Infinity Pool Mindjob Explained and Dissected. First things first… I have got to place like, one metric butt-ton of content warnings with this particular movie discussion/recommendation. So… WARNING! This movie is not for the faint of heart. Not by a long shot. So, be warned. But, if you like mind jobs, that push the limits? Sort of Thriller/Horror/Body-Horror/Mindjob-Extraordinare types of things? Yeah… Cronenberg crushed it with Infinity Pool. I gotta say, while Cronenberg’s Possessor was OK, and his Antiviral was intoxicating… Infinity Pool takes his standard mindjobness and cranks it all the way to eleven.
Once again, this is a content warning for those of you who love THiNC. movies, but you could do without the horror elements. The blood. The death. Yeah, you know who you are. It’s really okay! You know you like your mindjobs more of the Inception/Primer/The Prestige variety. And man, I love that style of mindjob too. But sometimes? I don’t mind getting my hands a little dirtier. But if that’s not you? Then pass this discussion and this movie by. Alright?
Movie Infinity Pool Mindjob Explained and Dissected
!!!! Content Warning !!!! —- this is your last warning. I’m not going to be pulling any punches in this discussion as this movie doesn’t pull any punches either. But, man, is it worth it. What a ride. I’m already on record over in the THiNC. Discord server that this is going to be the best Mindjob THiNC. Movie of the year. We just left January, and I’m already calling Infinity Pool out as the best THiNC. movie of the year?? What is going on here? Hahahaha. Yeah, it’s that good.
Infinity Pool Movie Walk through
Some people ask me why I walk through the movies I discuss and dissect. It’s a good question. I found early in my discussion of movies that if I jumped straight in, a lot of readers didn’t even grasp the basic fundamentals of a movie. So, leaping from crawling straight to sprinting threw people off, and lost a ton of readers. I’ve even attempted to stop doing these walk-throughs over the years, but time and again I keep hearing that the walk-throughs are many people’s favorite part about the discussion. I can take them or leave them – but sometimes, as I’m reviewing my notes and writing a movie up, big light bulbs go on for me. Sort of a therapeutic grappling with the content. ANYWAY, let’s delve, shall we?
James Foster, and his wife, Em Foster, head to a resort in Li Tolqa… a seaside resort that has a yearly festival that comes just before the monsoon season. It’s clear from the jump that James and Em are a little bit at odds… and that only gets worse when a fan of James’ introduces herself. You see, James is an author – one book, but not exactly accomplished. He’s come to the resort to sort of kick start the engines and get him moving again on his next book. But this fan, Gabi, who absolutely adored his book, invites James and Em to join herself and her husband out at dinner. They have a pleasant enough time at dinner, that they decide to all four drive the coastline together the next day. (To be clear, James is only going because of Gabi’s love for his work.)
Surprisingly, while visiting the beach, James goes to pee behind a bush and Gabi gives him a handjob. James doesn’t dissuade her from her advances. And after spending the day drinking and laying on the beach, the group starts to drive back to the compound. Now, it should be said that the resort visitors were told in explicit terms to not leave the compound. But they did anyway. And on their way back, James, drunk from the revelry on the beach, hits and kills someone crossing the road. Gabi makes it clear that they cannot call the police, so they drive away, and return to the resort as if nothing happened. But, the next day, James is arrested by the local police. And he is told that the penalty for this particular crime is execution at the hands of the eldest firstborn son.
The Justice System of our fictional Li Tolqa
Let’s pause for a moment. First off, Li Tolqa is a fictional tourist destination. But it is based on a million places like it. Not sure if you’ve ever been anywhere like this before, but in developing nations, with amazing beaches, and glorious resorts, sadly… regularly, they become armed compounds that keep the locals out, and the visitors in. The starkest example I’ve personally witnessed was the Royal Decameron Indigo Beach Resort & Spa in Haiti. Wasn’t the most impressive resort I’ve visited, but definitely the starkest difference… with 20 foot walls, barbed wire, and men with shotguns walking the perimeter. Definitely very similar to what we are seeing happening here. Have you been to a resort like this one before? I do know that Cronenberg gave an interview talking about a real resort that gave him this idea:
“I was having memories of this vacation I was on twenty years ago. They bused you into this resort compound in the middle of the night, and then you lived there for a week. There was a kind of weird fake town that you’d go to, but you couldn’t actually leave the compound. And then at the end of the week, they would bus you back to the airport during the day, and you saw that the surrounding area was incredibly poverty stricken, there were people living in shacks. You realized you never actually visited the country. It was like being shipped to embassy grounds for some other tourist nation, or there was some alternate dimension that had popped up that was a weird Disneyland version of the country we’re supposedly in.”
