Image courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.
The trailers did not do the film justice. I do not go to the movie theatre all that often, but this film was more than worth the trip. I was fully engaged from start to finish–I mean how could I not be? A magically relatable sci-fi film filled with 80s nostalgia, directed by Steven Spielberg…..c’mon what’s not to love? It had me cracking up, blushing, smiling, jumping with fright, and even crying.
Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi adventure, “Ready Player One”, is based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel of the same name. The film is set in 2045, with the world filled with poverty, corruption, chaos, and very well near collapse. The people have found an escape from reality in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant (but socially awkward) James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he leaves behind a large sum of money to whoever finds the Easter egg he hid in the OASIS. The hunt for the Easter egg sparks a worldwide competition.
The film left me thinking how something like this can happen. From the post-apocalyptic backdrop to the corrupt authoritative power of IOI and ruthless CEO Nolan Sorrento. We already see VR headsets everywhere, used for all types of purposes; the OASIS is a concept not far from reality and the idea of it providing solace in rough times is reasonable. The act of diving into another world where your anonymity is guaranteed, your physical appearance can be whatever you desire, and creativity is of endless supply sounds awe-inspiring and at the same time, strikes an emotional chord––escapism is the only way to deal and even that is being controlled and defiled by an authoritative force.
The film leaves the viewers with takeaways, lessons. For me, it was the importance of seeing past your own little word and understanding the big picture, along with not making judgments or stereotyping. The significance of perseverance and friendship were prevalent in the film–without it, the end result would have been completely different. Mortality and the value of life are apparent; in the game, you can die (yes, you lose all the coins collected), but you eventually come back. In reality, when you die, you die.
You can’t help falling in love with the film’s protagonist, Wade Watts, a quick-witted & passionate teenager, 80s nerd, Halliday fan, and poverty-stricken orphan. The acting, along with the character development, made the film all the better.
Now, I must read the book.