I watched a film last night; 'Eye in the Sky' and it portrays a 'Drone Strike' operation against an Islamic terrorist operation perpetrated by Al-Shabaab in East Africa (the monsters are definitely real in this one).
The movie is well played, starring Alan Rickman (in his last role, RIP) and Helen Mirren and I found it to be a compelling viewing experience; a perplexing experience that ruined my night’s sleep and that has occupied my mind since I watched it.
It deals with the political and moral issues of the operation, portrayed through the men, women and children on the ground, the military command and their political counterparts and not least of all, the finger on the trigger, the drone pilot/operators.
Powerful stuff and no punches are pulled. Good versus Evil; but where one man's good is another man's evil and vice versa. A story of these times, a secret war where humanitarian conflict is at its most powerful and gritty.
(The following is a completely subjective opinion). I cannot tell you how refreshing it is find a movie that portrays a huge drama within the ‘reality’ genre. There a so many latex swamp monster, zombie, vampire, werewolf, supernatural and ‘CGI’ superhero, superhero V superhero, Kid Wizard, alien, AI/Robot, time travel and world-disaster novels/movies that I think I‘m burnt out on the fantastical ridiculous anti-reality genres.
I’ve heard the ‘nothing new under the sun’ adage trooped out many a time, and it is true that there reckoned to be only seven basic plots within which are stories crafted:
Overcoming the Monster
Rags to Riches
Voyage and Return
However, I happen to think that this is a load of old bollocks.
Yes, some stories will fit squarely into these categories, but many have to be either shoe-horned in or judged upon a technicality.
To be honest I feel that if you subscribe to the seven original plots theory, then you could go even higher and say there is only one original plot, and that is ‘human consciousness’.
I mean, Alice in Wonderland is said to be a ‘Voyage and Return’ plot, but written by Dodgson in 1865, the Victorians had never encountered its like. So far and away from the average fare of the day that ‘Voyage and Return’ is such a high level convenience that you might as well liken it to a new genre called ‘talking rabbit.’ Defoe’s Robison Crusoe in 1719 was a ‘Voyage and Return’ plot (can it possibly be three hundred years old?), but I’d argue that it forged a new plot, ‘the Castaway’.
In 1999 ‘The Matrix’ blew people’s minds. Okay, the dystopian future/parallel existence story might be a setting rather than a plot and I guess that the Matrix fits (at a stretch) into the ‘Overcoming the Monster,’ plot (if the Monster can be contrived into a race of super-beings). Maybe it is a Voyage and return plot? Perhaps it could be argued that is a ‘Quest?’ One or two might venture to suggest that it is actually a tragic comedy. The truth is that was a ground-breaking story that was highly original in its time.
Anyway, what I’ve been meaning to say since the outset is; given a consensus that “There is no original plot.” And “that Hollywood has used up all the original plots”, (by Hollywood I assumed that the general term ‘authors’ is also implied); is that if anyone has watched, or watches the movie ‘Eye in the Sky’, would they please explain which of the seven plots (that cover every story ever written), it fits into?