Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cipher & Ciphertext: Fate Of the Furious

"Family no more" very much describes the atmosphere in the US since 2008, especially as Obama continues to glorify his legacy by furiously fanning the flames of division as he prepares to leave office (hopefully). Let's talk about betrayal for a moment. In the analysis of the trailer for The Mummy with Tom Cruise, we know that Princess Ammunet feels she was betrayed out of her destiny; that kind of "betrayal" is more enttitlement, that she felt she deserved something and it was held out away from her (please see The Mummy & Entitlement for more). The F8 family have a bond together and know one another, so for Dom to abandon them is a genuine betrayal. Why would the issue of a man betraying his family be the subject of a major motion picture? What man has betrayed those who thought they knew him and trusted him to take care of them? Maybe black people trusting Obama would take care of them and he let them down, maybe?
I was expecting a good trailer, and I hoped for something that would get me excited, but this is actually incredible. The woman's voice you hear at the start is Cipher's (Charlize Theron) and she is the main villain of the film (or at least one of them):
"You were only supposed to create a diversion. That was complete destruction," and this idea of "diversion" is something which has become prevalent--even an "epidemic"--in American society today as "red flag events" have been going on for several years, meaning to divert our attention away from the global takeover countries around the world have been protesting with recent elections (Brexit, Trump's election, Hollande's defeat, Italy's No vote, Iceland, Greece, etc.) while, in reality, the diversion of Obama's administration has actually caused complete destruction of the American political system, just as we see in the opening sequence. So what's the yellow wrecking ball?
Cipher.
This is an odd hairstyle. The ends of her hair, hanging over her shoulder, are like dread locks,... but they aren't,... but they are like them. The hair on her scalp that is pulled back is bumpy and uneven, suggesting that she tries to dicipline her thoughts (her hair being pulled back) but she isn't very successful at it, she has something uncontrollable about her mental processes. As I discuss below, color appears to be important in this film, and the "yellow" wrecking ball we see in the opening sequence may stand in for Cipher's yellow hair and the "wreckage" she causes in coming between Dom and his family.
A "code" has meaning, but a cipher is an algorithm which lacks meaning, it's a pattern. Instead of saying, "a shaggy, four-legged canine," I can use the code "dog" and you know what I am saying without going into greater detail. But if I write "GRJ," that doesn't mean anything, in and of itself, but if you have the cyphertext, i.e., a deciphering mechanism, than you know that I have written "dog" again, but each letter had been replaced by the third letter away from the original letter in the alphabet. Charlize Theron's character named Cipher is also a cipher we will have to decipher, or, perhaps, that is the journey of conversion Dom (Vin Diesel) will have to make in this narrative. Why is it important that she says, "you're a genuine outlaw?" It's not important, it's imperative.
Ah, the color orange. For long time readers, you may remember the diaolgue of the infamous orange scarg of Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows with Robert Downey Jr. When we see a character wearing orange, or something orange, it communicates that the character is really alive in whatever capacity they find themselves in that scene. Given that so many characters wear black or white in this trailer, seeing Hobbs wearing orange is quite dramatic. Orange is the combination of yellow--symbolizing dignity--and red, which invokes our red blood and that which keeps us alive, but that we are willing to spend either for love or revenge. We don't know how or why Hobbs gets in prison, but that doesn't have him down: he's fully up to the challenge, and it may be that something which happens in this scene is the most important part of the film for Hobbs'.
"Play" appears to be a big part of the theory field, as Dom says it when the others drive spear hooks into his care to try and catch him, and then Hobbs says "Let's play" whe he warns Dom that he's coming after him. This is important for at least two reasons: first, with games there are rules, but with play there are no rules, and it's "play" that is being talked about in the film. Secondly, in both The Dark Knight Rises with Bane (Tom Hardy) and in Dracula Untold with the Master Vampire (starring Luke Evans, also of Fast and Furious 7), both films have villains saying, "Let the games begin," and it's very possible that we are meant to link Hobbs, Dom and these two other films together. 
In the first trailer for King Arthur and the Legend Of the Sword, Vortigern (Jude Law) tells Arthur (Charlie Hunnam), "I know what kind of man you are," and that's because the devil knows who we are, but God knows who we can become. Cipher thinks she has determined the pattern of Dominic Toretto because she thinks everyone is a pattern, just like the globalists who are trying to take over the world and tap into your pattern of behavior. Cipher (the character), however is pattern, and that is what we are being told in this first trailer, and what we will need to look for in the film.
So, what about Dom?
