Thoughts on the movie 9

Yesterday evening I hosted a pizza and movie night and had a great group of friends over to see the movie 9 (the post-apocalyptic animation from Tim Burton, not Nine the musical1). I really enjoyed it. I think it’s one of those movies whose story grows in your mind once you’ve seen it once and you need to see it again later to fully grasp it. I’m sure there are thousands of movie writeups on the web already but I’ve purposely not looked at them so I could jot down my own thoughts first.

Spoiler alert from here going forward – you’ve been warned.

I thought it interesting how the writer decided to break up the human spirit into different segments. After thinking about it here’s my interpretation of which part of the human spirit resided in each of the characters:

  • #1 – Pessimism. Self-preservation. Leadership by power.
  • #2 – Creativity. Resourcefulness.
  • #3 & #4 – Memory. Child-like curiosity. (both too big to contain in 1 entity)
  • #5 – Cowardness. Loyalty. Self-sacrifice.
  • #6 – Obsession. That little bit of “special” we all have.
  • #7 – Bravery. Agility.
  • #8 – Physical power. Intimidation. Brawn.
  • #9 – Optimism. Hope. Encouragement. Leadership by community. Ability to leverage other’s gifts.

Throughout the movie you don’t like #1 much if at all, but if you stop and think about it – the Source created them in this order for a reason. #1’s traits were necessary to keep them alive and together during the initial events (as seen in the flashback). I don’t think #9 would have been up to the task. There’s also a reason that the Source said that #9 was the last hope of humanity. Initially I took it to mean that all of them were the last hope of humanity, but I think that he was specifically talking about #9: optimism & hope.

And think about what was left at the end of the movie: bravery, optimism, hope, memory, and curiosity. Some of the best parts of humanity. Memory of what went wrong to temper the curiosity to not repeat them. Optimisim and hope for the future. Bravery to confront the future and the situations as they arise.

And what was lost at the end of the movie? Pessimism, cowardness, obsession, intimidation but also, sadly, creativity (but was what got humanity in it’s predicament to begin with), resourcefulness, loyalty, and self-sacrifice.

I’ll probably be dwelling on the movie for a couple of days and will be adding it to our Netflix queue to watch it again here in a few months.

1 Both movies came out at roughly the same time. One day Benjamin comes up to me and our conversation went something like this:

B: I can’t wait to see the movie Nine.
C: 9? Really? I didn’t think you’d want to see it.
B: Of course! It has Penelope Cruz in it!
C: [thinking: wow, I didn’t know she was voicing in that movie] Interesting – I didn’t think you’d be interested in an animated post-apocalytpic film.
B: What? Honey, it’s a musical.
C: Trust me, it is not a musical. Are we talking about the same movie?
B: Nine right?
C: Yes – 9. [thinking: why does this seem like Who’s on first?] Have you seen the trailer for it yet?
B: No.
C: Lets watch it.
[Trailer for 9 gets watched.]
B: That’s not the movie I’m talking about, here’s the trailer for the one I’m talking about.
[Trailer for Nine gets watched.]
C: Oh. Yeah, that’s more your style!

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I'm a gay geek living in Seattle, WA.

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