Friday, April 15, 2011

Spoiler Code


I want to write a bit more about Source Code, specifically the ending.

Jeffrey wrote:
"It’s a seriously (as you put it Brandon) life-affirming picture. It’s incredibly kindhearted, compassionate, and humanistic."

I disagree.

Here's why - Sean Fentress.

The ending here is triumphal. It's also pure cinematic fantasy/wish fulfillment.

Our guy gets the girl under false pretenses. If this is an alternate timeline and not a fantasy sequence, then we need to deal with all the messiness. Our guy gets the girl, but he either has to live a lie (continue to pretend to be the man whose body he is inhabiting) or he needs to convince this girl that he has been sent back from the future to inhabit the mind/body of Sean Fentress.

Sean Fentress, who gets no happy ending. He's either dead on a train or his body/mind and his girl have been robbed from him.

It all comes back to Sean Fentress.

The Source Code premise itself is ridiculous. A dead soldier is sent back into the last 8 minutes of memory of another dead man. How do we get from that premise to parallel worlds/timelines? It's to Jones' and everyone else's credit that the film moves along so nicely that we don't care how silly it is.

Source Code's happy ending is a subversively wicked little joke, completely disguised as a conventional happy ending.

Jones has his cake and eats it, too.

We get an intense cathartic experience; only for as long as we're willing to suspend our disbelief.

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