A Visitor to a Museum

A Visitor to a Museum ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

We, the viewers, are the visitors, the world—the film itself—is the museum.

Preface:
This will be more of an analysis of my interpretation of the film, and why I believe it's deserving of the full marks I've given it. There would be no attempt to turn this into a traditional review at any point in the future. With that said, this “review” will be dedicated to spoiling the entire thing. Dissecting it, not only for my amusement and posterity but also for other fans who may not have picked up on the same details that I may have. This will more or less be rough note entries I've made while rewatching the film, which means it's far more informal than usual. I really don't care about being grammatically correct or concise with this, so sorry if it's hard to read.

Here we go:
Everyone is exhibitions in the world of the film created. Caged oddities in the museum.

2mins in, the first thing our lead says, turning to the camera as we, the viewer, look at him
"Who's there?"
Then he mutters “crazy..” over and over to himself. We exist beyond diegetic and extra-diegetic space, outside any area he should reasonably be able to perceive, so this feeling of being watched is quickly dismissed. His saying “crazy” to himself is like him saying “you’re imagining things”. Trying to shake off the feeling, despite it never going away.

4mins in, he turns to the camera again "What do you want from me?"
We visit the man yet again, but this time he acknowledges the gaze and/or whispers of an outside presence, that of the visitors—us. He’s now responding to his paranoia, even if he’s still doubtful of it.
14mins30secs “pay no attention, he’s mad,” the hostel owner says of his father. But as we’ll soon come to realize, Konstantin has made a world where “being mad” is the closest thing to being sane. Madness in this film is enlightenment. Our lead’s journey mirrors this.

15mins, the “mad man” offers a chance to tell fortunes from the book.
15mins30secs “…neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
Rising from the dead in this context means awakening from the illusion of the film. This prophecy refers to the journey our lead will be going on, as he slowly awakens to the reality of the film world he lives in. This hellish creation of Konstantin’s making. The people that doubt his placement in the narrative as a messiah-like figure are the “sane” people. He is turned into an outcast, where he’s accepted by the degenerates, as these are the only other people who understand the world (hellish cage) they’re living in. The lead, to the degenerates, is their 2nd coming of Christ, while to the sane (those deluding themselves through indulgence), he’s just another mutant, and therefore, should be excluded from “sane” society. Don’t ruin the Matrix for those that love living in it.

16mins, The old man and the lead, as well as us as the viewer, don’t know what the prophecy means because it hasn’t happened as yet. These things only make sense once you’ve seen the entire film.
16mins30secs, the second prophecy picked out by the lead and read by the old man from the holy book. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visitest him?"

So the prophecy picked out by the faulty messiah made for this unholy world was, in fact, him asking a question he would later express himself when he realize he’s been appointed by Konstantin to serve this role. This prophecy is our lead’s own desperate plea to his director/God Konstantin yet to be manifested, while we, the visitors, bear witness to it. We will see this desperation play out when he’s crossing the unholy sea and takes refuge in the parallel to the ship of Noah's ark, as well as when he ascends to the false cross on the hill.
24mins in, find out “40% are born degenerate every year”. More people are born being aware of the ugliness of the world they’re trapped in.
23mins15secs in, he’s asked not to mention the museum in front of degenerates as this coincides with a holiday they have where they usually break out in mass hysteria during the low tide. Since the world—the film itself—is figuratively the museum, a place they pray to escape from due to their torment; any mention of it is a cruel reminder of their circumstance.
25mins, Parents/hostel owner interaction with the lead as he says: “strange..” “what is?” “Aren’t they afraid of fire? But they light branches on fire…” “Nothing strange there. They worship what they fear.”

27mins, he asks the hostel owner "have you ever tried it?" in reference to making the journey to see the museum, to which he responds “what do I need it for?”. There's no need for him to do so, he deceives himself. There's no uncertainty for him to care about because he, as a "sane" man, partakes in the escapism, living in the matrix, even when he knows the world is dying. This is the reality all the “sane” people accept and choose to live out life as best as they can.

28mins, the owner goes over his past encounters with visitors in the past who came here for the same reason our lead does. Some try and turn back, some die trying to make it there. What’s the point of risking it? It’s easier to accept the situation than to seek out the museum (the truth) that lies beyond the dead bleach/chemical sea.
30mins, they discuss the text. The owner dismisses it as nonsense, while the lead doesn’t. “I didn’t say naive. I’m saying crazy”. Yet again, knowledge/the closer to the truth someone gets, in this case, the degenerate priests and their texts about the museum(truth), the more it appears to be utter rubbish to the sane/normal people. “The priests are just another kind of degenerate. Don’t kid yourself about that.”

