The little boy in me had a great time. The film, Tron, is receiving poor reviews overall, except for the technical finesse it exhibits. Probably because the story is simple and a bit predictable, “sophisticated” movie goers aren’t wowed. Too bad. It’s a good story for this member of its audience due to its simplicity. There can be no doubt the movie is first and foremost an exercise in graphics, which are stunning by the way. (Then again, maybe I don’t get out much. ) It is 3-D with a twist--once inside the digital world, the 3-D kicks on. Reminiscent of color in another film once the audience leaps the rainbow.
However, it is also a straight-up, modern morality play. Good is portrayed honestly as against evil … and good wins out! In this age of the anti-hero and a dark fatalism about humanity in most films, Tron is a welcome break.
It also is revelatory about evil, but not in the way most would qualify evil. In the opening scene the protagonist’s father played by Jeff Bridges states, “…all information should be free and open.” The character, Kevin Flynn, is stating his values on social order expressed in the digital age, and the writers of the film are undoubtedly working to establish a theme for the film that will resonate with today’s audience.
However, the value itself is the Big Lie about Truth veiled behind an accepted social reality. While freedom of speech is an important safeguard against demagogues and political villains, the embracing of all knowledge both good and evil is nothing but death for humans. Good mixed with evil is the greatest evil of this world. This mixture (and herein is the problem with both Western thought and Eastern Mysticism) of good and evil, of light and dark, is simply a product of man’s natural condition. We cannot escape our own selfishness, and thus must somehow understand and describe in our literary and artistic expression the flawed human who still effects good in life.
This self-acceptance is both a function and the fuel of fatalism in our day. We accept the bad as the natural state of man. This is a correct evaluation of our condition, perhaps, but embracing philosophic acceptance of our “bad” characteristics is an evil that opposes true life.
For the spiritually minded Christian, we have had to learn that life is good only as it flows from the light, Jesus Christ.
I hope your next year will be a blessed year of revelation in Jesus as the Light of the World.