In 1958, a weird movie, named The Fly, was introduced by Kurt Neumann about a crazy experience, which led to a mad physical transformation, involving fly characteristics. Twenty-eight years later, David Cronenberg, of whom I am a fervent fan, decided to remake the insectophilic film of the latest 50’s, and adapt it to trendy genre of the middle 80’s, where sic-fi rose.
What I really appreciate in most of Cronenberg’s work, is his obsession with science, surgery, wounds, physical transformations, etc. He has this incredible, ability, to fluently turn something repulsive, disturbing, or even grotesque, into a pure form of art. And in The Fly, he once again succeeded in doing that.
Jeff Goldblum is embodying a scientist, Seth Brundle, who, seduced by a young journalist, Veronica Quaife (an interesting Geena Davis), decided to share with her, regardless of her job, his last inventions. Innovatives, future-changing machines allowing teleportation. He called them Telepods, and you could teleport an object from one telepod to the other. However, he had to improve them, to be able to pass the next level, and teleport flesh.
Is this all about a science-fiction, fantastic, gore movie, caricaturing the first progressive work in that genre? No, it is astonishingly about love. Seth and Veronica, finally came into having a relationship, and he allowed her to follow him into his work, and taking notes of all the discoveries and improvements he made on the telepods. Until, that very day, when, drunk, he decided to teleport himself, neglecting a little tiny flying detail. See, the telepods, can only teleport one body, or one object, not two, because it would trigger a fusion and not a teleportation of the two. And unfortunately for Seth, a fly entered his telepod, thus they merged, and little by little, he began to develop creepy, outstanding skills and physical transformations. Indeed, he obtained flies characteristics, such as walking on the walls, or sugar addiction. And this transformation, began to affect his relationship with Veronica.
As he continued to be more and more excited about his invention, and really become obsessed about his work, believing it has made him a new man, more energetic, he became wanting to teleport other people, and among them, Veronica. This one started to worry, but, this is also where, a surprising human sprinkle was added to the frame. Indeed, even though she was getting more and more scarred about this men, turning into God knows what, she also had less and less strength to leave him to this terrible fate, and the love she was bearing, never diminished. Yes, she got confused, and was wrapped into a strong despair not knowing what to do, and assisting to the awful transformation her lover was going through, but she never stopped loving him. And he neither, even though his love has turned into the need to merge also with her, as she turned to be carrying his baby. He wanted to created this ultimate stage where a family becomes one entity.
And that was the problem; the insect was taking over the man. Therefore you understand that the story is about how strong a relationship can be, and to how far a couple can go. And the fantastic aspect of the movie, could have been, Seth falling into drugs, alcoholism, or madness. Its a large issue, but held in the movie using a specific, unique and fictional case. And the film made me cry.
Cronenberg with his poignant and brilliant cast, gave birth to a masterly handled remake, captivating, and as disturbingly monstrous as human. Is science leading us to a dystopian transformation of our relationships and daily lives in general? Almost twenty-eight years later now, we could answer yes, but this could still be a relatively modern movie dealing with pretty much the same issues of robotization, including the rise of technology and research. And it is indisputable, that our relationships have changed because of technology, and we are all addicted to it, to our cellphones, computers, tablets, everything allowing us to connect ourselves to the internet, to merge with it, and parties can now be spent with everybody on their smartphones.