Predestination

I don’t think many would argue if I state that religious groups can also be subdivided into two, on the basis of their dogma related to god’s plan and our role in it.

Specifically whether the Lord almighty has granted us with free will or is there a predestination a fixed ending to which every individual will traverse helplessly. (I am a huge fan of the freewill theory just to let you know).

Predestination Movie Review

The movie Predestination (2014) does not actually romanticize religion and faith, the director has created one of the most complex and contentious theories into a theatrical roller coaster that is downright incomprehensible for a huge lot of the audience.

The direction, writing, and acting in this movie is commendable; the movie is based on a short story by the name of ‘All you zombies’ by Robert Heinlein.

By the means of this power vested in me as the writer, I take the liberty of spoiling the movie for you. If you are not on-board with the idea, you are most welcome to stop reading and watch the movie instead and reread the article if you find it way beyond your league.

The reason why I am investing my valuable time in explaining the movie is very simple, the movie is way too difficult to understand, and as I have always been victim to this penchant for overthinking and overanalyzing stuff, and Predestination was a treat for sore eyes.

The makers of this masterpiece have a very clear goal in mind: to challenge the audience. “Let us test the mettle of moviegoers” – they must have said at the inception of this movie and the rest is history.

The movie begins with Ethan Hawke unwrapping bandages from his face after a facial reconstruction surgery (Well actually it begins with a really hard to explain altercation, interestingly this scene is shown multiple times giving a little more information).

The movie is about Ethan Hawke and his time traveling expeditions in the employ of an organization (Spacecorp) which trains people to travel back and forth in time to prevent major calamities and prevent the ensuing plenitude loss of life before they take place.

But one of their adversaries who is touted as the ‘Fizzle Bomber’, has foiled the organization’s plans time and time again. I will try to make as much sense as I can, my sincere apologies if it gets too hard for you to follow.

The other leading character is an orphan girl Jane raised in an orphanage, physically stronger and mentally sharper than her peers; who in her teenage is impregnated by a suspicious man who fled away after they consummated, destroying her future plans about her education and profession.

The plot thickens when she is told by the doctors that she was born bisexual (had both males as well female sex organs) although the male parts were not developed till that point and were present inside her body which is why nobody knew.

And now the problem is that she has two choices either she would lose her womanhood in pursuit of the safety of her child or might lose her life and the unborn child if she chooses not to.

She chooses to have the former of the two and as a last resort the surgeons had to remove her female sex organs and the male parts were surgically enhanced and as ironic as it might sound, she became a ‘man’ after becoming a ‘mother’.

But it seemed fate had not devoured all the happiness from her life yet even when she was abject and all her dreams were shattered, she (or now biologically ‘he’) still had the baby; which was stolen from the nursery by a man in a black coat whose face is not revealed.

So for the sake of discussion let’s call him ‘X’. The poor man (who took up the name John) is distraught because he is sick and tired of god’s devious plans, but he does not give up and starts typing articles for a cheap magazine under the penname ‘the unmarried mother’.

And then one fine day goes to a bar only to be greeted by Ethan Hawke (bartender/crusader with an undisclosed cause) who asks the guy to tell him his story and if it is interesting enough he could win a bottle of spirit and wins it eventually.  Ethan then asks him that if he could take him back to the man who caused all of this pain, could he kill him?

The reply was a conspicuous yes, after which they went back in time to the chronologically correct time period when Jane met her mystery man.

Now what comes to most of the people as a surprise (most does not include me, it takes George R. R. Martin to knock my socks off) is the revelation that ‘he’ is the mysterious man who well I know it is repulsive but seduced her older self.

Meanwhile, it is also shown that Ethan goes to help someone with burns on the face caused by a failed attempt to defuse a bomb planted by the fizzle bomber, in the process Ethan fights with him but fails in his mission of capturing him.

When he goes back to clear the air with his time-traveling companion, gives another shocker that he (Ethan) is actually a chronologically older time remnant of himself (yeah this is the point people realize that the sex change thing was still believable but this is becoming way too obnoxious).

Why? Oh God Why??

Just when I was starting to get a hold of the plot why do you make stuff so creepy and hard to follow?

That is not it, it is revealed that Ethan is ‘X’ and goes to drop the newborn on the steps of an orphanage. So, uhmm how should I break it to you, all the four characters mentioned earlier were just one single person on different time periods thanks to the time-traveling.

That is not the end now there is just one character left to be explained, the ‘Fizzle bomber’ yeah he is the SAME person too, sorry for making it so predictable for you.

This version although is the most interesting to explain. Ethan is decommissioned and granted permission to choose his location and timeline to retire, interestingly enough he chooses the same place where the Fizzle bomber’s final bomb explosion kills thousands of people (his grand plan) just a couple of months earlier to the mishap.

He narrows down the Fizzle bomber’s location to a laundry, where when they finally meet, the ‘Fizzle bomber’ explains why was he decommissioned and why his time traveling equipment has an error.

Further that in order to maintain equilibrium in the space and time continuum, all the people who were saved by that organization were supposed to die in the bomb blast but the good ol’ Ethan has had enough and kills the ‘Fizzle Bomber’.

Eventually affirming the prophecy recited by the ‘Fizzle Bomber’ that he will take place of the ‘Fizzle Bomber’ and do the dirty work of the organization (the movie ends with Ethan staring into the camera perplexed about what is about to happen as now he knows thanks to the research of his older self that/fizzle bomber that even when it seems to be morally demeaning to choose to kill all those people, it is the right thing to do for the greater good).

Phew!

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