Meaning Of The Films Cube (1997), Cube 2: Hypercube (2002) & Cube Zero: Review & Explanation Of The Ending. Proving Ground, Human Brain, Purgatory And Other Explanations Of What Is Happening In The Movie Cube?
The Canadian trilogy “Cube” at first glance seems like a typical sci-fi thriller. However, there is a mystery in this picture that still makes fans rack their brains. The trilogy includes films: “Cube” (1997, director, Vincenzo Natali), “Cube 2: Hypercube” (2002, director Andrzej Sekula), “Cube 3: Zero” (2004, Ernie Barbarash). The meaning of the film “Cube” (Cube) should be sought based on one’s own worldview: in this picture you can find references to both religion and the theory of terrible experiments of the government.
What is the movie about
Brief summary of the picture. A group of people was locked in a strange cubic room. It is adjacent to other similar rooms, however, the colors are sometimes different. The idea is that the heroes should get out of this room as soon as possible – before they die from complete exhaustion.
Frame from the film.
The problem is that there are traps in some rooms. To avoid them, the heroes have to apply logic and mathematical knowledge. This must be done quickly, before the crushing walls of this prison have turned a person into an animal.
Film director Vincenzo Natali has been nurturing this trilogy for several years. Initially, taking into account the rather scarce funding, the director planned to shoot an adventure film. However, as he himself put it, “the film made itself.” The result is a tough fantasy drama-thriller with elements of a parable.
Many viewers in their reviews and analysis believe that the meaning of the film “Cube” is that the world is a bunch of cubes in each other, like a nesting doll. You free yourself from one – you find yourself in a more spacious, but still in a cube. And the biggest cube is yourself. There is only one way to escape…
This is a great film for sociologists, psychologists and even philosophers. It is interesting not only for the collected types, but also for how relations develop between people locked in a confined space.
One of the most striking characters is David Worth. At first it seems that he does not care about everyone and everything. But in fact, he just really looks at things.
No less interesting is Joan Leven. This cute and smart mathematician in this situation is an invaluable fief of the group: only she understands algebra and geometry, which can allow the heroes to escape from these casemates.
The icing on the cake is a character named Quentin. At first it seems that he is the most adequate in this group: he has leadership inclinations, he is physically strong and ready for decisive action. But the further events of the film “Cube” turn him into a monster.
The most mysterious character in this picture is a mentally retarded guy named Kazan, who has a phenomenal ability to find the solution to the most difficult mathematical problems …
The finale of the film remains open, which makes it possible to express its interpretations and search for hidden meanings.
The first film in the trilogy is about six people who wake up in a maze of endless rooms. They must find a way out before they die of hunger and thirst.
Each of the characters is competent in a certain area. To get out of this trap, they must join forces. At the same time, each of them is an element of a huge puzzle, and until they realize this, they will not see a way out. Somehow it all resembles a small mechanism. But the mechanism here is not the cube itself, but the people inside it.
Opening the desired hatch (if a hatch is chosen incorrectly, a trap is triggered, which leads to death), the heroes move from one room to another. Along the way, new information about the mysterious place is revealed, and the characters of the characters are revealed.
At the end, a hint is given that the psychic reality of the cube is created by the heroes themselves. Each of them finds confirmation of their own ideas about life. Most importantly, each hero has abilities or knowledge that he successfully applies in a senseless search for a way out of a terrible labyrinth.
And these searches are meaningless because the meaning of the phrase “There is no way out” is just as true as the meaning of the words “The exit is nearby”. Only at the very end, the hero, who has almost guessed the essence of the cube, voices this stunning guess…
Cube 2: Hypercube
Hypercube is the second film in the trilogy. This picture has a different director – Andrzej Sekula, and its concept is also somewhat different.
Brief summary of the film. Eight people woke up in a closed space – in different rooms of the hypercube. They move around inside it, bumping into each other and forming small groups. Gradually, they come together and begin to try to collectively decide how they got there.
Frame from the film Cube 2: Hypercube.
This cube is much more difficult than the first one, because the heroes have to solve the riddle of space and time and find out what a hypercube is.
In real life, we cannot see the time – we only try to keep track of it. Here it takes on quite visible forms, which means that it is quite possible to intersect with parallel universes and meet with yourself from the past or future.
Gradually, the heroes understand what unites them, but they fail to find the main clue – to understand how to get out of the Hypercube.
The main feature of this film is the idea of a fourth dimension.
Cube 3: Zero
“Cube Zero” is the third film in the trilogy, a prequel to the first picture.
Before us is a huge labyrinth, consisting of hundreds of small rooms. Each of these rooms is also a cube with a hatch. Each of these hatches leads to other – the same – rooms.
Frame from the film.
There are safe rooms, but there are also trap rooms that kill a person who has fallen into them in various ways. Both dangerous criminals and those who are objectionable to the authorities are placed here, as well as dissidents who are fighting for democracy.
There is a way out, and everyone who ended up there is moving around the rooms in the hope of staying alive and getting out of this hell. But in fact, the probability of breaking out of the trap is negligible. They play cat and mouse with people, and see their every move. If they suddenly find themselves too close to the desired exit, this becomes the last minutes of their lives.
People are constantly monitored by two caretakers – Wynn and Dodd. As a rule, their role is to follow the prisoners and register the next death. They are convinced that all the prisoners (by default, on death row) voluntarily agreed to the experiment.
But one day, Wynn discovers a girl in Cuba who does not look like a criminal at all, and decides to help her. He also ends up in a cube, and he has more chances to survive. Or is it just an illusion?
