SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU’VE NOT SEEN 2012. THEY’RE NOT SURPRISING SPOILERS IN ANY WAY, BUT FIGURED WE SHOULD TELL YOU ANYWAY. TA.
At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that 2012 was simply Roland Emmerich’s third (fourth? I lose count) attempt at blowing up the White House and making sure it stays blowed up this time, dammit. There’s more to 2012 than that, however.
There would need to be; the film goes on for about two and a half days. Even the appearance of an Antonov An-225 doesn’t mitigate entirely the extravagant expense of my lifetime while the director wrecks the heck out of the planet. Although, had it been a real Antonov and not a CGI Antonov – and a real one would’ve been cheaper, surely? – then those gone-for-good hours would have represented a fair trade for watching the big ol’ girl get to grips with a glacier. Anyway…
There’s a hidden meaning in this movie, as there are in so many films. Don’t worry if you didn’t spot it; mostly no one apart from the writer has the faintest clue about Hidden Meanings In Movies (normally the director is the most clueless. And in so many ways).
Take M Night Shyamalan’s The Village. Go on, please take it. Someone. Take it somewhere a very long way away from me. But on the way, consider that it’s not merely an unsuccessful spooky romance with a plot twist so obvious it stands out like the nose on a Frenchman named Gerard. No, The Village can be interpreted as a metaphor for American foreign policy in the aftermath of 9/11. See? The moral of the tale is that you cannot deny the existence of the outside world, that its reality will inevitably impinge upon even a sealed society and, in fact, it comes in damn handy now and then to have access to antibiotics. Or the UN.
Which brings us to the subliminal messages contained in 2012. Again, these themes refer to the current American socio-political situation. Well, it’s an American-made movie so it’s not going to be subtly trying to influence the thoughts and opinons of voters in Matabeleland, is it?
In essence, the underlying message of 2012 is a party political broadcast for the Republicans, an indictment of liberal thinking and a stern telling-off for all those lily-livered girly-men who support an open-door policy on immigration and rights-for-all welfare and health care. In case you missed the finer points of this insidious indoctrination:
- POTUS (the President of the United States) is a black guy. Hurrah for equality, on face value.
Hidden Meaning: See how the whole world goes into meltdown on his watch! See! We said he couldn’t be trusted!
- The smart scientist is black. Hurrah for equality, you may initially think.
Hidden Meaning: He gets the timing of the disaster totally wrong! Everything dissolves into panic! The mad dash for safety is all his fault!
- The smart scientist convinces the politicos not to leave a few thousand ne’er-do-wells to drown on the dockside and instead brow-beats the military into opening the doors and letting the second class citizens onto the ship. This action leads directly to the malfunction of the door and subsequent chaos, disaster and a nearly ‘all she wrote’ moment for everyone on the ship when the door doesn’t shut and the waters flood in.
Hidden Meaning: If you weaken and help your fellow man at the crucial moment then you stand a good chance of sinking the entire shebang. Or: quick, I’ve climbed the ladder so let’s pull it up behind us. Can be applied to many civil rights, from citizenship to universal education, but if you don’t see the parallel with the current debate on universal healthcare in the USA then you’ve had your head in a dustbin for the past six months
- Stowaways caused the problem in the first place by sneaking on board through an illegal route and gumming up the works.
Hidden Meaning: Damn that huge land border with Mexico!
- The final destination of the arks turns out to be… Africa!
Hidden Meaning: Right. If there’s no other way of fixing those Somali pirates then we’ll just have to resort to good old-fashioned colonialism…
So, you may have come away from 2012 thinking that you just saw a humdinger of a disaster movie. What you probably didn’t realise is that you’ve been carefully conditioned by an anthology of illustrations intended to steer you away from liberal democracy and safely back into the arms of the elitist reactionary patriarchal establishment. Just think of that when you come to vote next May…
And don’t get me started on how New Moon is a commentary on the celibacy movement…