In this edition of Top 5 Films, I’ll be uncovering some true meanings behind some absolute classic films.
Of course, all (or most) movies have a theme or meaning they are trying to convey. Well, shoot-em-ups and action flicks are mostly about the sequence of wild events, but every once in a while there’s one with a deeper message. In the film circle, deeper meanings are often referred to as “sub-text”, which is the meaning behind the words or actions.
But even going deeper than sub-text, there are some movies that include hidden meanings that you may never catch if the clues aren’t a part of your own cultural beliefs or knowledge-base. Some references go by without interfering with your enjoyment of the basic sequence of events that make up the story, while others hit you over the head with deeper meanings. There are also movie makers who intentionally bury symbolism and hidden meanings for their own enjoyment or to speak to a select group of viewers.
There are hundreds of movies with deep and hidden meanings, so we selected a group of 5 of our faves that have meanings you may or may not have caught. Read on…
The Truman Show is an adventure into human nature which shows how typical the voyeur characteristic is in the average human being. Watching someone else in a variety of situations is addicting for many reasons. The myriad of successful reality shows that follow people around in their “normal daily lives” is proof.
The Truman Show takes the concept a step further and shows us what humanity may become by living through others vs. living life. The movie is also a demonstration of how man overcomes fears by facing them, just like Truman did when he finally busts through the facade of his life.
You thought you were watching a science-fiction movie about a cop who is murdered and becomes the first RoboCop. The sub-text or “story-behind-the-story” is about Jesus Christ and how he was murdered to “protect the innocents” and later resurrected and heralded as “the savior”. Toward the end, RoboCop is seen walking across water, almost as though he is walking on top of it.
Director Verhoeven confirmed this perspective in an interview with Vince Mancini in 2010, by saying, “It is about a guy who gets crucified in the first 50 minutes and then is resurrected in the next 50 minutes and then is like the supercop of the world.”
Although Quentin Tarantino is always full of surprises, it is no surprise that his movies contain deeper meanings. Pulp Fiction was one of the first in a series of films that had messages conveyed in bizarre ways. One of the most loving of the film’s deeper meanings is that all people have good within them and all people live normal lives, doing normal things and having normal conversations – regardless of what they do for a living or their particular social strata. No generalities. No labels. Anything and everything goes… for everyone.
There was quite a bit of noticeable symbolism in the Jurassic Park movie, but have you ever stopped to wonder how much you may have missed? It is more than a story about humans being attacked by prehistoric beasts. It is about genetic engineering and becoming so obsessed with science that the importance of life and lives is diminished until danger becomes imminent. Scary, right?
Most people who watch this movie think that the deeper meaning is simply a matter of, “the grass isn’t always greener” because of the “no place like home” ending. However, the movie is actually laced with deeper meanings and theorists have come up with more than ten over the years. One of the most common cites the myriad of religious undertones that are included throughout the movie. The wizard behind the curtain symbolizes a supreme being. Another common interpretation is about self-doubt and gaining the inner confidence and strength to get to where you want in life and realizing that it is always inside of each of us.