CUBE (1997) – La vie en rose
I recently watched what instantly became one of my favorite movies to date: CUBE (1997). I know that a lot of you may have watched this movie from way back and are thinking what a laggard I must be. I accept that. But for those of you who insist on going against the grains of time like I do, and have not watched this 90’s thriller masterpiece, do look it up and have yourself some quality popcorn time.
The movie started with a person finding himself in a cubic room with a door on each side. He crawled through a door he had chosen and found himself in yet another cubic room of different color, where he was instantly and brutally killed by a trap that was set therein. The story then proceeded with 6 other individuals who found themselves waking up in the cube and trying to find their way out without getting sliced or gas-ed to death first.
The thriller aspect of the movie is in itself brilliant, but what got me was that the whole thing was a 90+ minute giant metaphor. It seems that director Vincenzo Natali was trying to get across his message about society being all but a giant closed cube filled with traps and no apparent way out. And what do we do? We crawl through the tunnels every day, from room to room without knowing where it leads to, or whether there is a way out of it. What’s more? In order to not go insane from being obsessed with all sorts of possibilities, the director wanted us to only pay attention to the apparent problem: going out the right door out of the six. As one of our 6 “players” said:
No more talking. No more guessing. Don’t even think about nothing that’s not right in front of you. That’s the real challenge. You’ve gotta save yourselves from yourselves.
When I heard this in the movie, it was like a bloody epiphany. What have I been doing for the past year? NOT thinking about what’s right in front of me, NOT saving myself from myself. I had all sorts of existentialist crises and even reached suicidal thoughts all because of the question I posed to everything: “Why? What’s the point?” I was hiding from everything because I did not see the purpose of doing anything. I feel safe within my fishbowl; it is really life through rose-colored glass, but then, it’s still just a fishbowl. The safety I was feeling was all but a trap. I was staying in one room waiting to die, while telling myself that I succeeded in avoiding getting sliced or shot at by traps in other chambers.
I admire so much the people who do not let themselves be taken over by the the trap of feeling safe, the ones who just go forward. Without great risk comes no great return, and I have seen people being rewarded for their braveness. Haven’t you? So why do we just sit here?
As I am writing this, I have not yet mustered the strength to get up and choose a door to the next room, with “getting out” as the final goal in mind. It’s going to take a couple pushes more, but soon, I hope. And I wish you the same.