It’s amazing how you never noticed the little details in a movie until someone else points them out to you, and then suddenly they seem to add up to something much more important. For me, half the fun of watching movies, from the most cerebral to the popcorn blockbusters, is discussing the meaning behind them afterwards, and sharing some weird and out-there theories you might have on the true meaning of the story. The internet is the best place to do it obviously.
So in the spirit of this breed of film analysis we’ve collated some of the best fan theories floating around on the internet for your perusal. Some of them are really convincing, others are a bit more implausible, and some are just downright insane. But when you read between the lines and pay attention to the more subtle clues, you might end up with a completely different movie. Be warned though: there are plenty of spoilers ahead, so treat carefully!
1. Why dementors are so interested in Harry
In the Harry Potter universe, dementors are the malign wraiths guarding Azkaban prison: capable of draining happiness from anything they encounter and possessed of an ability known as “The Dementor’s Kiss” which allows them to consume the soul mortals. Throughout the franchise, even before they switch sides and serve Voldemort, the dementors seem to show an uncommon interest in consuming Harry – even to the point of risking Dumbledore’s wrath. But why? Well in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it’s revealed that Harry himself is a living Horcrux and a seventh part of Voldemort’s soul resides in his body. Thus, Harry would seem like the equivalent of a tasty banquet to a hungry dementor: of course they’d be desperate to perform the kiss on him!
2. The entire plot of Aladdin was the fulfilment of his first wish
In Disney’s Aladdin, the eponymous character wishes the genie would “make him a prince” but the genie only makes him appear to be one, and we see Aladdin return to his original persona several times throughout the course of the narrative. What gives? Why the elaborate masquerade? Why does the genie just pretend to make him a prince? Why not make him a real one off the bat? But remember that, at the end of the movie, Jasmine and Aladdin hook up, and they’ll probably end up married, which would make Aladdin a real prince after all. This means that the entire events of the movie were just the genie manipulating events and using his cosmic powers to get Aladdin to marry Jasmine officially, with her father’s approval (which Aladdin earns by saving the Sultan’s life and defeating Jafar) thus fulfilling his obligation.
3. The Joker is a former war veteran
In Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie The Dark Knight the Joker provides a number of vague and contradictory origin stories, but there are a number of hints as to his true identity. Throughout the film the Joker displays a variety of impressive combat and strategic skills. He’s able to pull off complex schemes. He knows a lot about firearms, knives and how to assemble bombs, hinting at an expertise in demolition. At one point he states “I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan’” – something which seems to hint at a resentment for traumatised soldiers having their lives destroyed. The one time we see Joker without makeup is when he’s disguised as a soldier during a parade: a clear hint at his real nature. All this points towards the Joker being a bitter and psychotic former solder left scarred mentally and physically by his experiences on the front.
4. “Shaken, not stirred” is a code phrase
“Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred” is the iconic catchphrase of James Bond, Ian Fleming’s quintessential British spy. Yet throughout 26 feature films James often seems to go to great pains to spout this pithy expression at any given opportunity. Why? It’s a very specific drinks order after all. But maybe Bond isn’t just being pernickety about his beverages. It could be that “Shaken, not stirred” is actually a complex code, used by MI6 to covertly identify British agents working in the field. It could be a very subtle way for Bond to declare himself a spy without arousing suspicion.
5. Why 2015 looks different in Back to the Future II
One of the biggest problems people have with Back to the Future II is that the 2015 presented in the film looks nothing like the actual year 2015 did. Hoverboards? Flying Cars? Jaws 19? What’s going on here? But then you remember that Marty has already changed history once. In the first movie, upon to returning to the 1985 Hill Valley, he discovered that his brother had a better job, his sister had boyfriends, his parents were happier, and he had a new car. Marty changes the timeline yet again in part III when he ends up in 1885. The knock-on effect of his actions a century previous obviously leads to history changing again, this time leading to the 2015 we know and remember. Perhaps the trilogy was meant to be a documentary all along?
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