Common themes in movies- Harry Potter, Titanic, The Matrix
The secret of a good story is that it should satisfy the conditions that have been programmed into all of us. Those that match become best sellers or box office hits.
This is a sequel to my Cinderella-Titanic hub and let's hope that at least this time, sequels do better than the original.
For reference, let me use Alice in Wonderland, which is older than all these stories. If you haven’t read the Cinderella hub, it’s a good idea to do that first, lest you don’t understand some of my terms.
REASON TO LEAVE HOME:
Alice is bored, and wants adventure. She sees a white rabbit.
The Matrix: Neo doesn’t look too happy, either, and he’s asked to follow the ‘white rabbit.’
Harry Potter has a miserable life at home, being bullied by all there. He gets mail.
Jack in ‘The Titanic’ wants adventure and wins the ticket in a poker game.
MESSAGE, TICKET OR MESSENGER:
The White Rabbit shows Alice the way to Wonderland, intentionally or not.
Trinity is the messenger who meets Neo at the party.
The letter is Harry’s ticket to Hogwarts, and Hagrid is the messenger.
The ticket for passage is the ticket in Titanic, obviously.
CORRIDOR, TUNNEL OR BRIDGE
Alice falls down the hole.
Neo takes the pill and falls down a drain, very similar to Alice’s hole.
Harry does a lot of these things for every entrance into the WORLD OF ADVENTURE. The secret entrance to Diagon Alley, the invisible platform to the Hogwarts Express, the trip down the tunnels at Gringotts…
Jack walks the gangplank or whatever it’s called.
MEET THE GURU / FAIRY GODMOTHER
Well, Alice gets to meet some gurus, though in modern stories we only have one. She is given tips and lessons by the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat, for instance.
Neo has Morpheus.
Harry has Hagrid and Dumbledore.
Jack gets Margaret "Molly" Brown who helps him with his costume, just as Hagrid helps Harry prepare for Hogwarts. If you look at Rose’s story, Jack is her guru and the WORLD OF ADVENTURE is the world of true love. To enter his world, she has to loosen up, and to enter hers, he has to get into tight, formal dress.
IN-BETWEEN SPACE / MEET THE GANG
At this stage, we get a sampling of the world of adventure and meet many of the inahabitants. A lot of points raised at this…well, point, will have bearing later. The reader of the book or the watcher of the film, who is you, could be dazzled by a parade of samples. Alice gets introduced to a succession of characters, and does a bit of eating and drinking.
Neo meets the gang, is IV fed.
Harry meets a lot of weird characters, just like Alice. He gets a cake, like Alice, and eats magical food in the train. He also meets Ron and Hermione, COMPANIONS in adventure.
Jack gets invited to dinner.
Usually, at this stage in the story, intros happen at a ‘food’ joint. In Westerns, the hero goes to a saloon; in scifi movies, it’s some futuristic bar or restaurant. Remember, how in Starwars, Luke goes to the Cantina and gets to meet Han Solo?
By this time, the hero has collected info about the bad guy and is introduced to the PRIZE. Alice learns from many sources about the Queen of Hearts.
Neo learns about the Matrix and meets the agents.
Harry learns about Voldemort.
Jack confronts Caledon Hockley.
Realizing that she need not be afraid of a pack of cards is Alice's prize.
Realization of his powers over the matrix is Neo’s prize.
The Philosopher’s Stone that Harry pockets.
The Heart of the Ocean, which stands for eternity and love.
There are many, many more things in common, but I shall stop here. Don’t want my audience walking out of my hub. Thank you for your patience.