Monday, November 24, 2014

The Babadook - Part One

Let's talk about dicks.

The Babadook is a great little Australian film, and I suppose if you were so inclined, you could call it a horror movie. I'll get into what kind of film it is later, but first, I really want to get into these dicks.

To understand the dick factor in this movie, you need to know a bit of the plot. There is a woman named Amelia whose husband dies in a car crash on the way to the hospital to deliver her firstborn child, Samuel. The movie begins 6 or 7 years after the simultaneous death/birthday, and Samuel is a weird-ass kid, prone to make weapons to defend himself and his mother against monsters and cannot sleep without being read a bedtime story. Amelia's not really handling the whole thing too well, and then some horror stuff happens and then it ends.

I want to preface what I'm about to say by pointing out that I don't think anything super icky is going on between the mother and the son, but there is definitely a lot of imagery and scripting to suggest that the son who entered into the world on the same day the father left is partly trying to fill a void left behind. "Fill a void"...did I really just write that? I meant "plug a hole". No, wait, that's much worse. You get what I'm trying to say. Onto the dicks!

First off, there is a lot of evidence suggesting that Samuel is or wants to fulfill the "father/husband" role that is absent in Amelia's life. For one, since the movie focuses a lot on Samuel's inability to sleep at night without a story being read to him, roughly half the time he and his mother are on screen together, they're in bed. "Well, yeah, she's a mother reading a story to her young child. Nothing weird there." Yes, you're absolutely right, but please remember movies are not life. This film was intentionally made to have these two characters interact primarily atop a bed together at night, and that happened for no reason other than someone wrote it down. After reading the story, the pair always sleep in the same bed. Again, not that unusual to happen in real and definitely definitely  doesn't mean that something weird is going on, but in a movie, that becomes significant.

Then, you have the weapons, which are not only shaped like dicks, but according to the creator himself, were designed to protect his mother. Granted, this can be written off as being the delusions of a child, but it is awfully interesting that Samuel continuously states their purpose in this way. You would think a more child-like approach to the matter of monsters would be for the 1st grader to suggest that his mother be protecting him.

There are a number of interactions that seem a touch off as well. Towards the beginning of the movie, the mother is kneeling on the floor with Samuel standing in front of her, looking into her eyes. He then reaches out, strokes her cheek with one hand, and then they embrace tightly. Again, kids being kids and all that, but I dare you to try this with your mother and see how she reacts.

Once the troubles begin starting, mother and son are in separate rooms. Samuel is discovering that there is a monster in his closet, and Amelia is masturbating with a dildo-shaped object. At the moment of or perhaps right before climaxes (but who can tell? Amiright fellas?) the son bursts into the room and jumps onto the bed. On one level, this is might to show the extreme frustration at raising this child, that Amelia can't even get her rocks off because she has to take care of him 24/7. On another level though, it is interesting that the decision was made to have her masturbating instead of literally anything else. She could have been doing a crossword puzzle or reading a book. Hell, she could have been making a city out of legos or playing X-Box. But no, someone made the decision that she was jerking it. Movies are not real life.

Finally, I want to point to some promotional material that is based on a scene in the movie:

Let's play a little game I like to call Spot the Penis. Can you see the penis in the picture above? Trick question because there's like a billion penises in that one shot.

Ignoring the stairwell for a moment, take a look at that violin, with its long, sleek, sexy neck. Without seeing the movie, you may wonder if the violin has a special significance, like maybe she's a musician or the instrument belonged to her dead husband. Nope. I just watched this movie less than a week ago and the significance of the violin is never addressed. As an afterthought, I assume that it did belong to the dead husband, but that's not the important part. She grabs this thing when she gets frightened. She grabs it and clutches onto it in the manner you see above. Think I'm reading too much into things? Maybe, but imagine that instead of a mother here, you had a father, a scared father that grabs onto a big ole phallus with both hands when he gets scared. Try to make your brain imagine that.

This is only aspect of this film, and it's not even a big part of it. There's a lot more to this amazing movie than just dicks.

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