• Ashhar Hassan

Hidden Satire

Introduction

People today are so anxious to get their hands on commercialised goods that they suffer as a result after a while. Greed and lack of moderation stems from our "desire to acquire," liberating man from any moral or ethical obligations.


Cinema, the saviour!

And just when nothing could seem to address these problems, cinema came to the rescue, reflecting the reality of the corporate world, bureaucracy, toxicity and fragility of man, consumer capitalist lifestyle, inclusivity of races amongst others.


Fight Club (1999)

Tyler Durden and the narrator/protagonist are trapped in a consumer-capitalist society with no way out. The suppressed narrator finds comfort in Tyler, embarking on a life of anarchy, wreaking havoc in underground clubs for strangers. Fight Club celebrates violence and living free from materialism.


We see instances of these throughout the film. The narrator depicts the reality of the white collar job, imitating a hamster running on the same plane without accomplishment, as well as glimpses of his hatred towards his job, as he prayed for a crash.


Tyler Durden, the liberator, is developed in order to recreate masculinity amidst a culture of post-feminism, catharsis and self help. The inability to find tranquility in life lands the narrator in a testicular cancer group where he finally begins emoting through tears and accepting his masculinity.


Idiocracy (2006)

Idiocracy depicts the consumer capitalist lifestyle and the racial and socioeconomic stereotypes in “full color”. The film shows a futuristic society in which stupidity trumps intelligence, a product of generations of people enjoying easy lives.


The opening scene portrays the demerits of such a world where the average IQ drops leading towards a societal downfall. As the film progresses, the satire intensifies, depicting the deterioration of language, broken skyscrapers held together by rubber bands, neglected transportation systems and Water being substituted by sports drinks.


Get Out (2017)

The movie empathises with a black person's point of view, depicting Racism through coloured eyes. The audience can see the black character's anxieties, and their effect on his life, untainted by the prejudices of people around him.

When Rod, the protagonist's friend, visits the police station to share his report about the evils of the Armitage house, the officers conveniently adopt the theory of "self-victimization," which reiterates that exploitation of black bodies is not feasible in the modern era, and any claim to such a thing would be a foolish accusation.


Conclusion

Are ease and greed the only things left for mankind to think about?

Are minorities being oppressed whereas the majority remain unchecked?

Are corporations secretly controlling your life?

The answer seems to be Yes.


Our entire system is based on consumer culture. People own far more than ever before, yet dissatisfaction and sadness reign. The question remains, are people willing to wake up any time soon?

Ashhar Hassan