Directed by Boots Riley, I’m a Virgo is an absurdist comedy-drama that takes us through the life of a 13-foot-tall boy who sees the world through his own unique perspective. The series takes a metaphorical approach, and every line spoken by the characters has some hidden meaning behind it. I’m a Virgo is not meant for everybody, though we cannot deny that it is an earnest and bold attempt from Boots Riley. So, let’s try to understand what is happening in the series and how the protagonist figures out the world around him.
‘I’m A Virgo’ Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
Cootie was raised by his adoptive parents, Lefrancine and Martisse, and they kept him hidden from the world because they knew that nobody had ever seen such a giant human being. They knew that first, he would become the center of attraction, and then the people would turn him into a villain because he wasn’t like everybody else. Lefrancine and Martisse probably understood the world way too well, and they knew that it wouldn’t take the regime and the people a lot of time to make him an enemy of the state. They had even started making weapons at home because they were so sure that Cootie would need them once he grew up. Cootie had never been outside his house, and that is why he was curious to know how things happened in the real world. He became too big for the house in which his parents were living, so Martisse built a house in his backyard with high ceilings.
Cootie’s curiosity didn’t allow him to stay inside for much longer, and one day, he just went out on the streets while camouflaging himself with leaves. Felix, a teenager from the neighborhood, saw him, and got petrified by the sheer size of the man. He came back and told his friends, Scat and Jonas, about him, but they didn’t believe him. One day, all three of them were hanging around Cootie’s house when they caught a glimpse of him from the other side of the boundary wall. Once Cootie was sure that they didn’t mean any harm, he called them inside his house, and they soon became the best of friends. Felix, Scat, and Jones didn’t come from a privileged background, and though they were still quite young, the struggles of life had acted as catalysts for them to have strong anti-capitalist sentiments. Cootie idolized Jay Whittle, aka the Hero, who was in charge of maintaining law and order in the city, and whenever the situation got out of hand, and the local police weren’t able to handle it, the Hero was called to bring things under control.
More than the man, Cootie liked the idea of a superhero fighting for justice and equality. His dream was to work with the man one day and be a hero himself. He had read all the comics that were published by Hero’s organization, and he believed that one day, he would do something so big that the world would remember him. Oakland was getting accustomed to this huge, 13-foot-tall giant once he started going out frequently. Obviously, Lefrancine and Martisse were not at all happy, as they didn’t want him to step out before he turned 21. But the outer world was too fascinating for a young Cootie, and he just couldn’t control his urge to feel and do all that a normal human being did.
Cootie was learning about the strange concepts of the outside world, and there were a lot of things that he found way too absurd. First and foremost, it was an irony that being in a capitalistic society, he had no clue about the concept of money, and he was a bit shocked when he realized that to get anything, he needed to spend money. What he found even stranger was that not every person had the money to afford anything they wanted. He didn’t understand why humans had created a society where the majority of them were deprived of their basic necessities while the others bathed in luxury. Cootie didn’t understand things like politics, advertisements, and every other hoax that humans had created and had become a part of their reality. Cootie was fascinated by huge woofers, and when he heard them for the first time in I’m a Virgo, he felt like sound waves were traveling through his body. It was a surreal experience for him, and he got angry at his guardians for keeping him deprived of such a marvelous creation. Cootie had become the talk of the town, and whenever he got out, a huge crowd came just to see him.
Was Flora Suffering From Some Disorder?
Since his childhood, Cootie has seen the advertisement for Bing Burgers, and he always wanted to try them because, in the advertisement, they looked very delicious. Once he started going out, the first thing he did was try the burger, and though he didn’t like it at all, he fell in love with a woman who worked there. Flora was equally infatuated with the big man, and she used to make sure that only she served him the burger whenever he came to the shop. Flora’s parents were told quite early that she was suffering from some kind of disorder, and because the world considered her to abnormal she never got the respect she deserved. People never took her opinions seriously. Flora could move, speak, and do everything else at ten times the speed of an average human being. People called her abnormal, but she was more efficient and quick as compared to any other human being. She had to slow her pace so that the other individuals could understand her but because she was unique in her own way, she was told that the defect lay in her.
