Still in the process of scripting Catharsis with its time travel theme, I thought it might be beneficial to see how others had dealt with the problems, and learn from it, so I watched Dejavu. Dejavu is in essence a movie we have all seen before, but you should be warned that this rant contains spoilers. As I re-watched this movie (forgetting that I had seen it before, but getting that sense of dejavu as it progressed), and wondered why it did not make a bigger impression on me the first or second time. It had a good cast, plot potential, and a big budget, but in the end it fell for the classic Hollywood sin of a forced happy ending.
When you open that door
Dejavu falls into the category of science fiction with its time travel plot, and it even dives into a short overview of some time travel theories. This creates the assumption of scientific validity in the audience’s mind, and the anticipation that the movie will show which theory is correct. When you open that door you have to follow through, but Dejavu fails by breaking the rules of all the theories and therefore not answering the question either. So the audience is left with the sad feeling of unrealized anticipation, and in its place is served a happy ending.
The Happy Ending
Happy endings do better at the box office. It is a sad fact. So I blame greed, when a movie, that had aligned it self with the deterministic view of time travel up until the last 15 minutes, suddenly changes course and steers straight towards the happy ending. This movie could have been a shocking tragedy with an unsuspected breach of Hollywood formula. It could have followed its own rules, followed through on its setup, and given its audience closure, but in stead they went straight for your dollars. I feel confident that Catharsis will not suffer from these mistakes.
- Kim OJ