“I can allow them their own degenerate culture, religion… why not?” the owner showing his prejudice, they’re just sub-humans after all, let them have their silly culture and religion.
32mins in, the lead says “Madness is not an argument. Our own culture has a trace of it too.” This is a direct criticism towards the escapism and debauchery from the world around them that normal people partake in to ignore the harsh realities that exist. The sane/normal people and the degenerates have more in common than the owner would like to admit to. The lead, being in the transitional phase between the two groups, sees it clear as day. Then the lead quotes the text, “Let him become a fool so that he may become wise… for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” This is meant to point out to the owner that his outright dismissal of the degenerate priests’ teachings is from a place of ignorance. To try to make sense of this mad world created by God (Konstantin) is really the truest form of madness in itself. To try to be “normal and sane” with bleach oceans, nuclear fallout, mountains of trash, fire on the windows, generations of deformed children, etc. is as crazy as one could possibly get. Nothing about this hellscape is normal.

38min, the leader wants to visit the priests at the reservation. He asks how he can get in, the girl tells him he has to pray. The prayer: you must knock on the walls and repeat the words "Let me out of here." Their only prayer.
The lead asks “Let me out of here? The Reservation? The girl answers back “Out of here… in general.”
The degenerates pray for the escape of this miserable hell of a world. Pray for the escape from their existence. Escape from the film. From everything.
40mins, the degenerates straddle the fence, a representation of their constant state of being. Constantly wanting out.
42min, warden of the camp "But why risk your life to see some ruins?" - another normal person that would rather live in bliss like the hostel owner.

45mins, madness, the transformation into the messiah progresses as now he’s experiencing visions/hallucinations.
48mins, nightmare/premonition, floating, usually, a form of escape, but not even in dreams is freedom offered. His journey across the sea and to the cross is shown.

53mins in, talks of another flood from a melting glacier. A new cleansing of the earth. God(Konstantin) must wipe the filth clean once again. “A real-life flood. In about 50 years.” Says the owner. The 50 years part is important, as it expresses the inaction of the “normal” people of now to try to prevent the climate change disaster they’re directly causing. It’s not their problem to deal with as they won’t be alive 50 years from now for it to matter. This prescient message reflects the global response to climate change now, as responsibility kept getting pushed back further and further until it becomes a point where ignoring it is no longer feasible, as those that would have to live with the consequences of this inaction are now old enough to express anger about the past generation’s negligence and uncaring attitude.

54mins30secs, girl freaks out "I’m sorry. I don’t understand. It's somebody else. It's not me. Somebody's torturing me. It's not me." Konstantin, the evil overlord continues to manipulate and hurt his already unloved creation. However, what’s not revealed as yet is that we are the tool that allows him to inflict this suffering.

56mins, the hostel owner’s forced lessons of his degenerate son. Father asks what has man created on his time on earth. The mutant, eyes open to the truth that the "normal" father refuses to acknowledge, responds with “Man has created a trash heap.” Father “Not a trash heap but material goods.” The truth vs the lie. This refers to the world of the film, but more importantly, it’s Konstantin’s hatred towards what the real world is becoming. Its wastefulness. Its negligence of Earth, and what that would ultimately lead to.

The father forces the lie onto the son.
Father asks “what was the mistake?”, the sons’ response is, "Man has forgotten himself."
Father frustrated with the son’s answers. “it’s a curse”… “fine, let’s speak metaphors. I agree that it’s a curse. But how is it expressed, through what process?”
The sons' response "In that God has hidden himself and hell reigns…" "Wherever there is man, there is hell. It is written, if you are born here you are damned." This entire exchange goes on like this, delivering one truth bomb after the next. Truths we’ve been seeing for the past hour in this film.

1hr in, the holy word of the degenerates is about our lead. For he is their messenger, their messiah, as well as our guide. The priests describe the role of our lead, their journey, etc.
1hr3mins "But he shall not know his mystery or understand his path. He shall be deaf and blind like all abiding in the final days."
"But he shall sense the wings of his angel,"—Us—“for the name of his Angel is Sorrow."

