Saw Prometheus the other day. It was marketed as a sci fi/horror film, much like Alien. However, it wasn’t the aliens and scenes of death that was horrifying. Rather, the film was horrific on a much deeper philosophical level. I found the film to lightly express commentary on the raw truth of nature, humanity, chance, challenges of being naive, and the unpredictability that often occurs in the face of adversity.
I also found this film to express the consequences when people aren’t team players and have their own agendas. Human survival is almost dependent on working with each other for a better life. And of course, Prometheus explores the sense of human imagination, wonder, and curiosity. There’s a great scene where Noomi Rapace’s character Elizabeth mentions something that bewilders Michael Fassbender’s character David, and David ask’s her why her questions are so important for her to ask; Why does Elizabeth need to know “why?” Hopefully, I remembered this scene correctly, but I believe that Elizabeth’s response to David is something like, “because I am human.” If I got this scene wrong, hopefully someone will point it out. But, if this scene is correct, it really gets to the heart of what it means to be a human set apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans have a desire to know “why?” We have a desire to find meaning. And, if there isn’t any given meaning, we usually will create meaning for ourselves. We need purpose. We need to know where we came from to know where we will be going, or where we want to go in life. We need to know the past to know the future. We want direction. And, the movie expresses the idea of sacrifice. How far will you go in life know the truth about things. How much will you sacrifice to know the “why?” Many people sacrifice friends and family to know the reasons for certain things. Others will sacrifice their beliefs for truth, where ever it leads them. And on occasion, people will be willing to sacrifice their own lives or the lives of others for obtaining an honest answer and reason to their questions. The aliens and environment were tools and obstacles that challenged the doomed crew in obtaining the true horrific monster: the nature of reality and the unbiased brutality of the universe.
I plan on seeing the film again, and hopefully confirm that small scene I explained. So, if I completely got that scene wrong or pulled it out of my bad short-term-memory’d ass then I apologize. :P