Write a review of a recent movie or TV show you’ve seen using only the one emotion you chose.
I was watching Penny Dreadful last night, and that was a bit of a theme that has been following one of the characters, Ethan, for a majority of the series. A werewolf afraid of himself, strikes a chord with all the emotions on the table, but anger can be seen, even if it is less prominent throughout the show. Fear is definitely present, as he takes careful steps to keep himself out of trouble, but with a little more depth, Ethan can represent a more primal aspect of the human psyche.
The figure of the werewolf in this series is not the center of focus of the show, but nevertheless an important one. It’s what the werewolves signify within us: a primal being, a being closer to nature than what he currently have… something outside the social confines that we put ourselves into every day. But then we truly have to think where the “jungle” truly is. What is more vicious: the werewolf or society? Humans can become incredibly brutal to one another, whether through their own machinations or sheer physical force. True, the werewolf is more about physical, terrible, yet unnatural force as a hybrid of two distinct animals. But think about this: treachery is rarely seen on the caliber that humans perform the action to one another. The werewolf – at least – is a mindless, blood addicted animal that only knows to kill. It has no other thoughts but to hunt. With humans, things are not so easy to calculate or even manipulate. One can ignore and hide their primal side in favor of a more civilized and accepted form of themselves. We can calculate who we are, what we hide, what we show to the world. We can calculate that and often times make a deduction for what would work best in what situation. Even if that means we want to kill, there are people that exist that can meditate on how best to do it, given that they have not let that more primal side out already in a rage beyond comprehension.
That is why the werewolf is more than just an antiqued trope in today’s modern world. They have an anger within them that we all as humans can resonate – yet we all fear as well. We fear that one thing that is “going to set us off” for those of us with a temper, and even more so for the more patient among us. Sometimes we worry that one person among us will break. Take a look at the violence occurring around us: shootings, killings…. It seems the Horseman of War is already visiting us. And with our atmospheric conditions now beyond repair, it seems that now the other Horsemen have arrived and are ready to end all this. But this violence of religious zealots can be likened to a werewolf in that all they seek is death in a twisted understanding of the world around them. The mindless violence, the hunt for those that are not their kind – aka, the prey. We could be labeled as that prey unless we ourselves take our own humanity in mind and rise above our own reactionary nature, our beasty nature. There is a way to calculate ourselves around the predators we know and make it so the monsters of our world can no longer hunt us. We may be prey now, but we can become predators above the instinctual, blood hungry nature of our own animalistic psyches.
Penny Dreadful does a wonderful job of exploring the typical tropes of monsters past, but also brings them closer to home, especially in the realm of anger in this case. It can be used for illicit purposes or constructive purposes. Later on in the series, it spells a sort of liberation for one of the characters, no longer confined within her own religious bounds, claiming her soul as her own and belonging to no others. She thereby accepts the responsibility of what having soul is: a remarkable ability to rise above the animal within and reaching new awareness.