In the film “Free Guy,” the character, Guy, is an NPC (non-playable character), who falls in love with a player, Millie, aka Molotov Girl, only to find out that he is not real. However, he decides to help her recover a video clip that will help prevent his world, Free City, from destruction by the game’s owner, Antwan. In this piece, we will explore the four characters who contribute to the plot: Guy, Millie, Keys, and Antwan.
‘Free Guy’ Who Isn’t Really Free
He has a job, he has coffee at his favorite café, he has a best friend at work, and what’s more, he has a goldfish. He has everything a guy can want, except for one thing: the love of his life, the woman of his dreams. He sees Molotov Girl-Millie (Jodie Comer)-and falls for her, and nothing remains the same again, not just for Guy but also for Millie and Free City. We may not have noticed, but it is just bizarre how love is the main force of the “Free Guy.” If you think about it, not a single incident would have occurred had Guy not found love in Molotov Girl. The movie “Free Guy” gives Shakespeare’s words, “Everything is fair in love and war,” a whole new meaning. Clearly, there is love, there is a war (sort of), and “everything is fair” almost sounds like “anything is possible,” which is the overall theme of “Free Guy.”
For us, Free City is utter chaos. It is, after all, a version of “Grand Theft Auto.” Cars crash on the streets, people are shot at random, buildings are blown up, and there are endless fights and robberies. But for Guy, who technically is a citizen of Free City, all that is a part of his daily life. For him, it’s just as it is supposed to be, a perfect life. And this is only because he is programmed that way.
Since Guy is basically an A.I., there is something we need to consider. Two things happened to him one after another. First, he realizes that he can do whatever he wants and make his own choices (he has agency). Second, he discovers that he is a code and that the life he is living is predetermined. Both these pieces of information are, frankly, enough to crash his brain or artificial consciousness. But instead, Guy is just shocked and saddened. This makes sense because, after all, he has to carry on the plot. A crashed Guy is of no use to anyone. This whole self-aware event comes out of two things: one is, of course, the A.I. theory, and the other is the existential philosophy that the “Free Guy” tries to convey. After all, it is not just Guy who is following his mundane “protocol” and wants to break out of it. We do too.
At the end of the movie, Guy has not only saved his “city” but finds himself in a better and “greener” world that even has Minotaur and dinosaurs (thanks to Millie and Key’s modified build). He gets his best friend, Buddy, back, who had sacrificed himself for Guy. And more than anything else, he helped two people, namely Millie and Keys, find true love in each other. But one question remains: Is it really a happy ending for Guy? While we see him and Buddy walking away and into their new world, we must remember that their new world is still an interactive game. This means that it is not unlikely for some player to have some boisterous fun, like the robbers at the Free City bank, or those at Joe’s shop, or even the so-called Channing Tatum-like dudes who can compromise the whole city for the sake of a mission. All this could lead Buddy to pick his weapon up again, and surely he is going to need Guy as backup.
Finally, we come to the very essence of Guy. As we find out from the “Free Guy,” Keys based Guy’s woman of dreams off of his own woman of dreams, i.e., Millie. Guy finds her words, her movements, and her favorite ice cream to be just what he longs for in his soulmate. This truth doesn’t change at the end of the movie. While Guy does bring Millie and Keys together, he himself gets back to being without the love of his life. At this point, we wonder: Is Guy destined to wander without love, forever burdened by the fact that he is but a “love letter”?
Millie and Keys – The Dysfunctional Pair
Oftentimes, it so happens that people who avoid the real world find solace in novels where they are able to live the lives of other characters. This lets them overlook their own aloofness and a sense of loneliness. Replace the novel with a game and you get Millie and Keys. Both have been working together for many years but have been unable to bridge the awkward gap that prevails between them. In real life, Millie is a quiet girl who keeps to herself at all times, speaking only when necessary. But in Free City, she is this flamboyant Molotov Girl who is fashionable and super-cool. Keys too has an avatar that is a stark contrast to his real self, i.e., a dirty stripper cop with big guns and a big mustache. That he has had feelings for Millie for a long time is also made clear in the film. But he is unable to convey it to her via words and has instead incorporated his love for her into Guy’s coding. Thus, both of them form quite a dysfunctional pair, not necessarily a couple. Both spend more time looking at screens than each other, or any other person for that matter. Both have communication issues, and both tend to connect better in a virtual environment than in a real one. All these similarities are what make their chemistry very palpable.
At the end of the film, Millie runs through the streets after realizing Keys loves her, only to embrace him (this whole clichéd part is just utter rom-com stuff), a sign that their next “code” will be built hand-in-hand. Furthermore, they will surely replicate Guy’s A.I. and create more self-aware NPCs in the future. And it is possible that their wedding will have some sort of virtual connection that will let these self-aware folk of Free City, including Guy, Buddy, Dude, and others, attend it.
Antwan – The Villainous Megamind
Antwan, portrayed effectively by Taika Waititi, is a spoiled billionaire who possesses the greatest sense of entitlement there is, considering himself almost a god. His wicked nature gets unraveled as the film progresses. His fidgeting steadily turns into desperate attempts to destroy Free City by slashing servers with an ax just so he is exposed as the copyright-stealing Megamind that he is.
Out of Millie’s goodwill, she lets Antwan have all the profits of the game’s sequels (Free City 2 and 3) and wants only her version of Free City (with Guy and his friends) in return. As expected, the sales of Free City 2 go down while the incentives of Free City’s players double. The question is, did Antwan get what he deserved? He may not have killed Guy, but he did kill hundreds of NPCs like him when he destroyed all those servers. All of those NPCs were alive in the game, so to speak, except for their self-awareness (something that only Guy had). He couldn’t have faced jail time because the copyright theft was buried as a result of the deal he struck with Millie. So, if there is a sequel, we might find Antwan in a court of law for killing all those NPCs. Guy would be an effective witness, perhaps the first one of his kind.