Faire sens de Prometheus
[#SPOILERS] Ne tournons pas autour du pot, Prometheus est un film raté et c’est d’autant plus attristant qu’un vrai bon film se cache à l’intérieur. Il fallait juste se débarrasser du scénariste Damon Lindelof (qui avait aussi commis Lost, ceci expliquant cela).
Ci-dessous, une liste de liens pour essayer de faire sens de ce chaos, parce que, c’est un drôle d’effet du film, comme une rémanence de ce qui aurait pu être, on a envie de discuter de l’histoire pour la mettre en ordre, de se mettre à écrire un scénario correct et de supplier Scott de retourner son film avec.
The storytellers of Prometheus — or so I like to imagine — sat down and said, “Okay, we need to retrofit an origin for the Alien mythology, and we’ve got this basket full of lofty ideas we can play with. We’ve got fate and free will and faith. We’ve got questions of science and ethics. Plus we’ve got all these other little awesome things — body horror and sci-fi tropes and spaceships and corporations and, y’know, aliens. It’s great!” And they went off to the races imagining the sequence of events necessary to bring the story backward far enough to explain the origins of, oh, all of mankind and then forward enough so that the audience starts to see where the Alien mythology comes from.
Somewhere, I like to also imagine one of the writers squinting and lifting a delicate finger and, when someone calls on him he says, “Ummmm. So. What about the characters?” * blink blink blink*
And then there’s a lot of ohh and mmmm and ahh yes right of course, and then they get to figuring out the characters. But that’s already the wrong order. The machine is built. Now the characters can only fit into it — like plugs, like gears. It’s an inorganic fit, as if characters are just automatons shuffled onto the stage.
— Prometheus: In Which The Gods Of Plot Punish The Characters For Their Precious Agency, Chuck Wendig, Terrible Minds.
How bad is it? The one and only character who doesn’t feel like a robot is, in fact, a robot. The protagonists are so flat and irritating that you end up rooting for the aliens to wipe out humanity—just as long as these guys die first. Nothing about this movie makes sense—not in the cool David Lynchian “makes you think” way, but rather in a “you didn’t think very much about this script, did you?” way. It’s what happens when nobody tells you your apres-bong dorm conversations were not, in fact, super deep.
— What’s Wrong With Prometheus (a Partial List), Julian Sanchez.
I think about halfway through the film decides that Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) should be the main character, but there’s no real reason for this other than most of the other people have already died. This is fine for a survival horror film like Alien, where Ripley kind of turns into the main character as the plot progresses, but in a science fiction film with a very different narrative focus, it doesn’t work. I get the feeling she was tapped to be the remaining character because the want her to remind the audience of Ripley. This, however, does not work because they are wildly different characters, no matter how many visual parallels the film shoves in. As such, I will henceforth refer to the character as “Not Ripley.”
— 5 Ways to Improve Prometheus (Spoilers), Indistinguishable From Magic.
So, we know something about the Engineers, a founding principle laid down in the very first scene: acceptance of death, up to and including self-sacrifice, is right and proper in the creation of life. Prometheus, Osiris, John Barleycorn, and of course the Jesus of Christianity are all supposed to embody this same principle. It is held up as one of the most enduring human concepts of what it means to be ‘good’.
Seen in this light, the perplexing obscurity of the rest of the film yields to an examination of the interwoven themes of sacrifice, creation, and preservation of life. We also discover, through hints, exactly what the nature of the clash between the Engineers and humanity entailed.