There’s a lot to unpack in this movie and several topics that the Desiderata Extinctionati has touched upon – cults, ARGs, conspiracy theories to name a few. I’ll touch upon the ARG concept and it’s power individually and collectively.
Throughout the movie, Sam is in search for the mystery girl going from one rabbit hole to another, discovering clues, solving puzzles and from the YTer’s analysis ultimately going nowhere. Rendan seems to view Sam’s efforts as a waste of time. “All this time spent going around town could have been better spent finding a job, paying rent, becoming a member of society,” but I think he misses an important lesson.
Nowhere in the film did I think Sam to be a victim or someone trapped in his circumstances. Sure, he may show signs of delusion, is a liar and is a hothead. But through his experience, I felt him getting slowly liberated in his mind. He learns and discovers things about life, himself and the bigger universe to the point where he no longer seems to care about his car, paying for rent or becoming a member of society.
Now, if this happens collectively, that can bring the system down. The power in ARGs is not in reasoning or pleading to politicians, donating to your local charity or changing your lifestyle. It really starts with playing a trick on the alien cortex. Throughout the movie, Sam’s alien cortex was preoccupied with puzzles, physical clues, and cyphers so much to the point that he didn’t even question why or what he’s doing. He just did it because he wants to know what happened to the new girl that he just met.
A lightbulb came on in my head when in the movie, the mystery girl says, “There’s no getting out now so might as well make the best of it.” This once again opened my mind to the predicament of the climate situation and our life on earth. Like the girl, we, too are stuck in this planet for the time being and we too ought to make the best of it. The ripeness is all.