Okay… So if you've happened to read this blog at all (which I hope given the amount of shameless promotion I engage in) then you know that I'm an American oddity as a father of three. You might also be aware that I'm a filmmaker, so when you mix those two things together it's no surprise that I was one of the millions of hundreds of thousands of parents that catapulted "The Lego Movie" to the top spot in the box-office.
Now judging from the previews, I went merely expecting to see a very animated comedy, with the kind of dual level humor for adults and kids to enjoy; and that's exactly what I got. However, what I didn't expect to get is a movie with very deep and intriguing socio-spiritual overtones that were missed by many. In that regard, the movie excels and offers something for the intellectual mind to engage in.
The story centers around the unlikely hero Emmet, who is the least special person living in a society of people who fashion themselves and more special for the most nonsensical reasons. It's a society where everyone is literally subliminally programed to walk, talk, dress and act the same way, thus being normal and socially acceptable. They build monuments of nothing and knock them down, only to rebuild them again as they sing the same song in unison (lyrics: "EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU'RE PART OF THE TEAM"). The programming is perfected to such a degree that citizens view their assimilation as "special."
Despite Emmet's ability to robotically fit into this society, he's still an invisible Lego man; that is until he stumbles upon an ancient artifact (the piece of resistance) and becomes the prophesized hero or "master builder" (the Special) to stop the villain Lord Business' plan to end the world. Basically, he's the lego version of Neo from The Matrix and he finds himself as the emphatic weakest link among the secret league of other master-builder lego men/women.
They are Lego men and women who are able to see that Emmet's world is indeed the matrix or 'the world that's been pulled over his eyes to blind him from the truth'. They are truly special because of their ability to create Lego constructs that defy the imagination and the adherence to societal rules. Emmet's clearly not in their league and in their eyes, there's nothing special about Emmet, with the exception that his mind is "so prodigiously empty" that he's one of the few to have seen the hand of the Master. This revelation is when my intellectual mind started to perk up.
Emmet suffers one blunder and mishap after another until we eventually we see that Emmet is on an unlikely spiritual journey. His journey culminates with him literally falling into Lego Heaven, which is the real world that you and I live in; a world where "the man upstairs" has built a Lego planet in which everything has a specific form and function and purpose. In his eyes, the perfect lego world he created is governed by rules (or instructions) and instructions and because there are too many instances of his creation operating outside or the rules he decides to essentially end it. The only thing that stands in his way is his son who advocates for a lego world that respects the laws but has liberty to reach their full potential as master builders in the image of their creator - free to build upon what was created under the law.
The revelation here is the truth that this liberty is the birthright of the very same Lego society that became imprisoned by normality and could not reach their full potential until they embraced their ability to think outside the box (or the instructions contained within).
Talk about deep…