Steven Yuen in Nope

Films with Metaphorical or Allegorical Plots

When it comes to films they are there to entertain us or even immerse us in some sort of experience. We cannot deny many of those films profits will come first, however the other films will give you that extra something.

Those films may explore the moral back bone of humanity, societal issues, conspiracy theories or even something deeper and darker. They will be delivered in the shape of metaphors and allegories deliberately pushing those messages openly. Other times they maybe hidden.

Recently Jordan Peele’s Nope was released in UK and Irish cinemas. A film full of metaphors and below is a list of some films that have taken the metaphorical route.

Related Post: Film Review – Nope (2022)

The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001 – 2003)

The one ring to rule them all, JRR Tolkien literature masterpiece which Peter Jackson adapted to the big screen. The film is simply a manifestation of evil, power and corruption. An addiction that pollutes the soul, ego, festering in a way that brainwashes you steering you on a path of destruction. Hence why Frodo Baggins was chosen to take the dangerous journey to Mordor to destroy the ring. His heart was pure, simple and least likely to fall foul to it’s corruptive power.

X-Men Franchise

When it comes to reality, society too often we label people into groups to try understand their human experience or struggle. The X-men film franchise (and comic books) have been the metaphor for the oppressed who are constantly having to prove they are no danger to humanity. From the early days in the 1960’s fighting racism and civil rights. To more recently with LGBTQ community fighting for acceptance.

The Wizard Of OZ (1939)

Follow the Yellow Brick Road! What exactly was the Yellow Brick Road and who is that ‘wizard’ that resides in Oz? Judy Garland’s classic fantasy adventure has many themes behind it’s religious or morality. It possibly could also be a symbolism of power. The yellow brick road is paved in gold that could suggest that road leading to the Emerald City the treasure of wealth awaits those walk that way. A symbolism of power, asking if the Wizard is a god or the god of capitalism, the U.S dollar. Dorothy’s companions The Tin Man, The Cowardly lion and Scarecrow are the cogs of succeeding (Industrial worer, the politician, the farm worker).

X (2022)

Ti west’s 1970’s based horror stars Mia Goth, Jenny Ortega, Martin Henderson, Kid Cudi and Brittany Snow. All part of a group who want to film a porn film in rural Texas under the nose of their hosts. This film is all about growing old and fear of losing your youth. The couple who let the group film on their land, the old woman is played by Mia Goth, who is also one of the adult stars. The old woman clearly wants her youth back too.

No Country For Old Men (2007)

The Coen Brother’s neo western noir thriller starring Javier Bardem as the film’s villain which is based on Cormac McCarthy book. The metaphors for this one could be about the fear of growing old and retirement (Tommy Lee Jones character). At the same time it’s also about how Bardem’s Anton Chigurh approaches and treats life. A dual approach and value of life.

Inception (2010)

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi heist thriller was a a treat visually which also gave our brains a test in what was actually going on. The main meaning behind the film is all about filmmaking. The film was all about bring dreams to reality, the process of getting the right people onboard to join your journey , getting their trust. An artistic venture into the subconscious.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray at his usual comedic best in the Romcom fantasy with Andie McDowell. His life is mundane, dull, repetitive as Phil the TV weather man a grumpy, lonely man. Everyday is the same and his sanity is put to the test when he must relive everyday over and over again. The meaning behind this film learns us that only you can stop the rut, you must take the step to change things, take the path of enlightenment and when you do you will find true happiness and peace.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

George Romero’s classic zombie horror attempting to wonders the halls of the shopping mall, virtually like everyone’s favourite passtime. It’s all about consumerism we are attracted to these big out of town malls that subliminally. Humanity is drowning in consumerism. Zack Snyder’s 2004 remake also follows the same theme of disdain for mindless American materialism. but also inherent greed and our leaning towards possessiveness and violence.

The Truman Show (1998)

Peter Weir’s sci-fi drama starring Jim Carrey, whose whole life is on the camera. Unaware his life is one big soap opera and is a popular Television show. Also those who are his neighbours, work colleagues are all actors and the town he lives in is a set. However things start to go wrong and he suddenly starts to get suspicious. This film is a metaphor for being your true self (True man) trying to live in a product placement world , finding freedom from fantasy, you could say it’s a precursor to the reality shows that now plague our television channels all full of products and contestants blinded by being on one of these shows the perfect life awaits, off course a fantasy, 15 minutes of fame.

Notables
Godzilla (America the destroyers of worlds)
Soul (enjoy life, enjoy every precious moment)
Inside Out (depression and children’s mental health issues)
Prometheus (battle between science and religion)
Alien (Rape, fear of birth)
Aliens (Vietnam War)
It Follows (Sexual health, growing up)
Hereditary (Grief)
The Matrix (all about human existence).