Movies as allegories

One way to analyse a movie is by observing how much it is an allegory of the grand narrative: Creation-Fall-Redemption-Consummation—the narrative of the story we are all a part of. In some movies, these four themes are clear. In The Lord of the Rings, for example, the elements of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation are evident. In many movies, however, not all the elements are present. Some movies omit Creation, since it is presumed, and so begin with the Fall instead of Creation. The Shawshank Redemption is a good example of this category. Its opening scene is the court proceedings, where Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and is sentenced to a life-time prison. Many movies today, however, have only one element: the Fall. Redemption is never introduced, even until the end of the movie. It leaves the viewer hanging with the expectation for a resolution which never comes. Or, resolution comes not by Redemption, but by other means. I can say that Million Dollar Baby belongs to this category. In any way, a movie will never stray from the four themes.


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