"Can be destroyed by life, cannot be defeated by life"
"We never came from the deep sea, but we can fall into the deep sea at any time."
"Deep Sea" is a special existence in the Spring Festival movie.
Director Tian Xiaopeng used the perseverance of "seven years to sharpen a sword" to break through the technical problems of particle ink, but did not choose to cater to the business trend of feelings and blood blessings, but wrapped the desolate and decadent reality with romantic and magnificent colors, and interpreted the shimmering miracle in life with the mutual redemption of two small people.
("Deep Sea" finalized poster)
At first glance, you will think that this is an adventure story about the sea and magic. Flowing, agile jellyfish and flying fish chase colorful ocean currents, and the little yellow duck lifebuoy carries a girl who falls into the water, and accidentally discovers a deep-sea hotel wrapped in coral reefs.
The main film is a fantasy dream for autistic sensitive children, with a beautiful and sad background. When he wakes up from his dream, the powerful magician Nanhe dissipates with the bubble, leaving behind the exhausted clown in reality, and using his last strength to lift up the hope of the girl's survival.
(Screenshot of "Deep Sea" trailer)
By creating the vague image of the clown Nanhe, which seems to be real and fantastic, the film composes a gorgeous elegy for the unsung hero scattered like dust.
Hero Core: The undefeated Dionysian spirit
The deep sea is actually the "sea of hearts" imagined by the little girl Betelgeuse when she was dying.
In order to keep the clown who gave his life to save herself in reality, she weaves a huge dream. The magician Nanhe in the dream is the image given to the clown by Betelgeuse, and his identity is intertwined with the legend of the Deep Sea Hotel, and his words and deeds are the real projection of the clown in reality.
(The puzzle of the clown and the South River)
Therefore, whether it is a dream or reality, the clown and Nanhe have a heroic background that is not thwarted by life. When he was young, he was unwilling to leave his hometown and came to a small southern city to fight for his dreams; Accomplishing nothing in middle age, beaten to the point by life, still full of persistent faith in adventure and distant places.
"Isn't life an adventure? There are countless surprises waiting for you, and I don't want to miss them. ”
When he set out for the dangerous Eye of the Deep Sea, Nanhe's belief that he "did not accept his life" was a kind of dionysus-like intoxication. He did not believe that the power of men would be exhausted, that they would not be able to reach the eyes of the deep sea, where wealth was buried. Therefore, his choice is not bound by reason, not framed by convention, and becomes the old golden mouth of the seal mate, "I don't understand myself, and I still want to be a hero." ”
(Depart for "Eye of the Deep")
The source of Nanhe's power of "not resigning" is as true as a child: as a boss, he does not hide his desire for money, and does not hesitate to retain diners with the help of the psychedelic effects of sea elves; As a prodigal son, he does not hide his humble origins, and still repeatedly projects his silver-clad hometown in his room; He also did not hide his sympathy for the girl Betelgeuse, and only after making up his mind would he throw away his hard-earned money and desperately take Betelgeuse's hand from the whirlpool.
(Nanhe gazing at his hometown and pondering)
The Dionysian spirit of "there is wine in the present and drunk in the present day" gives Nanhe heroes the motivation to act in a featic, regardless of the consequences, just for the present.
This can also explain why the real Nanhe one second after picking up a mobile phone on the deck, without hesitation to take possession of himself, smug, the next second to see the overboard Betelgeuse, can still gamble his life and jump. Nanhe's choice was driven by instinct, not rational judgment, but it was this courage to remove his pretense and be self-honest that allowed him to stick to the paintings and art he loved as a child despite his arduous years of hard work, not being immersed in his gloomy surroundings, and even after exhaustion.
(Nanhe painting in the room)
Romain Rolland said: "There is only one kind of heroism in the world, and that is to love life after recognizing the truth of life." And Nam Ha taught Betelgeuse with his short life, and this love must come from instinct, self-deceptive smiles, unable to overcome the ghostly frustration, unable to get out of the nightmare of being left out by his family.
Nanhe interprets a kind of heroism that goes against the traditional narrative, not dreaming of becoming a superhero who saves the world, but just trying to learn to become an "absurd hero" who can be destroyed by life, but cannot be defeated by life.
