Sunday, February 20, 2011

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

First, I think Invasion of the Body Snatchers has very exaggerated acting that sometimes undermines the plot. I find it interesting that Don Siegel chose to use alien-human imitations to discuss the ideas surrounding communism and McCarthyism during the 1950's. The story could have had the same affect or sent the same message without using the cover of a sci-fi movie. I think this is similar to District 9's attempt at a political and social commentary. At the same time, the sci-fi aspects of both movies indirectly shows the audience the faults of the society they live in without blatantly criticizing them, which may diminish the effect of the message. I do think that the exaggerated acting and attempt at a realistic love story take away from the fear the director is trying to establish in the audience. Without this fear in being taken over by humanoids and losing all sense of yourself, the movie fails to strongly convey the fears of society, but is instead a merely entertaining film.

I do think that the ending of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the most interesting and thought provoking part of the film. The twist at the end with Becky turning into the humanoid forces the audience to lose hope and invokes a greater desire for Miles to win. I think this part sends a message that even in the face of impending doom and complete destruction you should still continue onwards, which is a well needed directive for the audience. I do; however, find the final shot of Miles very enticing because his facial expression leaves the audience wondering what may actually happen, which is very reflective of the times. Specifically, I questioned whether or not calling in the national guard was actually going to save all these people from the invasion of the humanoids, or if it was another lost attempt just as Becky was in the end. I think this is the most realistic aspect of the movie and essential to showing how McCarthyism impacted the lives of many people. They sought help during those times, but were never guaranteed their success.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the film is very is very much like District 9, in the fact that it uses aliens to portray political problems (McCarthyism and Apartheid). I also agree that the exaggerated acting and love story take away from the fear, but the idea of Becky becoming an alien so quickly (and after trying to escape it) correctly portrays what was most feared about McCarthyism - it can take over someone without having the control to stop it.
    I did not find this to be a great film because it was so slow moving and didn't have much action but it sent out the message the director was aiming for.