So today’s blog is based on a Cracked podcast from earlier this week about films that are better from a different point of view. I thought I would add some of my own as it’s a fun topic to mull over. Real nerd pub talk this is. I’m not going to talk about anything particularly recent but watch out for spoilers anyway.
- The Karate Kid (1984) as seen from Johnny Lawrence’s point of view
In the film: Johnny Lawrence is the bad guy of The Karate Kid– he’s the blonde, hyper-aggressive martial artist who tries to kill the protagonist on Halloween for making his ex-girlfriend lose focus during her gym class due to his dreamy New Jersey charm. Johnny gets his come-uppance for just being the worst by getting kicked in the face and losing the Under-18 All-Valley Karate Tournament to the scrawny dork from New Jersey.
From Johnny’s perspective: For many years, you have essentially been abused by this psychotic ex-Special Forces guy who now runs a martial arts dojo, You have been taught that loss makes you a worthless failure and that you are nothing if you don’t win. So, you lose your girlfriend and then all of a sudden, some upstart from across the county is making her all fluttery and swoony. Being a hormonal teenager with unaddressed anger issues, you rationally decide to teach him a lesson by beating the crap out of him. After having your ass handed to you by an elderly man, you get the chance to legally beat the crap out of the kid in a sanctioned fighting tournament. When you meet him in the final, not only is he fighting on a broken leg, he has had no professional training and is scrawny and less experienced than you are. What happens? He comes at you with this flying head kick that no amount of training could have prepared you for. Now you have to face the wrath of your insane coach and get your nose unbroken or something. From Johnny’s perspective, The Karate Kid is a film about an abused martial arts enthusiast struggling to deal with his emotions who then loses an important tournament to a kid who wins with some underhand head kick.
- Footloose (1984) as seen from the perspective of Reverend Shaw Moore
In the film: Reverend Moore has led the city council in the town of Bomont to ban dancing and rock music. He is challenged by a plucky teen from Chicago who slowly convinces him that dancing can be joyful and does not lead to sin. Eventually, his mind is changed and he lifts the ban, leading to a celebratory flash mob. (NB: The perfect flash mob to top off senior prom leaves me convinced that Footloose is a back door pilot for The X-Files about a town of teens with a hive mind, allowing performing a perfect dance routine without any prior preparation).
From Reverend Moore’s perspective: All Reverend Moore wants to do is keep the children of Bomont safe. His son died in a car accident which was caused by reckless driving. The teens of the town play chicken with tractors. AND THEN, some kid from Chicago rolls into town and decides to upset the status quo by seducing his rebellious daughter and leading the teens in a dancing resistance. Then he finds out that he is fighting a losing battle- his daughter isn’t a virgin, the teens are dancing and drinking and sinning. However, after a passionate plea by said teen, Moore wants to change his mind but fears for what will become of the town if he relents. From the reverend’s perspective, Footloose is the story of a man trapped between what he feels is his moral duty and the wishes of the future of his beloved town.
- Warehouse 13 (2009-2014) as seen from the perspective of anyone affected by an artefact
The show: Warehouse 13 follows the exploits of two Secret Service agents who are recruited to work for a secret organisation called Warehouse 13. Agents of the Warehouse travel the world, securing powerful and dangerous artefacts for safe storage in the warehouse. These artefacts, usually associated with a famous individual, include Abraham Lincoln’s hat (which imbues the wearer with an overwhelming urge to emancipate African-Americans) and Ghandi’s sandals (which calm you down to the point where your heart stops beating). Most episodes follow the agents collecting these artefacts after someone has accidentally activated them.
From the victim’s perspective: You’re just an average person, going about your business when BAM, someone you’re mad at gets vaporised in front of you or you get an insatiable craving for human flesh or you get a freaking doppelganger OR your buddy on the wrestling team spontaneously combusts. Sure, some nice people claiming to be from the government turn up and restore everything back to normal but then what? You receive no government aid and you can’t exactly go into therapy and when asked what the potential cause of your mental breakdown, tell your therapist “my high school stalker was using binoculars that witnessed the denotation of the atomic bomb to vaporise anyone who he felt was threatening me” and in some cases you may have seriously injured people or actually killed someone. Where do you go from that? From the victim’s perspective, Warehouse 13 becomes a weird supernatural psychological drama about being possessed and having to come to terms with happened to you or what you did.
Which films would you think be completely from someone else’s perspective?