Cinema has the ability to encapsulate every aspect of society, and this time the director Shawn Levy collaborated with Matt Lieberman to present Free Guy where a bank teller becomes self-aware about being in a game. Free City is quite similar to a game where GTA meets SimCity, and the creators are a pun on the Konami games as it’s Soonami Games. The game garnered success, and the antagonist played by Waititi tries to acquire the game’s source code for his ulterior motives. Filmmaking prerequisites are checked thoroughly that make the film even better but not for everyone.
NPCs as a Filmmaking Concept
Nikolai Tesla once said that “One of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.” Evolution in filmmaking and cinema has ushered the era of a new conceptual framework for storytelling which inculcates a plethora of unprecedented and unimaginable projects. Such ventures have put forth film and TV shows like Tenet and Black Mirror.
Wandering into the realms of the virtual world, the creators stumbled upon gaming as source material. Ever-increasing tech has allowed us to replicate real-world simulations on a computer to the level of perfection where the line between real and virtual gets decimated. The veracity of the virtual world has reached a level where the characters have strong arcs and stories that are literally better than the films. Grand Theft Auto or GTA has consistently provided a gangster-like neo-noir Godfather game that lets you live that life. If you are into some wild wild west, Red Dead Redemption will be your time machine to the era of cowboy boots and shiny spurs.
Satire on Virtual Fantasy
The film even takes subtle digs at the society and the fantasia that drives us. In a virtual world, we tend to go rogue and let our unbiased opinion take control. From saving a person who has been stranded or robbed to being the perpetrator yourself, we live our dark fantasies without being harmful and take the edge off and relax when we go on a tour of escapism.
Free Guy puts you on the other side of the table by showing the non-playable characters (NPCs) and the dilemma they face inside that virtual world. It resonates with how the privileged people in our society treat the less privileged as NPCs. It shows how oppression is disguised as liberation.
Perhaps we are NPCs in a Simulation
As we move further, we witness that if an NPC gains sentience, that’s a glitch or a bug in the simulation. Pondering over it, the avenues of existentialism open up, where the simulation Theory advocated by the infamous Elon Musk starts to make sense. What if we are just NPCs in some simulation who have yet to become sentient.
‘Free Guy’ Ending Explained
So to put everything into more elaborate words, the Free City is a multiplayer Live service game where an NPC gains sentience. The general consensus on the “bug” is that it might be a hacker who is trying to mess with the source code of the game. The creators realize that Free Guy, who actually is an algorithm, has become aware of the virtual world and that he exists in a world that isn’t real, but his emotions are real. Guy gets a happy ending as he reunites with his best friend. Still, it remains open-ended as any game that has players will tend to be a bit over-the-top aggressive in its natural state.
The copyright stealing scams have been a bane for game developers. New games that are hacked or become too family-friendly take away the fun that actually lured you in. The answer to this is the battle royale genre where NPCs do not exist, and every player is aware of the state of affairs, but we already have our films on that, so let’s give them a pass.
Free Guy is a fantastic entertainer with a lot of potentials, but it might not be for the people who are not that aware of gaming as the jokes might be hard to grasp, but a gaming geek that I am it’s a prospect that had potential, and the charismatic Ryan Reynolds has done a fantastic job again with the Strange Things star Joe Keery. Taika Waititi shows his adversary prowess as Antoine. The icing on the cake was the inculcation of real-world gamers and streamers like Pokimane with the likes of Channing Tatum. It’s a film that isn’t for everyone. Still, if you are into gaming, I would highly recommend it as the debacle of previous such ventures has been disgraceful.
Free Guy is a Action Adventure Drama film directed by Shawn Levy. It stars Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds in the lead roles.