Soon, Cootie and Flora became inseparable, and they spent most of their time together. The director, through the character of Flora, makes a social commentary on how majoritarian rules impact every walk of life. Flora shows us how inept we are at accepting a person if they do not fall within our flawed perspective of what is normal and what is not. And we have seen such examples in our day-to-day lives. Whenever a person does not fit the stereotypical parameters, we start thinking that something is wrong with them. There are times when a person’s social behavior is different from what we generally see, but instead of accepting that difference, we start considering our own behavior as the standard prototype and believe that whoever isn’t able to fall within the ambit is abnormal. Our history is proof of the fact that every genius was considered a madman in the beginning, mainly because the rest of the world wasn’t intellectual enough to understand them. There have been stories where brilliant minds have to go through a great deal of torture just because they aren’t like others, and there is some aspect of their personality that people find strange.
In I’m a Virgo, Flora’s story was similar to that of an introvert who is always told to be an extrovert because socializing with people, mingling with them, and feeling at ease and confident amidst a group of individuals is considered to be the acceptable behavior. But the point that the director makes is that if talking more and socializing is considered normal, then why isn’t not talking and not having the desire to meet and greet people normalized by society? I mean, as long as the introversion is not causing any harm to the person and he is able to lead his life happily, then why do we treat it like some kind of disorder.
‘I’m A Virgo’ Ending, Explained: How Did Cootie And Jonas Stop The Hero?
It is shown in I’m a Virgo that Jonas had a very peculiar superpower where she could make a person visualize what she wanted them to understand. A lot of times, when people didn’t understand the cons of capitalism, Jonas somewhat got into their minds and broke down the entire concept, making them witness what she wanted to say by giving them examples from day-to-day life. Things became even more chaotic once Scat died after a premier hospital named Krowner turned him down because he didn’t have the money to pay for the medical bills. The death of Scat really stirred things up and brought the entire capitalism debate once again to the forefront. Jonas knew that Scat was neither the first nor the last to become a victim of the system. Jonas went on strike as she wanted to bring down the system, but Cootie didn’t believe that peaceful protest could lead them anywhere.
Cootie was of the opinion that they should attack the main power control station and break the regulator so that there were no power cuts. The authority used to cut electricity every now and then to increase their profits, and Jonas had a problem with it. The rich were getting richer, and the people at the bottom of the food chain were condemned to a life of misery. Cootie and Jonas had more than one argument where the latter told him how important it was to do things the right way. Jonas told Cootie that the process mattered a lot and that there was no point if one achieved the desired result through illegitimate means. Cootie didn’t understand it at that time, and so, together with Felix and the bunch of small-sized human beings, he broke the regulator of the power plant. Soon after that, Hero was able to locate Cootie, and after a lethal combat, he was able to capture him. Cootie knew at that moment that if there was anybody who could save his life and stop the Hero from taking him to prison, it was Jonas.
Jonas knew that Jay Whittle suffered from something akin to the superhero syndrome, and he thought that he was the savior that the society needed. Jonas wanted to tell Hero that what he was doing was not the solution. She used her powers and showed him the vision of how, by supporting the capitalist regime, he was inciting more violence and creating an even greater disparity. She showed that capitalism’s main purpose was to increase the gap between the rich and the poor and create unemployment and poverty. The poor and unemployed people then picked up arms, and the regime made use of law enforcement authorities to neutralize them. It was a vicious circle, and Jonas told the Hero that if he actually wanted to make a difference, he should fight the system and not be a part of it.
Hero, up until then, had actually believed that he was doing something good. He believed himself to be the fairest of them all and was entrusted with bringing justice to the realm. But once his illusion broke and he saw that everything he believed in was a farce, something changed inside him. He never had any qualms about spreading propaganda as long as law and order were maintained, but he now realized that maybe it was all an illusion. He had waited his entire life for a supervillain to arrive, but when the time came, he realized that he had misjudged the situation and had been actually working with the villain and aiding it in its endeavors. Hero didn’t take Cootie to prison, and he left the scene feeling like he had lost his sense of purpose.
I’m a Virgo‘s ending can be seen as a victory for Cootie and Jonas and all those people who had been protesting against the capitalist setup, but they knew that the battle wasn’t over yet. They knew that there would be many such conflicts that would arise in the future, and once again, they would have to fight for equality. From being trapped inside the four walls to witnessing the hypocrisy and absurd concepts of the world, Cootie had come a long way. He had started understanding how the world functioned, and he was disappointed that reality was so different from what he had imagined it to be. He always had an idealistic image of the world in his mind, and when his illusion shattered, he was able to see the real face of mankind. The conflict in I’m a Virgo had changed Cootie from within, and he was now better prepared to face whatever came his way.