“In a war of two kings, even a pawn can win”: analysis of the film Paranoia (2013): plot summary, ending, essence of the film, similar films.
Country: USA, India, France
Genre: thriller, drama
Year of production: 2013
Director: Robert Luketic
Actors: Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman, Amber Heard
The plot of the film “Paranoia”, which belongs to a rather rare genre of corporate thriller, constantly tries to surprise the viewer with either a sudden turn or an impressive denouement. However, the main idea of the picture cannot be called original – it lies not only in the fact that whoever is stronger is right, but also in the fact that goodness must come with fists.
What is the movie about
Brief description of the contents of the picture. The main character of the film, Adam Cassidy, is an ordinary guy from a simple family. Like many at his age, he believes in the reality of the “American Dream”, the meaning of his life is success and financial well-being.
Adam is well versed in new technologies and, together with other guys, is developing what he thinks is revolutionary software for smartphones. He is sure that sooner or later he will get rich, but at some point “something goes wrong”: having failed at the presentation of his product, the young man loses his job. The situation is complicated by the fact that he has a seriously ill father in his arms, who requires urgent and expensive surgery. There is no money for it, and besides (trouble never comes alone) Adam is accused of wasting the company’s money.
At this time, the hero’s former boss, company president Nicholas Wyatt, makes him a strange, but very tempting career offer. Adam must infiltrate the company of Wyatt’s dangerous rival, Augustine Goddard, and act as a mole for a little while. Simply put, the guy needs to collect all the data regarding the new developments of a competing company. Adam is not sure that he wants to take on such a dangerous task. But he has no choice: otherwise, he and his friends will face trial and, probably, many years in prison.
Adam’s first task was to establish contact with Tom Lungren, the employee responsible for recruiting. He manages to gain his trust, and in addition, that evening he meets the head of the marketing department of the Goddard company, Emma Jennings. They had briefly met before, at one of the parties, which ended in a stormy night. The next morning, Emma ran away without leaving the guy her name or phone number and said goodbye that poor young people were not her type. Seeing Emma in front of him now, Adam thinks that he will probably cope with the task – and with pleasure.
Soon the young man is given a beautiful and comfortable personal account and he slowly begins to settle into his new world. And a little later, Adam meets Goddard himself and gains his trust. And everything would be fine, but everything around reminds the main character that he is a complete stranger in this wonderful world of big money and cool opportunities.
One thing pleases Adam – Emma, with whom he fell in love at first sight, finally reciprocates his feelings and a passionate romance breaks out between them. And soon he manages to find out Goddard’s main secret: the answer is that his company is developing a revolutionary wearable computer, an ideal tool for tracking people.
One day, Adam comes to his father, where an FBI agent named Gamble is waiting for him. He investigates the deaths of three former employees of Wyatt’s company, each of whom died under very strange circumstances. Gamble hints that Adam could be next at any moment and recommends that he “not delay.”
Soon Adam begins to understand what he has gotten himself into: he and his loved ones are being monitored around the clock. His every move is known to both Wyatt and Goddard. Having compared all the data he has, the young man understands that the only interpretation of events looks like this: he is just a pawn in the games of the powers that be. After consulting with his father, he realizes that he has no choice – either cooperation with the FBI and prison, or death.
Having survived an attempt on his life, Adam comes to the conclusion that there is a third option – fight. He begins to collect dirt on both bosses, but suddenly Goddard appears on the scene and offers a deal: Adam persuades Wyatt to sell part of the shares to his competitor and everything will be fine.
Later, Adam meets with Emma, who bitterly reproaches him – the girl is sure that he used her. “I just wanted to become a different person,” the guy justifies himself. “And you became one,” she states.
She’s partly right: from an ordinary, modest guy, Adam has turned into a serious rival for such business sharks as Wyatt and Goddard. And they really should be afraid of him…
Paranoia Ending explained
Explanation of the ending of the picture. Adam gives the collected incriminating evidence to Agent Gamble, who comes to Goddard and arrests him. The businessman is accused of fraud, industrial espionage, obstruction of justice and insider trading. A little later, similar charges were brought against Wyatt. Adam himself is given only a suspended sentence for collaborating with the authorities. He makes peace with Emma, a little later opens his own business and invites her to work.
The meaning of the ending of the film “Paranoia” is contained in the voice-over final words of the main character: “What I strived for so much ceased to seem important to me.” He finally realized that the most important thing is to be honest with himself, do what he is called to do, and not try to jump in over his head.
The meaning of the film Paranoia
“Paranoia” by Robert Luketic is a film adaptation of the bestselling book of the same name by American writer Joseph Finder. The plot of the film evokes clear parallels with the industrial war between IBM, MICROSOFT and APPLE that took place several years ago. The cause of the conflict was that IBM Corporation was unable to purchase APPLE.
Like the original novel, the film is a fascinating and simple detective thriller about the life of large corporations. The most valuable thing about it is the bright “picture”, which includes beautifully decorated work areas, “white-collar workers” writing their reports, conference rooms bursting with meetings and snakes hiding behind kind smiles.
The main character, who accidentally finds himself in this world, begins to drown in it. From all sides he hears the words: “You will never become part of this world, it will swallow you up.” He stubbornly covers his ears – he doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want to understand. Because it so happened that only here for the first time does he begin to feel needed, valuable and capable of something. And only here he, it seemed to him, realized that his life had meaning.
According to some viewers who analyzed the film, it should have been called not “Paranoia”, but something else – “Games of the Gods”, for example. Because the motive of paranoia here does not determine the essence of what is happening. The main character, like Clyde Griffiths once upon a time, really wanted to “get out into the world.” And, like Clyde, he had to compromise with his conscience to do this. However, the devil, with whom the ambitious young man signed a contract, loves to play with people. In the end, the tempting “carrot” turned into a stick – more precisely, a noose around the neck, which threatened an inglorious end not only for the hero himself, but also for those who were associated with him…
Unfortunately, Luketic’s film lacks the main thing – psychologism. Serious issues are not considered here, there is no hidden meaning, and the plot moves along well-known paths. However, behind the relative simplicity of what is happening on the screen, one can easily see a rather instructive truth of life, which greatly pricks the eyes of consumer society. And it lies in the fact that it is impossible to “make friends” between an inflated ego and the desire to remain oneself: this is a path, if not to nowhere, then to a psychotherapist’s office, for sure.
Yes, of course, we have heard about all this more than once. But still, “Paranoia” deserves at least one viewing. Taking a peek at large corporations (especially if a person has nothing to do with them) is sometimes very funny. And watching the interaction of the characters, each of whom is strictly in his place and, like a piece on a chessboard, fulfills his role, is very interesting. After all, the entire game, from the beginning to the very end, is played in a classically beautiful way and there is no reason not to admire it.
However, this picture should not be perceived solely as a story about the confrontation between two corporations. The essence of the film is that not all dreams are worth coming true. Whatever one may say, this is relevant not only for big business, but also for the average person.
Here are several films similar in meaning and plot to the film “Paranoia”:
- “Va-bank” (USA, 2013). The main character of the film is gradually immersed in the world of gambling.
- “Areas of Darkness” (USA, 2011). Trying to overcome the crisis, the writer takes a secret drug called NZT. His life changes dramatically, but side effects soon make themselves felt…
- “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (USA, 2010). The young man is trying to climb to the top of the financial ladder. A seasoned corporate raider helps him in this.
- “Lucky Number Slevin” (USA, 2005). There are many problems and difficulties in the life of the main character. He tries to get out of them, but only gets more entangled.