in when she tells the cab driver where to take her. Class act.
The Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III is neither a Super Persistent Predator nor a sadistic one. The humans it first encounters land right in the middle of its hunting territory and start a ruckus, immediately open fire on it (imagine being stabbed with a needle repeatedly), and then ram an airplane into its side. It's plausible that it simply holds a grudge after all this, and then goes out of its way to kill them in the initial chase. Its later run-ins with them are actually incidental, but it hasn't forgotten what they did to it the first time.
In the made-for-TV movie Cyberbully, the main character Taylor faces problems when a guy from another school befriends her on a website but then goes and tells everyone she gave him an STD. It later turns out that her friend Sam, who throughout the movie had been trying to convince her that the guy she had a crush on was no good, was really just pretending to be the guy who spoke to her online. Her motives are never explained so it's left for the viewer to come up with something. The most accepted theory? Sam is a closet lesbian with a crush on Taylor. She wanted to convince Taylor that all men are scum so that maybe, she'd given women a chance.
DVD-R Hell's Rock: It's Your Decision is presented as if it's the brave story of a young man who, in spite of overwhelming peer-pressure, rejects a powerful tool of Satan to glory in the grace of God. Some people interpret it as the story of a young man named Jeff who is systematically brainwashed and mentally dismantled by his parents and church because he dares to like a genre of music they don't. Others think Jeff lashses out at everything and anything because he's repressing his homosexuality.
Mistakes Mary's politeness for affection and falls instantly in love with her, then takes it way too far, and is utterly oblivious to the fact that he's creeping her out.
Is a very poor driver, and flees the scene of an accident in order to do something that probably could have been handled by airport security based solely on the fact that he was so obsessed with a woman he just met.
Demonstrates a total lack of financial responsibility and gets robbed because he thought he could trust somebody he just insulted. Face it: he wasn't even aware that he insulted her...
Decides to go on a cross-country road trip to be reunited with a woman he only drove to the airport.
Sells a dead parakeet to a blind kid for twenty five dollars.
Indulges in a totally unrealistic fantasy in which he is the ultimate hero and Mary can't wait to throw herself at him, thus demonstrating a complete lack of understanding about the way relationships work.
Insists on annoying the hitchhiker they picked up (admittedly he was planning on killing them both, but they didn't know that), without considering that he might not want to hear the Most Annoying Sound.
Utterly ignores Harry's needs until they are pointed out to him, like wearing two pairs of gloves until Harry says his hands are cold.
Kills an owl with a cork and doesn't realize what's so wrong about that.
Puts laxatives in Harry's tea instead of confronting him directly about seeing Mary.
Still expects Mary to fall into his arms despite the fact that he is a stuttering mess and she's only with him because he has the briefcase.
Lloyd could also be considered a Jerkass Woobie - he travels across the country nearly getting killed/raped in the process just to give his dream girl her briefcase, his best friend steals her from him (so he thinks), and finally learns that she's already married. And to top it off he's simply too dumb and/or crazy to realize that she's completely out of his league anyway.
Which one's "Dumb" and which one's "Dumber"?
Is Kevin from Home Alone 2 really just a nice boy looking to do a good deed for Christmas, or a sadistic psychopath? At the end of the film, Kevin lures Harry and Marv from Duncan's Toy Chest, to his uncle's house to put them through hell, and then into Central Park where he calls the police. If all Kevin really wanted to do was stop Harry and Marv from robbing the toy store, he could have lured them directly into the park from the toy store and still called the police; instead, he catapults them onto cars, pummels them with bricks, wrenches and bags of cement, shoots them with staple guns, electrocutes them, sets them on fire, throws them through floors, etc. Sounds like stuff Jigsaw would pull.
Also, is Marv somehow actually dumber in the second film (possibly due to the head injuries he sustained in the first film and/or additional head injuries he sustained in prison), or is he drunk?
A trick the film itself uses makes serious implications of the character's actions. Did Mark steal Facebook from the Winklevoss twins and Narendra? Did Mark try to cheat Eduardo out of Facebook? Did he leak the story about the chicken? Was he the one who called the cops on Sean's party?
Love Actually applies this to almost every single relationship in the movie. Did Harry and Karen separate at the end of the movie or decide to brave on? And we never find out how far Harry went with his secretary. As Karen points out, she doesn't know if it "was it just a necklace, or sex and a necklace, or, worse of all, love and a necklace?"
Karl is supposed to be a Nice Guy but he doesn't do anything to help Sarah with her brother and treats her more like a one-night stand than anything.
Since Mark is still in love with Juliet, his friendship with Peter may deteriorate.
Jamie and Aurelia barely know each other and their marriage is likely to fail. Likewise with David and Natalie who come from different backgrounds and their relationship could fail because of his job.
Are the main characters of Inception people we should be rooting for, or are they really Villain Protagonists? In a way it all hinges on whether Saito is sincere in feeling that Robert Fisher achieving total global energy dominance would be bad for the world, or if he's just using that as an excuse for wanting to weaken his competition in the market.
