Entertainment, Lifestyle

The (Not So) Hidden Messages In Godzilla – Tan Lili

One reason why some movies haunt you for days on end after watching them is because they contain subliminal messages. Godzilla has several. Warning: This post contains spoilers, so don’t read it if you haven’t seen the movie!

Easily the best monster movie I've seen in years!

Easily the best monster movie I’ve seen in years!

I LOVE monster movies. The moment I saw the first teaser trailer for Godzilla, I’d been looking forward to catching it on the big screen, confident that it would be heaps better than the 1998 lacklustre version. Well, I caught the movie last weekend. Not only is the new and improved Godzilla heaps better, but it also totally surpassed my already-high expectations!

I reckon this movie would be a hit among the fanboys since director Gareth Edwards made sure the storyline stays true to the original in every aspect. One scene in particular, which showcases Godzilla’s signature atomic breath, still gives me the chills each time I think about it. The slow build-up to the revelation of Godzilla in his full glory is a bloody brilliant move; with all the other major events happening in the movie, I felt the pace was just right. And when all these events escalate to the main event starring the mean, green-ish monster, BOOM! I swear I heard a collective “Whoa…” in the theatre.

I could go on about how awesome Godzilla is, but you’d just have to watch it for yourself if you haven’t already. What’s more interesting are the subliminal messages in the movie. Warning: spoilers ahead!

godzilla 2

1. We just don’t mess with Mother Nature

Edwards revealed in an interview that the monsters – including two MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) – are the result of our abuse of the planet, and Godzilla represents a force of nature, “coming to restore balance to something mankind has disrupted”. Even though Godzilla is seen as an antihero of sorts in this film as he cleans up the shit we humans left behind, he’s also left a trail of destruction in his wake, rendering us collateral damage.

Doesn’t mean that we should carry on abusing our planet, though. Read this to learn more about climate change.

2. We can all be heroes

If Godzilla were human, he’d be just like most of us who bear no intention of malicious harm to another living thing. I hope. But while there’s nothing wrong with looking up to the so-called heroes in our lives, we shouldn’t forget that they, too, are humans. Like Godzilla, we don’t have to be a hero every day – no one is. But when something calls for your action, when something strikes a chord with you and you feel like you need to stand up for it, what’s stopping you?

3. We need to practice transparency

See what happens when the American and Japanese governments in the movie try to hide something?

4. We need to keep our enemies close. Very close

In the epic battle between Godzilla and the enraged female MUTO, our favourite sea monster gets close enough to deliver the unexpected kiss of death – the scene that elicited gasps of awe and surprise in the theatre. The message here isn’t to destroy our enemies, but to keep them close for a couple of reasons: A) So we can keep a watchful eye on them as a form of self-preservation; and B) we can learn more about ourselves through our enemies.

And finally …

5. We really need to stop with the fat-shaming

Many Japanese viewers think Godzilla is too fat, to which Edwards rebutted, “…he’s big-boned.” Cleaning up our shit and getting mocked for having no neck and “too much junk in his trunk”? It’s no wonder he’s getting tired of saving our asses.

But seriously, if we can’t even accept a fictional giant mutated lizard, it says a lot about our rapidly spreading fatphobia culture. A recent study found those who are shamed about their weight are more likely to be ostracised, leading them to gain more weight. Victims also develop severe body-image issues as a result, putting them at a greater risk of depression. So please, fat-shaming has got to stop. Godzilla looks fine the way he is.

Hell hath no fury like fat-shamed Godzilla

Hell hath no fury like fat-shamed Godzilla

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.

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