Color is going to be an imperative additional layer of commentary throughout the film, like the big deal they make with Roman driving an orange Lamborghini; why? We discussed orange above with Hobbs and his orange prison suit, but we know that Roman is the "joker" of the family, and it's probably not a coincidence that The Joker (Jared Leto) in Suicide Squad had a purple Lamborghini and part of the film's sowndtrack was called Purple Lamborghini, too. Part of this referencing network by the film makers is to show that they are a smart batch of cookies, they aren't just putting together an adventure-action flick, they have something to say (which they have been building up to) and making references such as this to other films demonstrates, not how smart the film makers are, but that we have reason to believe there is more just beneath the surface, if we care to look. Again, just as the prison scene might be the most important part of the film for Hobbs because he wears the "alive" color of orange, so this arctic car chase might be the most important for Roman since his vehicle is "alive."
"I don't know if the old Dom is in there," Hobbs says, and we have actually heard this line before (please remember, we aren't looking for "originality," rather, patterns of repeated ideology so we can identify the currents of social thought; yea, sure, we are "deciphering," but we are deciphering art, not human beings) in Warcraft when Lothar (Travis Fimmel) says the same to the deeply entranced Medivh (Ben Foster; please see To Kill a Demon: Warcraft for more); why is this important? Because F8 wants us to think about Lothar and Medivh because that is where F8 is taking Dom; why? I think The Conjuring II may have the answer.
This scene of "fire and ice" may very well be a reference to Game Of Thrones, which I don't watch, so I can't get. However, in the trailer below, when the submarine comes up and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) says, "We're going to need a bigger truck," that references Jaws, Steven Spielberg's classic 1975 shark horror film. The submarine lurking beneath the surface, is meant to trigger us to "look beneath the surface" of the film for other "vehicles" of meaning, which we should have no problems in doing once we finally get to see the film. 
In The Enfield Poltergeist, the second chapter to The Conjuring, there is a spirit named Bill Watkins who terrorizes Janet Hodgson and her family; it ends up, however, that Bill was just a pawn of a far more powerful spirit, a demon, named Valak; what does this have to do with the cars of Fast and Furious? Cipher, as we described the process of ciphering above, is likely a "cipher" villain for another villain, just as Bill Watkins was; why?
Helen Mirren's character.
This photo of Diesel and Mirren was taken behind-the-scenes, but it's likely this is at least an accurate costume for the two of their characters in at least one scene they share. So, what does it tell us? Death. Mirren's white shirt denotes death (IF she is a villain, and everything I have heard attests to that) because a corpse turns white in death (with modern embalming techniques, we rarely see white corpses nowadays, unless it's on TV, but this was far more common in ancient days). The positive connotations of the color white is that a soul is alive when it has faith, hope, chairity and innocence; when these virtues are dead in a person, that person is dead, which would probably accurately reflect Mirren's character. Her white hair--because hair symbolizes our thoughts--suggests her thoughts are "dead" too, i.e., she thinks, but she can't reflect or medidate upon herself and what she does, she can't see that she has right or wrong decisions to make, she makes decisions based on what she wants and her worldly ambitions. What about Diesel? Black also denotes death, but in a different way. One is either dead to things of this world, and alive to things of the next world (which is why priests wear black) or one is dead to things of the next world and alive to things of this world. Dom has spiritually advanced through the films and adventures, using his skills, talents and resources for causes greater than himself and for people other than just himself (he has benefitted, too, but he's also helped others). Diesel's bare arms are an important detail because arms symbolize strength, the kind of strength a character has for good or ill, to be converted to a higher level or drag themselves down in the mire of sin. It's possible that Dom decides he doesn't like being a good boy, that he is a criminal and he doesn't want anything to do with his family anymore, however, Dom is a hero figure, and it's highly unlikely that Vin Diesel would permit his character to go permanenly bad. 
Mirren was cast rather late for the role, and her character is unnamed in the film credits; at one point, it was rumored that she was portraying Owen (Luke Evans) and Deckard (Jason Statham) Shaw's mother, which is still possible, and given that Fast and Furious 9 and 10 are slated in dates all ready, she may be a returning character in the next film. At this point, it's my theory that Cipher is just a pawn for Mirren's character, and Dom is basically chasing Cipher only to discover who is ultimately behind the Shaw boys (technically, Owen Shaw is still alive, although Luke Evans isn't showing up on the film credits for F8) which may prove to be mummy dearest; why does it matter to Dom? Remember, the Shaws are killing his family off, Dom isn't going to stand for that. I'm guessing Dom gets a lead on Cipher in Cuba and he "abandons" his family so he can chase the white rabbit down the hole. But this is just a theory for now,...
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