(Betelgeuse and Minami River created by fans)
As one viewer commented: "Someone told the world what was done; Someone hides his heart but shows his horse's feet. ”
I think Nanhe is the latter, his face is hidden under the clown mask, but he can't hide the frankness and desperation in his bones.
Heroes Reborn: Human nature forges immortal divinity
Different from the protagonist image in previous Chinese comic movies, Nanhe's appearance is far from the word "handsome" or even "positive".
Many people dislike his lack of good facial features, and he always looks like a slovenly homeless man, blurring the boundary between villains and decency.
(Concept art of Nanhe characters)
On the one hand, because Nanhe is the inner projection of the clown in Betelgeuse's eyes, his appearance should constantly change with the fluctuations of Betelgeuse's mood, and he cannot be shaped by exquisite and beautiful modeling. On the other hand, ordinary people do not need heroes who are high, and ordinary and real bravery can transmit strength to more people.
"Deep Sea" uses the South River to piece together a heroic symbol hidden among ordinary people. He does not have a concrete image, and his presence can give people peace of mind.
If the South River returns to reality, he will fall back to the earth like a dust, scattered in unnoticed corners. He may be a vendor who curses and shoves you, a crew member on a cruise ship, a passerby who takes a family portrait of you, or a street painter who gives you a self-portrait... But when another Betelgeuse appears, he will still be driven by the purity of his heart, from a small person to a big hero.
(Joker concept art)
In heroic movies dominated by Western discourse, people remember too many talented heroes. They are powerful and courageous, or like Batman and Iron Man, they achieve the transformation from man to god with the blessing of money status; Or like the god of thunder, with towering energy flowing in his blood; Or like Spider-Man, hoping for an accident and reborn superpowers.
But people also know in their hearts that when real danger comes, the power of salvation often comes from those around them, or from self-salvation. Hoping for the arrival of superheroes can only be a fantasy. The emergence of Nanhe is precisely to awaken people's awareness of the heroic power of ordinary people. Because of the ordinariness of Nanhe, people can think of the kind strangers around them, even if they have never met, they can firmly fight and protect others.
(Abyssal Concept Art)
Director Tian Xiaopeng said in an interview: "I have been thinking about what a hero is. A superhero who is bound by the Great Saint and has no boundless power; And Nanhe is like an ordinary person who is mercenary, but the heroic complex will burst out at critical moments. ”
With the disenchantment of heroes, the distance between ordinary people and heroes is getting closer and closer, and pulling heroes off the altar can make more heroic legends appear in life.
(Nanhe struggles to throw Betelgeuse)
"The Deep" also borrows Betelgeuse's dream to further deconstruct the familiar hero worship.
After the real clown is swallowed by the waves, Nanhe, who condenses the clown's will and Betelgeuse's imagination, is reborn at the Deep Sea Hotel. As a result, Minamikawa in Betelgeuse's dream has a more contradictory image, retaining the scruffy clothes of a realistic clown, but with powerful magic that splits the sea and an invulnerable starry sky cloak. And all this is after he saved Betelgeuse's life with the flesh and blood of ordinary people, and the child gave him the blessing of omnipotence like a god.
(Nanhe uses tablecloths as cloaks)
From this, we read how heroes are reborn in mythology: only when people do things with divinity will they be put on the altar, never God is saving people, but people are saving people, and the beautiful depiction of human nature shows the splendor of divinity.
After being reborn in mythology, the hero wears down his body, but retains his faith, leading people to regain their determination to fight fate.
The legend of Jingwei's reclamation inspired later generations of idealists to write "I would like to level the East China Sea, and my body and mind will not change"; In Betelgeuse's dream, the clown wanders the sea to encourage Betelgeuse, and the words are also connected into a brilliant and poetic picture in the child's heart:
(South River dancing under the stars)
The nostalgia that the clown can't let go of turns into a hand dance under the South River under the gorgeous starry sky; The clown performs a failed magic trick and turns into the majestic mana of the South River to dispel the red-clothed ghosts.
These images also wrapped Betelgeuse's scarred heart, allowing her to gradually read the Joker's words.
"The world is a little bit brighter, you can chase the future, you can not dwell on the past."
(Image source network)
 Fengbu Jiao. The Dionysian Spirit Between Reality and Dream: A Brief Discussion on the Metaphor in "The Deep Sea"[ER/OL]. [2023-01-23] (2023-0202).https://movie.douban.com/review/14917503/?dt_dapp=1