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Categories: Movie Reviews

Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland”, writes Marija Makeska, is Disney’s “most complex and philosophical film ever”. Here’s why the sci-fi adventure is more than just lighthearted family fun, but a creative tribute to the ideas of Nikola Tesla. 

Note: this review goes into detail about the themes of “Tomorrowland”, and reveals some plot details. 

The world is indeed waking up at a fast pace, and so is Disney and Hollywood. Hollywood has released several films about the destruction of planet Earth, offering us unrealistic solutions from heroes and heroines who somehow stop the end. Disney, on the contrary, has continued to work on children’s storylines with very basic messages, at least until Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, their most complex and philosophical film ever, premiered this week around the world. 

Before watching this film one should prepare for it. Audiences can have a better understanding of the film’s ideas if they follow some sites for astronomy, astrophysics and metaphysics, and they also won’t be able to fully follow the messages if they haven’t read anything about the work and philosophy of inventor Nikola Tesla.

TOMORROWLAND

Tesla’s philosophy is very simple – he loves creativity and encourages others to be creative. He loves artists because through their creativity they are a step closer to God. Life is about the joy of creating together our own future, and we should treat creating seriously. If we allow others to create our society, we may lose our freedoms and joy, and we may become slaves.

Another one of his thoughts is that nothing is impossible. With his imagination, he made over seven hundred inventions, while many people struggle for years to produce one, due to procrastination or hard work that might not be on the right track. Tesla also argues that the world cannot produce new inventions without being spiritual enough, and thinking that the world is made of matter, instead of 99 percent energy and only 1 percent of matter. The energy produces matter, but if the matter produces energy, it may be destructive for Earth.

Tesla is also a big naturalist, and believes that humans should be in tune with nature in order to become stronger, avoiding others that manipulate them. This is about discovering the True Self rather than feeding our ego. With our thoughts and prayers we can influence our surroundings and we can even manipulate the weather. With this knowledge of the basics, we are now prepared to watch Tomorrowland.

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Tomorrowland starts with scientist Frank and teenage girl Casey talking to the camera. Frank (George Clooney) tells the story of himself as a young boy who was recruited by Athena, a girl with attractive blue eyes, to come to the future. Upon his arrival, young Frank is struck by the high skyscrapers, the wireless train and the touch-screen wireless communication between people.

Then Casey (Britt Robertson) tells her story, of how she loved the stars so much as a small child and she knew them all by names and where they were located. By her teenage years, she was riding her bike at night nearby the NASA rocket station and turning off some cables and electricity to prevent NASA from doing some launches. But, one day, she is caught by the police and sent to jail. When released, she’s given a pin with the letter T, meaning Tomorrowland.

She doesn’t want to take the pin, but when she touches it, she’s sent to a strange field in another dimension. Confused and looking for answers, Casey goes to Texas to ask what the pin means, and finds herself in a situation where she needs assistance to run away from the same girl Athena, who hasn’t changed a bit from the days when Frank was a kid. Athena takes Casey to Frank’s place, where she finds herself unwelcome and thrown away a few times. But Casey doesn’t give up so easily. When the secret service robots follow her to Frank’s house, Frank is ready to respond with his weapons to destroy them. Frank takes Athena and Casey with a capsule to the Eifell Tower in Paris.

tomorrowlandconcept2

On top of the tower, Casey sees an installation with statues of the best scientists of all time, two of which are Nikola Tesla and Thomas Alva Edison. Frank explains the Philadelphia experiment when Tesla built a time machine. Casey, Frank and Athena climb the tower’s rocket, launch it in space, and travel to Tomorrowland to meet Nix (Hugh Laurie), the antagonist, who built a tower spreading low frequencies to Earth, telling people that there is no hope for humanity, and the Earth is going to be destroyed by wars and bad weather. The rest of the film details our heroes’ fight against Nix. 

Tomorrowland asks humanity a few serious question through the character of Casey. If the world is the way it is right now with earthquakes, wars, floods, and hurricanes, what can humans do to change that for the better? Casey and Frank want to bring everyone to Tomorrowland with the best scientists and artists. The second question is if Tomorrowland should be humanity’s new utopia, how should it be designed? Brad Bird designs it as a wireless world where energy is used wisely. That is also Tesla’s dream, and the future of planet Earth. No wonder why there was a rumor from the beginning about Tesla’s inventions being studied in the film.

The third question relates to an old Cherokee legend that states that everyone has two wolves inside them, the wolf of love and hope and the wolf of  hate and envy. Which wolf would you feed? If you feed the right one, there will be positive results; feed the wrong one, and it may not bring what you imagined. Although some think this is a stupid question, it is something that we should consider daily if we want success in our lives. The fourth question is more of a statement – nothing is impossible. This is what Tesla would tell everyone, and all of his imagined inventions would turn into reality. Only pessimistic people can say that nothing can be done for people to have a great future.

Disney's TOMORROWLAND..Casey (Britt Robertson) ..Ph: Film Frame..?Disney 2015

Unfortunately, many of us are buried in our TVs and media where political propaganda crushes our dreams, destroying our creativity. If anyone tries for a few days to get off the TV and produce something for society, they will learn how bureaucracy in our corporate world, politics and society are taking our freedom to create and will feel limitless – feel the real connection to everyone else and nature itself.

It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.” Nikola Tesla

What is really hard for Hollywood and Disney to understand is Tesla’s spiritual inventions. It is still not the time to talk about them, because they can’t be explained by showing them materialistically. That will be left for another film. But, in order to develop Tomorrowland, we need to be spiritual to understand what we are building – why are we building it, what is the purpose? In the film, unfortunately, Nix’s ego is destroying Tomorrowland, and it’s up to Casey to use her creativity to repair the damage. That’s the kind of thinking humanity should have to start building the future. The more we procrastinate, the worse it will be for us, because we are the primary cause for polluting our planet.

Despite being rated as family friendly, the messages the film spreads are not for children. They are advanced intellectual ideas that would appeal more to adults. The production, on the contrary, is superb, with greatly imaginative sets, costumes, and a lot of tech gadgets. Some will see this film as too much information, others may think it is a baby boomer’s nostalgia, but in the core of everything, it is indeed a yearning for Tesla’s comeback.

Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” – Nikola Tesla

Tomorrowland is out now in cinemas.

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Marija Makeska is a writer, poet, filmmaker and a visual artist living in Detroit, USA. She enjoys spending her time with people from different cultures while working on various projects with pagan, or gothic themes.

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Posted on May 23, 2015

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