Nolan's "Westworld" Series: Stars And Robots In The Wild West

Nolan's "Westworld" Series: Stars And Robots In The Wild West
Nolan's "Westworld" Series: Stars And Robots In The Wild West

Video: Nolan's "Westworld" Series: Stars And Robots In The Wild West

Video: Jonathan Nolan Re-Imagines Michael Crichton's Robot Western Theme Park in “Westworld” 2022, December
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New large-scale TV series released on HBO - sci-fi in a Wild West setting "Westworld". The show is based on the film of the same name from the 70s about an amusement park for adults and the rich. In the world of the series, an era from the past is recreated by androids who do not even suspect that they are not real people. Here's why this premiere of the television giant cannot be missed.

In an uncertain, but extremely high-tech future, the main entertainment for people with wealth is "Westworld", a theme park inhabited by androids who are indistinguishable from humans and who themselves do not know about their artificial nature. Every day they act out the same set of plots for the guests so that they can forget about all this in the morning. Guests, in turn, are free to do whatever they want with them - mostly they prefer, however, sex and violence. Robots, on the other hand, have a ban on harming living beings, so they, as the series clearly states in the very first frames, cannot touch flies. All this is managed by a huge team led by the eternally sad Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins), who, however, does not care much about the normal functioning of the park and increasingly drinks with discarded models, quotes great poets and ponders the big questions of life. Meanwhile, the residents of the "Wild West" are gradually beginning to malfunction more and more strangely.

The original Westworld is a 70s sci-fi thriller directed by Michael Crichton, author of tons of action-packed science stories, including the original source for Jurassic Park. Crichton's version was partly spectacular, partly ridiculous, and tried to tell his familiar story about the responsibility and danger in dealing with technology. In the minds of the then audience and pop culture, first of all, the image of Yul Briner in the role of a crazy robot shooter remained. This was followed by a failed sequel, Future World, and a failed attempt at a serial spin-off. A married couple of writers, Jonathan Nolan (who wrote several films for his brother Christopher, including Interstellar) and Lisa Joy (a relative newcomer to the industry), took on the revival of this whole story as a new big HBO series.

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Westworld is one of those series that is a little difficult and generally quite dangerous to talk about at the very start. This is a show built on secrets, and in such cases there is always the likelihood of the lurking syndrome "Lost". Plus, it quickly becomes clear that Nolan and Joy are in no hurry. The first two episodes are essentially expositional, while giving a minimum of answers to questions. It is difficult to single out the main character or heroine here, but Dolores (excellent Evan Rachel Wood) is the closest to her - the embodiment of optimism and innocence, on which the park's writers tread for the realization of a banal plot.

Also present is the Man in Black (more scary than ever Ed Harris) - a witty rethinking of Yul Bryner's character from the original film. All that is known about his character is that he seems to be a human being, the embodiment of absolute evil, and is trying to find a certain hidden semantic level of the park. There is also a whole heap of managers - the main programmer, screenwriter, severe crisis manager and others - with their own secret plans and motives. After only two episodes, the Internet is already full of the most fantastic theories, which only means that nothing is clear yet.

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At the same time, we must pay tribute to the authors - despite all the cliffhangers and secrets, both first episodes look almost complete works on a given topic. This is captivating, creating the feeling that the creators do not intend to simply lead the viewer by the nose.If Crichton presented his ideas under the guise of a tense thriller, then this "Westworld" definitely wants a dialogue with the audience in the first place. This also makes you wary, given the Nolanian habit of saying everything out loud, which now and then breaks through even in the "Westworld".

At the same time, the authors want to argue about a lot. At the center here is the entire spectrum of ideas related to artificial intelligence, the relationship between the Creator and his creations, with all appropriate biblical symbolism. It is not known whether it is worth tackling all these topics in a world where there is a movie "Razor Runner" (which has not yet been more spectacular), but the format of the series allows the authors to dig into them much more thoroughly.

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The origin of self-awareness in an artificial person in the "Westworld" is examined under a microscope. In addition to the obvious fall into sin in the form of the murder of a living creature, the local robots are gradually beginning to dream about electric sheep, nostalgic for something intangible and go into nervous breakdowns. As conceived by the authors, they also exist in their "Truman Show", their Matrix, where they live their Groundhog Day. Nolan and Joy deliberately make the amusement park look like an open-world computer game - Grand Theft Auto about the Wild West - by raising the issue of cruel entertainment and simply human disgust. Robots, of course, represent any oppressed class on the cusp of revolution.

However, deciding to speak about everything at once, you will utter a bunch of stupid things. Many Westworld ideas are head-on, and Nolan is still not ready to say goodbye to primitive symbolism. Surprisingly, it all works so far. Most likely, this will not last long, the show will get bogged down in its storylines, the answers to questions will be ridiculous and unsatisfactory - the whole history of television series does not allow anyone to believe in any other outcome. And yet, as a simulation of something real, "Westworld" has been done so well so far that I really want to succumb to the illusion for a moment.

Photos: HBO

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