In an age of sequels, prequels, remakes, spin-offs and politically correct retellings, the movie Passengers stands out as a scientifically sound fairy tale complete with traditional metaphors and explorations. The politically correct establishment will, of course, blame the movie for being sexist and rape-apologetic. I would not even be surprised if the movie is banned in a few neo-puritan states of America.
These are the metaphors in the movie (here lie the spoilers):
- The ship in deep space is a metaphor for reality surrounded by nothingness.
- The 5000 people in the hibernation pods on the ship are all the possible people this reality can offer and are yet to be born.
- 100 years before reaching the destination (a paradise planet), The Man is woken up by the ship’s AI or perhaps by the ship’s malfunction. A (random) sequence of events leading to power failure of his hibernation pod and he is woken up. This is a metaphor for how you come to be in this reality, through a series of events which seem random or perhaps chosen by an intelligence (we are not sure).
- The Man is alone and it ruins him. He deliberates hard and chooses a Woman from the pods and wakes her up. They fall in love, and when she finds out she woke up because of the man she hates him and avoids him. She hates him for waking her up before the ship reached its destination and forcing her to die before the ship reaches the paradise planet. This one seems to be the Abrahamic narrative of Adam and Lilith.
- The ship shows signs of progressive failure. This one seems to be about how the world itself is impermanent and how the second Law of Thermodynamics affects everything.
- One of the Crew is woken up accidentally or by design by the ship and He figures out what is wrong with the ship (it is failing) and dies because of problems in His hibernation pod reviving Him improperly. While He is dying, He leaves the keys to the Man. This one seems to be a metaphor for the Messiah.
- The ship starts failing, and the Man has to almost die trying to fix the ship with the help of the Woman. The Man mentions how he has to die because it is about the 5000 hibernating souls also. He is resuscitated to life by the Woman. Both the man the woman use the keys left by the dead Crew member to fix the ship. This is a metaphor for how men lost their nature by fixing the problems of this world through science and technology. This is also a metaphor for how women step in when men lose their nature. Both the Man and Woman use the keys left by the Messiah to do everything.
- The Man volunteers to put the Woman back to an alternative to hibernation which only one person can use. The Man lives in solitude for the next 100 years being a steward of the ship while it reaches its final destination. This is a metaphor for men who do not need women but are stewards of the world trying to take Reality to its Omega Point a.k.a Final Cause.
- The remaining crew members are awoken 4 months before the destination and realize everything that happened on the way.
The movie has a distinct Judeo-Christian-Islamic flavor to it. And it hints at rebirth and other similar ideas seen in Eastern religions. I liked how the Woman complains to the Android butler how robots have a purpose. What was left out is how she had the burden of discovering her purpose.
But I am sure the social justice crowd can only see sexism, rape, and the tropes of movies everywhere. Perhaps that is why all the professional reviewers gave the movie a low rating while the audience loved it as seen from IMDB ratings.