Sunday, March 16, 2014

What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come is a beautifully depressing film about how far one man will go to save his soulmate from hell. This film has a lot of parallels to Dante's Inferno such as the mere existents of hell. Before Dante wrote the Divine Comedy people knew that there was this magical place that you when if you were evil but no one really knew what it would look like. Then Dante came along and made the lovely burn-fire-for-eternity-surrounded-by-nothing-but-darkness hell that we know and fear today. Another similarity between Inferno and What Dreams May Come was that suicides go to hell. The church considered committing suicide a sin but didn't nessairy believe that people who committed suicide when to hell. Yet Dante, who thought everyone was going in was in hell, thought that suicides belong in hell. Even though his character in Inferno feels bad that they are in hell and doesn't think that they deserve it. Apparently Dante's character in the Divine Comedy is a lot more compassionate than Dante himself. But since What Dreams May Come was partially based off of Inferno the soulmate, Annie, ended up in hell.

In What Dreams May Come the husband, Chris, must go through the gates of hell to get his wife, Annie. When he gets to the gates of hell he see a group go people waving blank flags. This is limbo in Dante's Inferno, limbo is the first section in hell. Yet in Inferno it is after you pass through the gates of hell not before. The hell in What Dreams May Come is also quite different than hell in Inferno because in Dante's hell everyone get the same punishment for the same sin. But in the hell in the film, Annie creates her own punishment. In Inferno all the people who committed suicide are turned into trees and ripped apart by harpies day in and day out. In What Dreams May Come Annie (who committed suicide) is in this dark, depressing house, all alone, being sad. Back to similarities, when Chris is at the gates of hell his guide, Ian who is pretending to be Albert, points out a boat that guards the gate. The boat is named Cerberus who is the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell in Dante's Inferno and in Greek mythology. Therefore parts of What Dreams May Come was based on Dante's Inferno.