My favourite Week 2 video highlighted, for me, the distinction between Utopia, Dystopia and Real. The hope is in Charlie’s ability to reject his dystopic world with its internal chips and control. Charlie has to choose between the Father and “real world” beyond the fence and Mother and “part of something bigger” which is “safe”, an oppressive and controlling system. Charlie’s intuitive feeling is that this is not the way things were meant to be and his regular, illegal trips to the fence to spot deserters show his vision is turned away from the system.
The serendipitous series of events line up to strengthen Charlie’s resolve to reject his controlling world; a gift of his Father’s Compass the night before his coming of age – Mother explains a compass is – “how people used to find their way home” he turns to look at the photo of him and his Dad; then seeing his Father beyond the wall after believing him dead, “I have been watching over you for your whole life ..”. These point Charlie to choose to opt out of the system and take his chances over the fence with Dad – not to utopia but to a real world.
Left behind is Emma, Mum. After a lonely night drinking herself to sleep on the couch, she is woken by her phone alerting her to Charlie. She finds his chip bloody on the bench. She loves her son but believes the system is the safest way for them. She has doubts when the system deems Charlie and his best friend incompatible, and when the policeman refers to her husband. These, her love for Charlie and knowledge of her husband’s survival over the fence might push her over too? Alternatively she might hook up with the “call me Will” policeman?
Reminded me of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, again where youthful courage, hope and character shine above a warped, controlling system. Humanity seems to be the best inoculation against Dystopian terrors.