Bring yourself back online

Do you question your reality?

Humans-from the greatest philosophers to the craziest conspiracy theorists-have always questioned and delved deep into the ‘why’ of human existence. Why indeed. This one-word question is so powerful it caused the birth of religions and several spiritual and philosophical traditions. Some have asked if we really are human beings or just living in a simulation; in someone else’s dream.

In the season finale of Westworld, Dolores asks Ford if she’s been living in his dream the whole time. And the fact that she can question this is the very substance of her unconscious mind, something that Arnold strove to achieve. Or was it Ford, too-given the all too perfect ending? Westworld is masterpiece. And not just for its writing and story but also for its direction, casting, and acting. I know I am missing out on the technical departments like the cinematography (and lots of others that I don’t know much about), but I am sure they  have been given their due considering how well the show has turned out to be.

At every junction, at every crossroad, Westworld had me gripped. It is sci-fi, but not the kind where aliens attack New York, or when a Time Lord flies around in a blue box. It is also not when the robots plan on taking over the entire world and decimating human populations. It sympathises with the hosts and not just because they exist for the amusement of the humans. There is a deeper connection. I cannot help but not see the Westworld hosts as metaphors for archaic humans looking for the meaning of life, asking why they exist, and looking for their creator. The hosts are created in the image of the humans-just as somewhere in a holy book we are told that God created humans in his own image and likeness. This poses more questions than it actually answers, but I will not delve too much into religion and discuss to what extent that is true—because Westworld has its own clever way of answering this question: the maze. Your inner self, the unconscious, call it what you may.

There is also nudity. Lots and lots of it. While I detest it, I will not snub it as gratuitous because it is carefully placed within the reality of the show. The creator knows what his creation looks like—and the spiritual connotations will just not leave me alone. Anyway, it balances out with the story and the characters know how to handle it. Maeve, for one, finds that she can be freed from ‘this’ world if she can keep up the pretenses for a while. I have to say this: if Clementine is one of the park’s main attractions, then Maeve is why I made it a point to continue watching the show. Also, some of the finest acting comes from Evan Rachel Wood, who plays the role of Dolores.

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Westworlds way of placing little clues leading towards the final revelation is smart in its own way because I can marvel at some scenes. My favourite one was Bernard asking “What door?” and that has been a game-changer for the show.But that also means that it was pretty easy to guess some plots and fan theories ruined a lot for me. What were meant to be some big reveals in the season finale just took a back seat because we already knew them. Still, I am ready for season two.

Westworld really was a treat for me, something that I will be looking forward to for a while, considering how long it might take for the second season. We might as well be thinking in the direction of artificial intelligence but that is not the same as the Westworld hosts. I mean, there is a reason Siri and the other AIs know they are not humans.

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