Thursday, September 19, 2013

The World's End Discussion, Part 2

On September 8, Dave, Jeff, and Megan got together to talk about the latest Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost venture, The World's End, based on some notes from Cat. (So far she hasn't given permission to publish those notes, so for now you'll have to reconstruct them for yourself based on our references to them and deductive reasoning.) This is the second part of that discussion.

Beware, though: absolutely no effort was made to avoid spoilers.



Dave
Characters?

MR
Yessir!
I thought that the Gary King characterization was awesome. They did such a great job of setting him up as someone who would take the trouble to still keep forging ahead and drinking pints in the face of killer robots.

Dave
Yeah, he was well done.

JK
He was certainly a layered character. Like duplex stainless steel.

MR
Someone who is just clinging to his glory days.

Dave
It's all he had.

JK
Interesting how one of the beers was called "Crowning Glory."

Dave
I think they had that at several of the pubs.

JK
I wonder if the character of the flavour of that beer was supposed to mirror the flavour of how they were reliving some of their memories and days together.

Dave
I think you are probably right.

MR
Haha, you guys both have way better memories for details than I do. I barely remember any of the characters' names.

JK
Peter, Andrew, Gary, ... crap can't remember the others.

MR
Oliver!

Dave
Oliver?

JK
Was he the one that chuckled at 'King Gay'?

MR
Oliver was the one with the birthmark.

JK
Oh yeah.

MR
Played by *fans self* Martin Freeman.

Dave
Right.
Then there was Peter, he was the King Gay chuckler.
And Steve the lover of Sam.

JK
Do you think there was some significance with how the 'blanks' were free from the blemishes of their injuries/aging (in reference to the birth mark)?
Perhaps since they were perfect, free of errors, that that made them inhuman, given the 'to err is human' thing.

Dave
Well on the surface it is because they are made from DNA, and aren't shaped by experience as real people are.

JK
Excellent point!
We are more than just our DNA... I love that insight Dave!

MR
I'm not sure about blanks being free from blemishes, but I do think there was some significance to the fact that the "blanks" were the robots, and the "empties" were the people who had been turned into robots, and that those words have very similar meanings.

MR
What did you guys think of Sam, the lone female character with a significant role?

JK
I liked her, I liked how she had matured but hadn't necessarily conformed.

MR
I think I agree with Cat that she wasn't terribly well-handled. She does get to do some ass-kicking and such but I didn't know much about her. In some ways she actually blends in with the "other guys" in terms of her actual personality. Maybe there were just too many characters in the ensemble?

Dave
Yeah she was a little underplayed, but again so were Oliver, Peter, and Steve.
Even Andy was close to minimal.

JK
I loved when his hand went through the door of that one pub!
But you are right, Andy didn't seem to be as developed as he could have been, given the fact that at the beginning Gary makes a point of mentioning their fraternal love.

MR
I thought Andy was quite well done, actually. He's a man who could have gone the same way as Gary, but instead turned his life around and became successful... except that we learn later in the movie that he actually isn't so successful.

JK
... Suggesting again that we're all fuckups...
Interesting point Megan.

Dave
I think all the characters were handled well, but that Gary was the true "main" character.

JK
On that note, Steve was a fuckup because he didn't act on his feeling toward Sam earlier. That was his great regret.

MR
Speaking of that, I wish we had gotten more of the two of them because I didn't really feel any connection to their love story, if you will.
Like, why did they care about each other?

Dave
You see how Sam has grown up from her party girl ways. Peter still has some issues with being bullied, Steve can finally stand up to Gary, etc.

JK
I was wondering if Sam also had regrets because of not capitalizing on the romance that never was.

MR
Ugh, this is why I wish that beginning bit hadn't been so rushed!
I didn't have enough connection to their younger selves to really see the progression.

JK
In fact, I don't think it even registered with me that Steve liked Sam in the old days.

Dave
I think she had regrets too, and you do see that. She tried to reciprocate to Steve when he first tells her, but he interrupts her to keep drunkenly talking. Then later in the dance club they almost have a moment before he gets pulled in by the crazy old man.

JK
Yeah, you're right.
I loved Basil!
And his 'crazy' straw.

Dave
It was fun seeing the Spaced cameos. I didn't see Daisy or Twist in there.
But there was Brian, Marsh, Tires.
When Peter confronts his bully, I thought for a minute that it was actually going to be the guy, and he would be beating up a human.
That would have been funny, but it would have been out of place.

MR
I love how he just runs off crazily after that scene.

Dave
Grabs the stick and keeps hitting him.

JK
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about him possibly being human, Dave. Haha! I loved how he got his revenge!
Thinking back, Oliver was the one that most obviously was connected into modern technology, with his bluetooth device. Perhaps there is some commentary that modern social technology turns us into blanks. Just hazarding a wild ass guess.

Dave
Jeff I think there was definitely an undertone of that... and an overtone, as the network tells us that they have increased connectivity across the world. And at the end Andy talks about how life is simpler after the lights went out.

MR
You could be right, Jeff. I don't know when you guys noticed that Oliver had been turned into a blank, but I definitely didn't notice right away.

Dave
I had suspicions pretty quickly. He was too calm and happy.

MR
At least the characters took more time to notice than I did.
But it was also partly just that Oliver maybe had the most conformist personality?

JK
That's true. He didn't seem to have any regrets like the others did.
Any fuckups per se.

Dave
Yeah he just seemed very okay with everything, and was being a very good enabler for them all. And before he was the one they had to drag along.


Tune in next time for more thrilling discussion on... the setting and plot!

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