Oblivion (2013) – An Abstraction

Spoiler alert : If you haven’t watched Tom Cruise’s Oblivion yet, stop now. This post talks about the storyline of the movie.

At a very high level, Oblivion depicts use of mind control to dominate human beings by its own. The controlling entity is an alien life form and it wants to use Earth’s natural resources to generate power.To mine the resources, heavy machinery has been deployed which are guarded by armed drones. The drones protect the heavy machinery against scavengers and are controlled by a geostationary mother ship.

The drones need occasional repair and battery replacement and that’s done by a human team. A man and a woman.The man and woman are paired together as a team and the Alien intelligence has wiped their memories and reprogrammed them to receive orders from the mother ship. The communication channel is via the recorded voice and image of a NASA mission control executive named Susan. The alien uses Susan’s voice and images to relay orders to the human team.

Everything is fine until the man discovers that the scavengers  – who attack the drones at night – are in fact, human beings! He is shocked. His mind starts questioning the Susan’s orders and the purpose of the war.


My question is this – isn’t Oblivion an abstraction of what’s going on in the world right now?Replace the characters in the movie as follows:

Man / Drone mechanic  – Military Leadership

Woman – Political Leadership

Alien Intelligence (Susan) – Corporations that have vested interests in another nation’s natural resources

Mind Control – Use of Mass Media to force feed stereotypes and world views

Scavengers (Scavs.) – Residents of the targeted nation

I guess this is one way of interpreting Oblivion.I’m not sure if such an abstraction was intended or not. But it is a sad reality that humans are fighting humans. I wish we stop this nonsense and use our times for living in harmony with mother nature.

I know this sounds very idealistic and naive, but what’s the harm in dreaming? My dreams could become a future generation’s reality.


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