Monday, December 21, 2015

Using the Movie “Trading Places” as a Metaphor for the Current Sociopolitical State of the Human Species.

[A.k.a. A Xmas Tale.]

Βάλτε λίγη μουσικούλα, θα μας χρειαστεί.

Now listen, listen…

Randolph and Mortimer are having a bet, right?
Although Randolph and Mortimer declare both scientists and their question of “nature or nurture” as stupid and the answer as “obvious” –each appearing to support one or the other –the two Dukes do engage in a bet with that exact question at its center.

It does not matter who backs what.
It does not even matter that the bet is “reversed” on them by their two “racing guinea pigs”, rich guy Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) with a little help from Ophelia (Jamie “I’ve got legs and talent… and legs” Lee Curtis) even though this seems to nullify the whole “nature” argument and to tip the scale towards a “socially liberal, non-racist” perspective, the kind most suitable for a Christmassy, “isn’t that lovely” sort of feeling.
Just as it does not matter that Valentine proves equally capable of “running the business” or that Winthorpe seems equally “destined” for a life of self-destruction.

What matters is that Wealth is utilized –indiscriminately and universally throughout the plot and in our “real world” –to determine the direction and the outcome of other people’s course in life.

So while we
–the eternal spectators that we are –
focus on a non-existing dichotomy
(nature and nurture being a part of the same “whole”)
and take sides
with either of the Dukes
or either of their guinea-pigs-turned-master-puppeteers
Wealth remains both the End and the Means for everything in our ever-Christmassy, seldom perfect western world. That is the essence of the whole process, that is the true message of the film.

D’ yall geddit, now?

PS. Tuoi – Tuoi!

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Blogger Hlithio Agrino said...

”Pow R. Toc H.”, Pink Floyd.


21/12/15 13:29  

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