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Haven’t done a film review in years, but I’ve a theory for Vivarium. I don’t think it was meant to be dream or alien abduction or computer simulation, but a metaphor nonetheless as all stories are metaphor intended or not.

I like to be challenged, I need it like I cannot exist unless rolling with punches and hitting grounds running. Vivarium really struck me, and formulating these thoughts has been one of my escapes these past 2 or 3 weeks. This film will prompt conversations after we are all gone. Although I frankly watched it initially for Imogen Poots, I realized along the way that I was familiar with and held admiration for previous works of the gents responsible for writing and directing. Aesthetics were of a grander scale than those prior efforts, and were a bit hypnotizing. If Aesop were to scribe a full biography of Joe and Jane Q. Citizen today, then suburbia itself would have to present the fantasy trappings with which to convey whichever idea to bring home to the identifiable here and now. The medicine’s spoonful of sugar rendered as plainly as possible. Which suggested for me that the medicine itself would then need to also get reversed, offering an idea which would not be relatable for all, unlike the Aesopian standard. And what is more unrelatable than a private hell?

Which reminds me of one of the versions of Hell from one of the ancient mythologies, one not of brimstone but of normalcy, your own normal life of boring days and darkened nights, only with even less vibrancy, even less flavor, and all the more routine. If Baphomet is to be regarded as patron demon of secrecy, as the Templars were keen on doing, then I suspect the setting was a pocket dimension, his realm explicitly, and by compressing the next 2 or 3 decades of life for the leads in a place where secrets simply could not exist, he unveiled their true selves.

Which is another kind of damnation.

Instead of selling their soles for a step up, as the characters intended, they sold their souls and were compelled to retrace the same constant and repetitive steps of predestination and pre-planned community, beasts of burden pacing a cage. Left only to their own devices, they are not living the proverbial dream or a nightmare, but enduring the comfort of not living at all. They got exactly what they wanted.

Unlike audiences.