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About wjd123

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  1. I was at the live recording of this episode, and found myself surprised by how much of the conversation centered on what exactly this movie was saying, as opposed to how it was saying that. My own interpretation of the movie is a bit different in places from what June and Jason said, but I felt like I needed to come here to provide some counterpoints to what Paul and Casey said. Team "Sanity" seemed to view this purely as a horror story. In doing so, they missed the obviously intended, although less than perfectly executed, message of the movie. I thought it was clear that the movie was, broadly speaking, the story of a person who had a traumatic, repressive childhood, was forced to abandon her inner child, forced to abandon her means of addressing her issues, and then grew into a repressed adult. As an adult, she recovers her means of dealing with her issues, and escapes toxic influences. While doing so, she is able to reintegrate her whimsical and free-spirited personality traits. Fred, and his intervention in her life, is meant to serve as an allegory of sorts for how this might happen. Fred is, like Jason said, basically pure id. He also takes on the traits(e.g. the English accent) of the father Elizabeth wishes was present and supportive. He also has the mindset of the 5-6 year old boys Elizabeth would have known at the age Fred first appeared. Thus, he is in some regards tailored toward what the younger Elizabeth would want or expect from a supportive friend. However, as a consequence of being pure Id with a stereotypical little boy's attitude, Fred's attempts to help aren't as productive, exact, or direct as they could be. In this way, Fred and his actions are a metaphor for how a traumatized, repressed person's mind tries to deal with those issues. People dealing with those issues aren't, at least most of the time, going to address them in the same direct and logical way they would address a physical injury. Their brain will come up with ways of coping, but those methods will be messy and often unsuccessful. To wit, the part of them dealing with the issue will be mostly subconscious and similar to Fred in its approach and effectiveness, albeit in a less over-the-top way. Fred, as Elizabeth's means of helping her resolve these issues and embrace her inner child, is messy and often misguided in his actions. However, he does eventually lead her towards resolving them. One example of him actually helping her do so was with Mickey. Mickey saw her breaking from the norm and liked it. Although he misunderstood the situation and turned out to be a bit crazy himself, his reaction showed Elizabeth that she could find people to accept and embrace her for breaking the repressive norms forced on her. Thus, he helped her move towards being an independent person who embraced her own weirdness. Paul said he thought it was a bit lackluster that Mickey was only "an option" for her at the end, but his being so was entirely the point. The movie shows Elizabeth becoming an independent woman and, as such, she wouldn't need to go from one guy to another. She would need to be able to accept herself and live on her own. Mickey showed her that she could do so without sacrificing the possibility of relationships, even if he wasn't exactly perfect for her. As for the issue of what Fred is, I take something of a middle ground between what we heard on the podcast. I think it is undeniable that Fred is tied to Elizabeth's mind. As such, he has taken on her id, repressed whimsical/childlike traits, subconscious impulses to rebel, and some of her memories. One sign of this is in the letter he writes that is supposedly from Charles. In order to write that letter, he would have to know things about their relationship and how Elizabeth would want Charles to view those parts of their relationship. Those things happened while Fred was trapped. If Fred were some completely independent being, he couldn't have known what to write. Further, at a salient moment late in the move, we see that he does indeed have traits of Elizabeth's hitherto repressed inner child. Elizabeth breaks a window and says "I love those window breaking noises!" Fred did the same earlier in the movie during a flashback. So, we see that as Elizabeth breaks free from her repressed state, she is integrating and expressing those attitudes that could previously be expressed only by a proxy. With that said, I think there is also a Monsters Inc.-esqe thing happening here. I think Fred and the other imaginary friends are meant to be independently existing beings that can move from child to child when their job is done, but they take on the attitudes, memories, etc. that the child is trying to deal with. This ties into how they are metaphors for how people respond to mental illness, trauma, repression, etc. Many people have such issues and may react to them in similar ways, but ultimately each individual is unique. Consequently, their defense mechanisms are tailored to their unique experiences. The imaginary friends similarly tailor themselves to the unique experiences of whichever child they are with. So, ultimately, Fred isn't just some completely independent being, but he isn't just an avatar doing the things Elizabeth was actually doing herself. This movie had its fair share of flaws in how it attempted to execute the plan its filmmakers had. The film didn't do a good enough job at establishing the "rules" of Fred, and Fred's motive was not always obvious enough through his over-the-top, often destructive actions. The movie is very flawed in that regard. With that said, the movie had more laughs than Paul gave it credit for. The restaurant scene, for example, was comedy gold. Ultimately, the ending left me glad I saw this movie, despite large portions that simply weren't as well executed as they could have been. So... #Team Fred