A Clockwork Orange. Is Alex really an evil, barbaric, inhumane, psychopathic abomination or is he just a simple, common lad caught up in a society that takes glee in acts of depravity that are actually a part of his generation?
The radiation-scarred pursuers from Chernobyl Diaries seem like your standard schlock-horror Cannibal ClanThe Hills Have Eyes Expys ... except that they're never actually seen killing any of the tour group on-screen. They grapple with Michael (who was shooting at them) and one is captured on video carrying off Natalie, but the former's death is not shown and the latter is actually found again later, physically unharmed. Because the Exclusion-Zone guards had apparently been hunting them down with automatic weapons, it's possible that these "mutants" were merely defending themselves by mobbing the intruders, particularly as their vision must've been damaged by radiation (so they couldn't see that the group weren't in uniform) and they couldn't understand the tourists' English (which, if they'd been held in isolation since the disaster, would've sounded like the language of a Cold War enemy). As for the implied cannibalism, Yuri could've been killed and half-eaten by feral dogs, which also injured Chris; and Natalie was hauled away by the "mutants" in order to save her from the bear when it returned to flip over the van, having smelled out Chris's blood.
The Sex Monster: Just how many women does Laura sleep with? We only ever see her with two: Didi and Diva, and Marty is present for both of those. Are all the others just Marty's paranoid fantasies? Did she really sleep with Marty's sister? Did she only say that she did to tease him for not believing her repeated denials, or did she really do it? For that matter, why did she seem so painfully uncomfortable the night they invited Didi over? Was it because she felt Marty was pressuring her into doing something that she really didn't want to do, or was it because she in fact wanted to do it very badly, but was struggling to resist temptation, owing to her own issues over her sexuality? And what is her sexuality? Is she bi, but just never realized? Is she really a lesbian who had been in deep denial?
In Mothra Vs Godzilla, Godzilla makes his entrance by randomly waking up on a beach in the middle of the day, rising from beneath the sand. He then immediately starts going on a rampage, tripping over stuff, toppling into buildings and getting his tail stuck between power-lines. A popular fan theory suggests he's got a nasty hangover. What he's been doing the previous night is open to debate.
In Lawrence of Arabia, were the Arab tribesmen proud warriors who were manipulated into exchanging Turkish masters for English ones? Or backwards, amoral thugs who were incapable of administering Damascus, much less a country of their own?
The film version of Masters of the Universe produces a Skeletor that could be a power-hungry villain...or could be a villain compulsively obsessed with being defeated by He-Man. When the Sorceress suggests that his declarations of Fate might be retarded, he immediately declares "I demand the loneliness, destitution, and scorn of Evil! It is my destiny! Nothing will deter me from it!" At the moment of his victory, when He-Man is chained to the floor and being whipped to death for his amusement, Skeletor suddenly stops it to almost lovingly ask He-Man about loneliness. Then, when he gains PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER, he asks He-Man where his friends are, suddenly and miraculously summoning them. It's entirely possible to assume that his amazing power summoned them to fulfill his compulsive need to lose to He-Man. The Great Eye grants what the user wants; Lowly Prince Adam became a muscle-bound hero; Skeletor became the ultimate nemesis of He-Man...and he experienced the most epic defeat the universe could provide.
There is a much-debated alternative character interpretation in Pitch Black of Riddick in the scene of Carolyn Fry's death. The standard interpretation is that Fry went back to save Riddick, and then suddenly gets stabbed by one of the aliens, who then drags her off to her doom. The other interpretation is that it was in fact Riddick who stabbed her, sacrificing her to save himself. The alien then detected her wound (they go off on blood), and drags her off to her doom. Supporting this particular viewing is Riddick's look of sheer remorse on his face after Fry gets stabbed, the fact that he's a hardcore survivalist who's clearly in panic at the time, and Riddick moving his knife just towards the middle of Fry's back just before she gets impaled.Word Of God is unhelpful on this. No comment is made in the DVD Commentary about it, and both the script by David Twohy and Jim & Ken Wheat and the novelization by Frank Lauria support both interpretations.
About Hunter Van Pelt in Jumanji. Is he perhaps a sociopath who hunts human beings just for pure sadism, or maybe he's a Noble Demon who just follows the game's rules and could also be redeemable if he had the chance? There's also another, infinitely more horrifying interpretation. What if Van Pelt was just another poor soul trapped in Jumanji like Alan was, but was either never rescued or was killed before finishing the game, leading to him becoming twisted into part of the game itself?
The film version of The Hunger Games seems to present the possibility that Foxface purposefully killed herself with Peeta's nightlock berries. During the training montage, a scene of her matching and identifying plants from memory is shown, indicating that perhaps she knew all along what she was doing, and didn't actually make a fatal mistake.
Laure/Mikael from Tomboy. Does he identify as male, or is she just doing it because she thinks boys get to have more fun?