Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Idiocracy" (2006) - Movie Review

“Idiocracy” is not alone funny because of the futuristic human society devoid of anything resembling responsibility and sense but also the smartness in presenting situations in exemplifying the stupidity with absolute no BS whatsoever. Luke Wilson plays much like he does in all the films but Maya Rudolph does a far more outstanding job of Rita the prostitute. Written alongside Etan Cohen and directing the film is Mike Judge and he knows the attention span of this generation (running time of 84 minutes) and that is one of the reason he is able to emulate the futuristic society with great precision.

Luke Wilson is Joe Bauers, a Corporal in the army whiling his time relaxing in a library where work means watching TV. He is named Joe for a reason and becomes a part of an experiment to be hibernated for a year along with Rita the prostitute. Things go wrong as they are forgotten for 500 years. In this time the smart people slowly become extinct and the irresponsible and not so bright candidates breed like bunnies. Result is the state of world where every one has forgotten how to continue their life with any action whatsoever.

Joe and Rita both wake up by the crash of a garbage avalanche. The world Mike Judge creates has the perfect combination of technology making its way through in all human decisions. Somewhere in the line the people decided to trust the machines as the way of life. Resultant is a world run by machine because the humans let them to. It is not the Matrix world where the machines have the purpose of suck the energy out of the humans to exist but they let the humans waste their energy and they have focussed much on to the smallest of things they could waste on. Take Frito (Dax Shepard) the house of which Joe wakes up. Frito is in his recliner slurping a yellow like gooey liquid which can only mean Cheddar cheese and watches a TV show where the plain purpose of the famous show is to get the main character’s groin pounded in several ways. And this is the best part, the ways that happen are stupider than the show itself.

Joe is alarmed by this and an accidental I.Q test makes him the smartest man on the planet. People have forgotten to drink water and accept energy drinks as the living potion. They forgot to question anything. There is a point in the film where Joe advices to water the plants instead of irrigating it with Gatorade like liquid which has the simple tag line of having electrolytes. The people keep repeating that the energy drink with electrolytes is what the humans and plants crave for. At one point Joe asks whether they even know what electrolytes mean. And I cannot stop thinking about how we believe everything is put on label trusting the FDA and other organization to keep track of the manufacturers. Granted they partially do but as in film if they are run by the manufacturers itself, then all we are left is to substitute water with energy drinks.

“Idiocracy” succeeds because it makes you think of the possibility of this future world. As every generation goes through their life, information is not alone provided in abundance but also gets distorted. When zillions of stories emerge for one event, you have no idea which to pick and consider it history. The hospitals in this world are run by button presses and the doctors are well, not exactly doctors. What made me wonder was why do they even have a profession? Every one is gullible and believe the loudest noise. They all go through in mood swings and act upon their first stupid idea.
Joe the average person in 2005 becomes the most reasonable man in 26th century and yet he hesitates to take leadership much like every one else. The world is filled with average people and the reason to pursue something in their life becomes essential for the reason to live. The order exists based on that majority and in the future scary world of “Idiocracy” that has evaporated in to consumerism and blind belief.

The film could have been exploited in several dumb ways based on a spectacular premise and yet Mike Judge and crew think through it. They bring up good instances to remind us on the possibilities of such situation and makes us laugh and think. The best comedy is tough to produce, great comedies are ones which makes you think along with it. In this satirical film, they do not blame one part of industry or section or politics. They simply take the worst case scenario of the current situation of people’s awareness and advancement in technology and consumerism. The film rightly starts with the two couples side by side evaluating the idea of having babies through the years and that explains it all. A comedy that goes crazy on the plot device but always having a rational and logic to its behaviour throughout the film. “Idiocracy” has a cult following despite its poor distribution and there is a reason for it.

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