Friday, August 19, 2005

Unleashing the Archetypes

The originally entitled Danny the Dog, perhaps sounding almost too much like a kid's story or fairytale for the studios, was changed to Unleashed, apparently to appeal to the appetite of an action hungry audience. Graphic, realistic violence and a contemporary English setting aren't nearly enough to hide the common underlying story, the modern fairytale, the great retelling, again and again. Or just maybe I've finally seen Star Wars that one time too many or have been reading a few too many articles on mythology and Joseph Campbell lately. Can't be certain, maybe I'm just crazy.

Still not absolutely convinced of the theory that generally all stories follow a path essentially the same, I thought it was interesting to find that the unlikely story of Unleashed appeared oddly familiar - the call to adventure, crossing the first threshold, the belly of the whale and so on. What I found even more strange was the fact that for just about every character in the film, I could think of a Star Wars equivalent to. Though I know the mind can at times make some pretty obscure connections, when looking for them.

Anyway, Danny is Luke the hero, Sam the blind piano tuner is Obi-Wan the wise mentor and after realising this early on, I became convinced that the Uncle Bart character was going to turn out to be Danny's Father. Hmm, well maybe it would have been a bit much for him to reveal that at the final showdown, when offering Danny the collar again, to join him on the dark side. It's implied though, just a bit from some of the dialogue I think, and he certainly makes a great Darth Vader.

In the end I quite liked it, though I was saying afterwards that I sensed in a few places, some ideas merely hinted at, that could have been developed further, such as the danger of Victoria being captured by Uncle Bart, in true princess Leia fashion. Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

Learning the ways of the force


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