Interstate 60 (also known as Interstate 60: Episodes of The Road) is a multifaceted film filled with philosophy and metaphors. Asking the question, what is the meaning of the picture, the viewer will not find an unambiguous answer, because a whole lot of meanings can be found in this movie. The director of the film, Bob Gale, is best known for his series of films “Back to the Future”. Some of the beloved actors from the famous trilogy played in Interstate 60.
On his journey, the protagonist meets different people and witnesses different events, each of which gives food for thought. Looking at the film from different angles, you can find several subtexts at once, from superficial messages to crazy ideas. But, before proceeding to the analysis, one should recall the plot.
The main character, Neil Oliver, is the son of a lawyer who loves drawing. He has an apartment, a girlfriend, wealthy parents and a promising future at a law college. But Neal is not satisfied with such a life: he does not love the girl, the father dictates his “correct” opinion about his son’s career, and the hero himself cannot disobey him, and he’s not at all sure of what he really wants to do in life. And Neil is also incapable of making decisions on his own: he solves even elementary problems with the help of a computer program that generates only unambiguous answers “Yes” and “No”.
On his birthday, Neil meets the mysterious O.J. Grant (OJ = One Wish), a magician who makes dreams come true, and makes a wish – “to find the answer to your life.” Grant, on the other hand, deciding to fulfill the hero’s wish, sends Neal on a journey along Highway 60, which does not exist on any US map. with your girlfriend and take responsibility for your life yourself, throwing away all decision generators.
What’s the point of the movie?
The film touches upon many problems: the choice of life path, dependence, fear of change, inattention to life and others, since each scene makes you think about something. Nevertheless, several general meanings can be distinguished.
The superficial meaning of the film
Looking with the “naked” eye, you can distinguish a fairly obvious meaning: follow your dream, do not betray your hobbies and be yourself.
The father dictating his opinion causes an internal conflict of the hero, his throwing between his favorite business and the imposed career of a lawyer. The wizard helps Neal understand himself, sending him on a journey and making new acquaintances on his way, which as a result change the character of the hero.
All of this is a classic example of character development. However, as Ray said, “We see what we expect to see, not necessarily the truth.”
The track is a fantasy, or what is hidden under a beautiful story
Analyzing viewers found a more interesting version of the deeper meaning of the film. And it lies in the fact that in fact all the adventures were dreamed of by the hero while he was in the hospital, and Route 60 is Neil’s road of fantasies, which reflects his psychological problems.
Since in reality, Neil Oliver is afraid to make a choice due to the influence of his father, he invents a magical path for himself, on which decisions are made very simply. After all, it is easy to get rid of drugs if you see their negative consequences, it is just as easy to drop out of law college, when there is a whole city of inadequate lawyers in front of your eyes, or to choose an almost ideal girl with whom you have the same interests and views.
In reality, it is very difficult to understand which actions are good and which are bad. Therefore, Neal arranged events so conveniently for himself that the desired decision was supported by excuses. You can’t follow your father’s lead if you already know that in the future this decision will force you to kill him.
As a result, Route 60 did not help the hero to become independent at all, as it might seem at first glance. After all, now the decisions for him were not made by his father, but by Grant, who is in fact an alternative personality of Neil. After all, it is not Oliver, but the wizard who sends a picture of the hero to the competition, defining his entire further path in this way. And in the end, the viewer should think about: whether to go on the road of beautiful fantasies or real changes?
Black hearts and red spades
Another deep meaning of the film is also related to the unwillingness to accept change. In one of the opening scenes, Ray shows Neal a card trick, and the hero does not notice that the hearts are black and the spades are red. Based on his past experience, Neal thinks that hearts can only be red and spades can only be black, and therefore is not aware of the substitution. The bottom line is that it is much easier for consciousness to interpret similar forms based on past information than to admit the idea that things can be different.
Children, who have never played cards, easily pass this test, because they do not yet have the installation that the suits should be of a certain color, they are not yet accustomed to this. This is where the message to the audience can be seen: attentiveness and concentration, even on ordinary things, allows a person to see much more than he usually sees. “One involuntarily thinks how much more there is that we cannot see, hear, feel, simply because we are accustomed to something else.”
However, the next time, already knowing about the possibility of spoofing, Neal will be able to distinguish the cards. In addition, this lesson allowed the hero to notice things that other people do not see: a message on a piece of paper made of cookies, signs with a girl from his dreams, secret signs, and most importantly – the path to the nonexistent highway 60, which, it turns out, exists, but people just unable to notice her.
What is the main meaning of “Route 60”
The peculiarity of “Trassa 60” is that each viewer can find his own meaning from many others. For example, throughout the film, the idea of inevitability is visible. All events on the highway are not accidental, everything is interconnected: “Any event is inevitable, otherwise it would not have happened.” And at the same time, a person must choose his own destiny on his own (Neil throws out a ball of answers).
And someone sees the meaning of the film in the fact that all desires tend to come true, but not always in a favorable way. You can recall Grant’s previous “clients”: a young couple who exploded after the wedding, dreaming of eternal happiness, or a glutton who as a result suffers from his bottomless stomach.
Striving for freedom, the ability to always keep one’s word and fulfill “contracts” and promises, self-realization, the ability to think with your own head, learn from others (after all, life is a school, as one friend of Neil says) and notice the delusions of your mind – the film is very multifaceted. But it may seem to someone that “Route 60” is just a satire on modern human vices, and he, too, will be right.