As long as we, the viewer, are present, "Sorrow" is present. We are the presence that he acknowledges when he looks into the camera. The “sorrow” of all those that suffer in this world created by the film only persists because we view it. The film’s world cannot exist unless it’s acknowledged—seen. And just like that, Konstantin(God) has made us culpable in this world of mass suffering that he’s created.
“Neither the gift of prophecy or healing—but he shall be heard on account of the prayers of the desperate.” As shown throughout the entire film, he’s the only “normal” that sympathizes and speaks to the degenerates with any kind of respect.

1hr10min, Konstantin's Satantango. A celebration of debauchery. Hedonistic.

1hr13mins, bell tolls, looks out into the receded sea. Like in the case of Moses, a path has been made for our faulty prophet. Despite partaking in the party, even sleeping with a woman, he can’t forsake his role as the mutants’ messenger.

1hr14mins, he still attempts to flea this responsibility as the degenerate girl pleads for him not to.

1hr18mins, back to the “old mad man” and yet another prophecy, this time to recommit his journey after his night of celebration.
1hr19min old man "what does it mean?" The ways of the past (old men) no longer understand this world. Wisdom is no longer wisdom, as this world needs a new way of thinking. So, of course, it's "completely incomprehensible" to him, but to the lead—a man with one foot in the old world, and another in the new mutant one—to whom the message is directed, he understands. Try as he must, he could no longer ignore it.

1hr19min30secs, he eats and drinks—his last supper. He knows he must make the journey, there's no turning back.

1hr20mins madness/visions returns.

1hr23mins, the final transformation as he screams out loud "The sorrow! The sorrow!" He sees his angel again and now knows its name.
"If all has been foretold, then it's a prison! Like marionettes…"
He now sees the truth, the world, his cage, him and everyone else, puppets of this hell on Earth.

The worker woman’s reaction to him when she found him in this state reinforces the truth of his transformation. He’s finally crossed over.

1hr25min30secs, bells tolls again. He acknowledges the summons. He must go.

1hr27mins, he surrenders to his mutants, his people, at long last.

1hr29mins-37mins, baptism. A ceremonial rebirth for the figurative change we saw earlier.

1hr40mins prays to the Lord of this world for guidance and safe passage. A new prayer. 1hr43mins30secs "Like the prodigal son I prostrate myself before thee. Bestow wisdom upon me, for the ways of man are dreadful in the dark ignorance of thy words."

Like Jesus in the desert for 40 days, so too does the lead make his way across the desert where the sea was, as his faith and resilience is tested.

1hr47mins, a false refuge in the ship. Pleads for the Lord not to abandon him. The lead can't rest, the journey isn't over. There is no Noah's ark to be had in this flood. No second chance for refuge. Konstantin isn’t as forgiving as the biblical God. The land is unholy and so is the iconography and illusions to theology.
Begs for forgiveness, and for guidance “where shall I go?”

1hr51mins "How much time do I have, O Lord?" – the film is coming to an end. The end is nigh.
1hr53mins, there is no literal museum, no easy answer(easy truth), only rubble.
1hr53min45secs, no church to enter. Everything is forsaken.
1hr54min30secs "Lord, it is I, man!" the lead shouldering the full representation of Konstantin’s twisted creation. "Let them out of here!" as he climbs towards the unholy cross. Faulty Christ and his people wish for escape.

"Answer their prayer, and reward their faith, for they suffer for the sins of others."
Dead Man Letters' level of sins isn't the burden of the generation responsible, but the children, the next generation. The children that walk into the unknown at the end of that film are ultimately the ones who pay the price. Like how climate change will be the burden of those who come after us. We always pay for the sins of our fathers.

1hr55mins, Ascends to the cross. The cross of this unholy, dead, wicked world.

1hr55min55secs-1hr57mins, now he fades in and out of the room, he is now an unholy spirit (father, son, holy spirit). A ghost. Angel. Becoming “Sorrow” as well. Awakening another person to the truth.
1hr58mins "Who's there?" answers the woman. The cycle begins anew.

2hr in, now what remains of him is on the outside. A horrifying specter. Trying to escape this hell—this film—a husk.

2hrs2mins screams of agony. The wall of garbage, of filth, is endless. Inescapable. The false hope of DML is gone. The unforeseen future revealed to be nothing but suffering.

The Lord has forsaken his son and everyone. Reduced to being another speck in the trash, he collapses.

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