It is impossible to give a single explanation of the meaning of the film “The Cube”. There are several interpretations of the plot.
Cube – purgatory for the dead
At the end of the first film, Quentin kills everyone who gets to the bridge that allows them to escape. He himself died during the movement of this bridge. The last survivor is Kazan, who walks towards the light.
Frame from the film.
A possible explanation for everything that happens is this: the Cube is purgatory, and everyone who ended up in it is dead. All the time they wander around the cube, they are being tested for their transgressions. If they fail, they go to hell. In the final, the most worthy was the mentally retarded Kazan, who was the only one to get out of the monstrous trap. This is the meaning of the ending of the film “Cube”.
The cube perfectly conveys ideas about the world as a concentration prison for souls. This is not just about planet Earth, but about the entire universe and about God (an outsider), who alone can explain to us (insiders) what is outside the trap (imprisonment of the soul inside the prison of our body, in the physical world, on Earth). The Creator of the Cube (Earth, human body … soul), is God – the Creator. And the one who came and explained everything to us is Christ, his Son.
In order to be saved (from prison), one needs a goal that has a positive value, which is life in paradise and eternal bliss (happiness) of the soul (outside of Cuba). Otherwise, the eternity of the soul’s stay in prison, in “hell” awaits. There is no third option. Science cannot explain the world as a whole. To explain the whole, it is necessary to get out of the world.
Cube – human brain
There is another interpretation. The cube is our brain, human consciousness, limited by the cranium. Without food and water – that is, communication with the outside world – a person dies. It has intellect (Leven), mercy (Holloway), aggression (Quentin), common sense (Ward), pride (Rennes), purity (Kazan) and recklessness (Alderson).
Frame from the film.
In this context, the explanation of the ending looks like this: you don’t need to go into the depths of the brain, sit in the room in which you find yourself – and the exit will find you. Most people do just that: they quietly live ordinary lives. But some stubbornly crawl deeper. Alderson dies first, acting alone and unable to analyze his actions.
The second to die was the proud man, confident in his skill. Rationalism and cruelty kill mercy: Holloway died at the hands of Quentin, who, by the way, also kills intelligence in the face of Leven. Common sense is trying its last strength to keep aggression inside the cube, because anger should not be free. Only the mentally retarded goes beyond the limits of consciousness: only those who do not rely on their mind or experience can see the light.
The prison will not release a prisoner if there is a desire to get out. Traps are adjusted to each individual, based on their level of understanding of the world. But with a complete rejection of any desires, the prison opens its doors.
Notably, the film states that there is no author or Big Brother to oversee the experiment. This means that the Cube is completely a projection of the mind and cannot exist separately from the one who created it.
Closing ourselves on the rules of the prison, we make ourselves prisoners, which means that we limit ourselves to a certain model of behavior and thinking. To be free, you have to stop being a prisoner – stop looking at the world as a prisoner.
But of course, that’s just easy to say. In fact, there is a paradoxical process here: on the one hand, the path to freedom leads through lack of freedom, and on the other hand, freedom is always with us and does not depend on lack of freedom.
Cube – the torment of one person
The cube is an allusion to the reaction of only one person to a non-standard situation, in which either fear, or aggression, or reason alternately takes over. And only madness borders on the acceptance of the situation, and, paradoxically, on the possible way out of it.
Frame from the film.
The ending, in which only “madness” comes out of the cube, can also mean not salvation, but the death of the brain – the very moment when all feelings simply give up, die one by one, and then consciousness leaves its “cube”. And then – nothing. The personality simply dissolves and disappears.
Cube – testing ground
Humanity itself was tested in the cube. The conclusion is this: if people, locked in their world, cannot escape from it, if they find themselves locked, then in the end madness will win.
Mercy, pride, carelessness will die first, intellect, rationality and anger will devour each other. In the end, only madness remains. The cube is a scenario of the apocalypse in miniature.
A cube is fate
A cube is a certain event in which the lives of several people are intertwined. You can’t get out of here in the same way as from the future type of “everything is predetermined”. Rooms are the problems that the heroes will have to face during their attempt to escape.
That is, the cube does not have an exact definition. This is the period of time in which people with problems fall. Their fate is basically sealed.
Final “Cube 2: Hypercube” and “Cube 3: Zero”
The meaning of the ending of the film “Cube 2: Hypercube” is that the cube is a cancerous tumor in the body of society. This is an appendage that does not perform any function and is not controlled by anyone. The cumbersome bureaucratic machine gave birth to the cube unconsciously, and not one of the cogs in this system suspected that it was contributing to the birth of the monster.
In principle, the philosophical meaning of the ending of the first film overlaps the ending of the prequel: the viewer is made clear that the cube was the creation of a religious fanatic from the government. But if you do not consider the second and third pictures as a continuation of the first film, which is still an integral independent work, then you probably should not pay attention to such a mundane explanation of the finale.
Vincenzo Natali (creator of the original film) has nothing to do with the creation of sequels: they were made by completely different people. Natalie himself deliberately left a secret, although he initially made a recording on which he showed the area outside the cube. Subsequently, he destroyed it and decided to keep it a secret.
Vincenzo Natali, director of the film “Cube”, 1997
The director of the first “Cube” also hinted at the aliens, that it was just a meat grinder created specifically for the entertainment of a sick and very rich psycho, or that it was a government experiment that had lost its main purpose.
Natalie did not directly support any of the theories. He himself left the truth a secret: what is outside the first Cube, we will never know. In this sense, the open ending of the first film looks perfect.