Movies are a safe escape that can save everyone.
Every movie has a message of some kind behind the story.
It doesn't have to be blatant and over the top.
More times than not, it's subtle and just a way to ask a question or provoke a thought.
That's what is so fascinating about people's reactions.
So often, audiences can have different takeaways... or miss the point of it all.
Redditor MikeyTheCarGuy wanted to discuss what movie audiences have lost the thread, so they asked:
"Whats a movie most people completely missed the point on?"
Shut Up Dad!
"Whiplash. It's about the hatred and alienation that comes with obsession. No, Dad, it's not about how discipline and practice will make you good at music."
Angry Jazz Band GIF by PeacockGiphy
"The same people who idolize Jordan Belfort in 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' are the same shmucks who would lose their life savings to him. He fed on people who were equally greedy and ignorant... basically today's 'hustle' culture."
"That's the whole point of the last scene. We're in the audience for Belfort's talk as the next generation of marks for people like him."
"Henry Zebrowski (who played Sea Otter in the movie) has said that the people who watch Wolf of Wall Street and idolize Jordan Belfort are the same people who watch Scarface and think, 'Oh man, running drugs is awesome!' The first half of the movie is always fun, but you gotta watch and absorb the message of the last half too 😄."
"Famously 'Clockwork Orange.' I believe Kubrick pulled the film after everyone went out and bought boiler suits and bowler hats to emulate the Droogs rather than be horrified by their actions."
"More like infamously. That's because it's fairly impossible to understand the point of the story from the movie alone. The violence is simply too graphic. So while the movie is an excellent depiction of the book, nobody should see the movie without having first read the book. In the author's own words:"
DO NOT GO SEE IT!
"Told a buddy I was excited to see District 9 when it was around, and he ended up going to see it the weekend before I and my spouse could make it in. When I saw him again Monday, he was like 'DO NOT GO SEE IT! It's SO bad! We ended up leaving the theater early! It was THAT bad!' which really confused me since it had pretty amazing praise."
"I went and saw it the next weekend anyway, with obviously lower expectations, and left feeling blown away by it. Confusingly I asked him on the next Monday why he didn't seem to like it, as I enjoyed it immensely, and he straight-faced, without missing a beat said 'I mean, who cares? They're just alien cockroaches! They're not human!'"
"Never could look at him quite the same after that."
Wait a Minute
"A book misinterpreted so badly that all film adaptions are wrong. 'Lolita.'"
"It's a horror, not a romance."
"It's a brilliantly written unreliable narrator that relies on the reader having a sense of moral compass and going 'wait a minute.'"
"However the fact that powerful men in Hollywood read it as a romance is... telling."
"Full Metal Jacket. It was trying to make a point about the dehumanizing effects of war. Instead, people just thought that Hartman was funny and quoted him endlessly, not appreciating that he himself was a traumatized WW2 veteran training young men to go and suffer the same fate as him, or worse, in the name of patriotism and seemingly oblivious to the irony of the situation."
"'Into the Wild' was not supposed to inspire wanderlust or desires to leave one’s life to go live a simple life in the wild."
The Green Light
"The Great Gatsby."
"Especially when people believe that Gatsby loved Daisy. He didn’t love Daisy, he barely even knew Daisy and ignored any reminder that Daisy wasn’t the person he built her up to be in his head. He loved the idea of Daisy, and what she represented to him. She was just another symbol of the life he wanted for himself but could never have (like the green light)."
"The Facebook meme with the quote 'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.' always kills me."
For the Girl
"The original Mulan. I have several friends who reject it because they think that it's saying that you have to be a man to succeed, but there's literally a whole musical number dedicated to the irony of that. A lot of folks can't see past the face presentation of things, smh."
"You know what else is also missed. The entire war march song A Girl Worth Fighting For, where they're all singing about wanting to get back and marry for (mostly) superficial reasons, well it literally ends with them finding the doll of the girl who died and they couldn't save her. They outright find a girl who is their reason for actually fighting for."
Not A Hero
"Joker. You are not supposed to see him as an idol."
"Also, it's strongly hinted at that the entire thing was just his imagination and never happened at the end. Given that the entire thing is a tribute/soft remake of King of Comedy, I suspect that was the intention."
Dc Comics Joker GIF by MaxGiphy
"Network. In particular, the speech of 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.'"
"The movie is absolutely not saying it's a good thing. The movie shows the end of objective televised news and the beginning of corporate-run, anger-based, divisive televised news."
"I think Rupert Murdoch took notes watching this film. Back when it was released Network seemed exaggerated. Now there would be nothing shocking about a TV network killing a cast member for ratings."
"Not the whole movie, but I think people don't consider that the song 'Hakuna Matata' is literally the antithesis of 'The Lion King.' Like it is explicitly the thing the themes of the movie are saying to avoid."
"Great answer. I’d forgotten how much this one gets me. Simba tries to hakuna matata but he feels empty and his family/home is ruined because not caring doesn’t help anything. It’s not a solution; sure there wasn’t much he could do right away but things would also have continued to decline if he didn’t act. Only when he chose to care was he truly happy and did things improve."
"One could say, however, that Simba just did hakuna matata wrong. There is a difference between no worries and no cares."
"500 Days of Summer. Zoey Deschanel's character didn't treat Joseph Gordon-Levitt unfairly. She's just living her life and he expected her to change his with her manic pixie dream girl magic. She couldn't/didn't want to and left him because he couldn't understand that that wasn't her responsibility and she wasn't ACTUALLY a manic pixie dream girl after all."
"The movie sets us up to think she is but then sucker punches us when she turns out to be a real person and JGL's character has to learn about love the hard way. But then does he? At the end he meets a girl named 'Autumn' and it's implied that maybe he's starting the whole cycle over again. They tell us right at the beginning that it isn't a love story, it's a 'story about love' and they mean it."
"The number of tweets I’ve seen in the past where people post a photo of Carrie (from Carrie) and say something along the lines of 'growing up is realizing she wasn’t the villain of this movie.' Like… yes of course she wasn’t, that’s the whole point of the movie."
"I mean she kills her entire high school, most of whom had nothing to do with bullying her. She’s not the only villain of the movie but she is definitely a villain."
"DANCES WITH WOLVES. There are a couple of big misconceptions because I think most people haven't even seen it and are angry it beat GOODFELLAS for the Oscar.'
"A lot of people dismiss it as just another white savior movie that exploits Native Americans. It's very far from that, it's actually the opposite they save him and help him find his humanity. Costner was incredibly respectful to all tribes featured in the film, a very compassionate depiction that even in the early 90s was rare to see in a movie."
"On a technical level, it's all an incredible accomplishment from a first-time director and the fact that it won Best Picture and Director was crazy. It was the first Western in almost 60 years to win Best Picture."
Eat the Rich
"'Parasite' shouldn’t be considered an eat the rich movie. I think that’s the reason people say they didn’t like it because the Kim family 'deserved' what they did since they scammed the perfectly harmless Park family. You’re supposed to question why this clearly capable group of people needs to resort to this kind of scheme just to achieve a livable wage. It’s a criticism of modern class disparity. Eat the rich is much more about the rich getting their comeuppance. Bong Joon Ho even said the film is a comedy without clowns and a tragedy without villains."
Scrolling Bong Joon Ho GIF by Madman FilmsGiphy
Great art is meant to entertain and make us think.
So much of that gets lost nowadays.
Yes, there is plenty of room for rom-coms and Rambos.
And even those movies have subtle hints relaying a message.
So how can people walk away with so many variations of the meaning?
Is that the purpose of the art? Or is it all just that subjective?
Let us know what you think in the comments and if you have any other movies to add.