Joseph Kosinski’s film Oblivion (2013) makes us think about the primacy of spiritual values over material ones.
Analysis of plot of the film Oblivion
The ship “Odyssey” goes to Titan. The team is in the sleeping compartment, immersed in sleep. Flight Director Sally awakens pilots Jack Harper and Victoria to scout for a sudden unidentified object. As the ship begins to veer off course and be pulled by the space body, Jack disconnects the sleeping compartment with the crew and sends it into low Earth orbit.
The space alien Tet absorbs the ship with Jack and Victoria, clones them, wiping their memory and reprogramming their brains. Jack’s clones start a war with Earth, thinking they are fighting aliens and that the remaining humans have left Earth and live on Theta. After the atomic bombings of the planet, Tet begins to download water, explaining to the clones that this is the source of energy for the resettlement of people from Theta to Titan.
After 60 years, clones of Victoria and Jack live at station number 49, controlling drones and clearing the Earth of people who are resisting the complete destruction of life on the planet. At the station, which Victoria considers heaven, they have everything – comfort, sex, the hope that they will soon leave Earth and live on Titan.
But something went wrong: Jack’s clone begins to emerge from oblivion, meeting his wife Julia, who landed with the crew of the sleeping compartment after 60 years. Jack dies, but destroys Tet, and people start their lives on the planet from scratch.
Secret signs and symbols that reveal the meaning of the film
It would seem that the film is an ordinary fantasy with a famously twisted plot, special effects and a happy ending. But, gradually, along with the release of Jack Harper’s clone #49 from oblivion, the viewer notices symbols and signs that make him think.
Jack’s clone #49 secludes himself in an area outside of Tetu’s control, where he has built a house by a clear water lake. This is a secret place for his thoughts and memories associated with an unknown and at the same time very familiar girl. He dislikes the cold comfort of the station, devoid of coziness, the importunate dual control of Victoria and Sally’s liaison officer.
In the destroyed library, Jack finds a book about the exploits of the Roman hero Horace and recites a verse:
And there is no more honorable death than that
what are you ready to accept
for the bones of their ancestors
for the temple of the gods…”
The words from the “Songs of Ancient Rome” will become a symbol of Jack’s future fate. He really begins to doubt the correctness of his actions when he sees that the drone number 166 is shooting people who survived from the earthly ship. The authors of the film focus on drone number 166 – he shot the “scavengers” in the library, he destroyed the people from the ship, he attacks the colony of surviving inhabitants of the Earth, who explained who Jack was actually fighting. According to numerology, the sum of the numbers 166 is 13. This number is “mem”, which means death.
The moon destroyed by Teth is also a symbol. The moon is feminine (love) and reflective knowledge of the world (religion). Destroying the moon, Tet intended to deprive the clones of Jack and Victoria of spiritual principles: love and religion.
Having met Julia, Jack is convinced that he is a victim of Theta, who, by manipulating their consciousness with Victoria, turned the essence into the opposite sense, rigidly controlling their actions.
It is no coincidence that the number of the awakened Jack clone is 49. There are 49 words in the Latin prayer to God. This number also occurs in Buddhism.
The scene on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, where Jack says to Julia: “I’ll show you the future” is no less symbolic. We see the Freedom Tower: a symbol of the financial power of the United States, which is also part of the message to the viewer.
Symbolic and destroyed Pentagon
At the end of the film, we are shown Theta – a triangle with an eye in the middle – the Masonic sign of the all-seeing eye (radiant delta). The name of Jack’s ship is symbolic. Odysseus defeated the one-eyed cyclops.
If you create special conditions: make you forget about your relationship, about your God, distort reliable information, people stop thinking critically and turn into easily controlled clones. So much so that they can mistake their own for strangers. And, instilling in the crowd of clones its significance in the fight against friend or foe, promising it a bright future, you can keep it in oblivion for some time.
But sooner or later deceived people will come out of oblivion, because they have a Soul.
Explained ending Oblivion
After the death of Jack, people began to live on the planet in harmony between themselves and nature. Julia has a daughter and lives in Jack’s lake house. Jack came to Julia – clone No. 52 and said: “I am Jack Harper and I have returned home.” Jack returned as Horace, who destroyed the bridge and threw himself into the Tiber.
The finale of the film is reminiscent of the cyclical nature of the development of human society. The deaths of empires, mired in vices and neglecting universal human values, are natural, as well as the revival of a new society on the ruins of the old. And Jack’s exit from oblivion is not accidental, because his clone No. 52 (5 + 2) went the same way.
We are once again warned that the vicious worlds that have fallen under the power of darkness will be destroyed in order to be reborn from the ashes and again fall into sin.