The moral of it allOn Monday - March 22nd, 2010 17:50:25
Well, Nolan wasn’t sure whether the movie should have a moral, or not. It used to be kind of expected, but coming up with one has always been hard for someone like Nolan, who has no morals himself. He had almost resigned himself to playing the “post-modern cynicism” card again, when it suddenly struck him: He could combine his own lack of morals with his desire to have a moral in his movie: by just selling out the screentime in which the Professor delivers the moral to the highest bidder! Brilliance! (And not entirely unheard of, even if usually done less blatantly.)
For the set-up, he followed one of several classic, time-honoured approaches: the youngest or femalest member of the survivors (that would normally have been a toss-up between Mopey and Snuka, but as long as Snuka is crossdressing, he edges Mopey out) asks the “was it all worth it?” question, and the oldest or most cynical group-member (the Professor in either case) answers by solemnly delivering the moral. You see that approach even in A-movies, but the B version has the added problem of often being applied unthinkingly - i.e. in cases were there can be no doubt it was worth it, or there wasn’t even any choice to begin with.
Naturally, the Professor had to show a certain range of emotions in that sequence - after all, he had no way of knowing who would end up buying the moral. So, he started out sad, then doubtful, then exuberant. (By the way - has anybody ever seen anyone actually, non-ironically do that “jumping in the air and clicking my heels” bit in real life? It’s such an established stereotype in comics, but if it ever was a common display, it must have been a long, long time ago.)
More on Thursday.