Theory of explanation: Annihilation (2018)
This Theory series is a way to start putting out my understanding of some typical movies from my point of view.
Some movies don’t really need us to really dig deep but few films need that. This film Annihilation really needs us to watch it carefully and not fall for its ruse as a science fiction. It is indeed a science fiction but does it want to talk about the concepts of Science like Interstellar? Does it want to leave us in an ambiguity like 2001: Space Odyssey? Or is it trying to tell us a more personal story on a broad spectrum? This is indeed a science fiction, but a movie that came of out trying to hold on to what you were once when circumstances are changing and you are changing with them.
We always start as a good, honest self at an early age and slowly, life starts poking at us with all its might asking us to change. Here in this film, that same situation is explained via cancer cell theory. A cancer cell starts off as a small mutation and forms numerous cells that keep growing, growing and further growing and we have to kill it or die due to it. That is why it is difficult to cure cancer because we can only kill it or remove it but can’t really find the root cause to completely eradicate.
Similarly, here our main character’s journey is also similar to that of a cell. She started somewhere achieved a perfect life and unknowingly cancer ruined it further. She needs a cure, she needs to find out how she can all change it and go back to her self. Thus, she is fighting in a metaphoric cancer world, where everything is mutating. Everyone is mutating. Now, her husband is an alien and she is too. Her decisions have crushed her to a point of no escape. The innocent lost girl in her is asking for an escape but the guilty bear even though has her consciousness is just dragging her further down to abyss but not really helping her in any case.
Even her husband too, he dies as a man in combat, but returns as a complete alien. A man who knew the horrible decision his wife took to cheat him. Even though he wants to be the same guy, he can no longer be. He has to embrace cancer to become the alien and let his old self-be vaporized. So that, he can accept her. Once she came out of the same journey, even though she thought she killed the alien of her, she is already so infected and consumed by it that she couldn’t return.
We all have our own personalities but they are dominated by extremely fearful, extremely unstable, highly reckless and the one nostalgic person, who keeps digging into the past. Unknowingly, they come out of us and leave us wondering could we really be that person, which we indeed were or are. So the other four who enter the metaphoric cancer world are these characteristics of the same person. Hence, they all interact with her and are more interestingly only to her. Their decisions to resemble four stages of becoming another person which you cannot really identify yourself with. While one fights or strives to find the lost girl and sacrifices her life. Another one loses her balance and one gives up voluntarily and the last one tries to reach the end of it.
If we are facing an issue, we always first identify it and then lose our mind over it, then give up on fighting it for a while, but we do end up knowing the root cause and hence, come up with a solution. This is an Annihilation of a person’s choice of ruining their own perfection to realise that it is hard to stay yourself and accepting the new form of yourself as the new ‘YOU‘!