Last night I went to see one of the most talked about films of the year – Cloverfield. Set in New York and filmed on a camcorder, this film very much like Godzila – but on steriods and with way more class!
I was initially dubious about the way it was filmed – on a camcorder. However, this aspect certainly added realism to the film and increased it’s enjoyment. It helped to allow me to become a part film, drawing me in as the story developed. The realism was helped as well by the fact that there were no star actors/ actresses – this way I could relate to what was happening becuase they were people rather than actors.
Is there anything that we can use as a source of Biblical understanding? Not a huge amount to be honest! There is a love plot that runs throughout the film and how the characters are on a mission to ensure that the love story has a happy ending, with no regrets. John 15:13 states, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” OK, but that could be applied to dozen of films in the last year alone! I think that there is a deeper story that we can use to help our understanding of the Bible and theological things.
The film, once again, is shot from a first person perspective through the lens of a video camera. What Hud sees, we see. It starts out documenting a leaving party so that Rob can take the film with him to remind him of his friends. However, after the “thing” strikes the video recording still continues. Even in the midst of chaos and the world literally falling apart around them, Hud never decides to put the camcorder down and simply run for his life – he has to film EVERYTHING! I remember sitting the cinema thinking – how ridiculous – they are all going to die but Hud still wants to record something. For who? For what purpose? It’s almost that he doesn’t realize the gravity of the situation. Then it struck me: Jesus said that “as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away.” People today aren’t aware that there is a creature creating havoc – his name is Satan – his goal is destruction. He is destroying marriages, he is destroying friendships, he is destroying society. People are generally unaware of this. But there is coming a day when God will send this forces to destroy that creature. Just like God said to Lot when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah – don’t go back into the city, don’t look back for it’s end is destruction. God will judge sin and Satan. It’s just a matter of time before the creature raises it’s ugly head and reveals itself to the whole world.
Another theme that could be seen running thorugh the film is the consistent and discriminant nature of death. Solomon said “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. – Ecclesiastes 2:15-17
One more theme – what about the nature of relationships? The fim is like many horror / disaster films that have as much to do with watching relationships form, break apart and solidify as they do with the disaster itself. I mean, the creature in Cloverfield was really a sub narrative in this film. The theme could be summarized as “What do you want in life?”. Rob’s answer was that he wanted true love. It wasn’t just a quest to find Beth, but a quest to heal their relationship.