I mean, if he was just making a comment on this one topic, the movie would be worth the ride right here. But this detail (3rd World Disney World) is just a throw away comment really. Any other movie? I’d make a lot of hay from this idea. Regardless, Li Tolqa has a very strict Justice System, especially for the visitors. (Is this similar to the way cops in Kansas ticket people on I70 because they know its just non-Kansans driving through, and they charge CRAZY prices for their tickets as a result. 10 mph over is like $250?) But here’s the interesting glitch in Li Tolqa… if you pay an extra fee, you can have a clone of yourself created, and that clone can stand in on your behalf and be executed.
Propitiation of Sins and Infinity Pool
OK, this one is a gimmee… and if you didn’t see this coming, you are dumber than I thought you were. When James pays to have a clone created, and he and Em watch as this teen takes a knife and repeatedly stabs James2 to death. (Don’t worry, we’ll count the Jameses later, take a deep breath.) Think about it. James1 commits crime, and… as a propitiation for his sin, James2 steps in (unwillingly) on James1‘s behalf. Sure, it’s a money thing… James1, namely Em, pays to have an experience in the Infinity Pool, and voila… a sacrificial lamb is born. (The larger question of which is which will be the bulk of our discussion after the walk-through.) But what is a “propitiation”? You done talk’n in riddles man!
After Em and James1 watch James2‘s execution, Em is thoroughly wigged out. And she wants nothing more than to leave the country and head back to the States. Only problem? James has “lost” his passport. He can’t go anywhere. Never mind the fact that experiencing this “death” has given him new life! He marvels at the power, and the potential of it all.
The Ending of Infinity Pool
James1? meets up with Gabi and her husband Alban again, and they take him to meet with a group of tourists, like themselves, who have all experienced this “rebirth” that James has also encountered. They’ve all had their sins wiped away. And apparently, this group of tourists return to the resort annually in order pillage, carouse, and generally live unfettered lives. Why not murder, rape, pillage, when it is obvious there will never be a consequence? They do whatever they want, and they watch as their doubles are executed on their behalf. One day, the group comes to James, and tell him they are going steal something from someone that has had it out for them all. But when it turns out that the person that James is beating and pissing on is actually James3? He loses it. Gabi was just wanting to have a little bit of fun with James1, but 1 is done. He runs back, grabs his hidden passport, and attempts to make a run for it. After they abduct him, Gabi reveals that she actually thinks he’s a horrible author, and she isn’t a fan. We learn that the book is considered garbage, and he is no writer after all. Gabi and the group were only trying to flip him into becoming a murder/terrorist/tourist like them. He finally finds a moment to run and sprints for it. But as he ran, he was shot in the leg by Gabi.
James makes it to a farm, where a local family attempt to help him recuperate. Soon after, Gabi and crew find him again, and they sick a “dog” – a collared James4 on him. Ultimately, Gabi was telling James1 that in order to transcend, he would need to kill James4. And although, initially, James demurred… when James4 attacked, it was no holds barred… and he ultimately beats his doppelgänger to death. Overwhelmed by it all, mourning? Sad? Depressed? Exultant? I don’t know… but having just killed himself, Gabi consoles him by breastfeeding him. Wait, what? (We’ll delve here in a bit.)
The following day, everyone is heading to the airport in order to return to America, and everyone is gabbing about things they have to do when they get home. Eh? Why? What is happening here? James1 is just obviously floored by it all. He’s obviously really messed up by what has just occurred. Then we cut to the rain – and then the resort… where James has decided to return to the resort. Or has he?
The Ending of Infinity Pool Explained
WAIT! This movie is CRAZY. What just happened. First, let’s talk about that ending. I actually don’t agree with what I just wrote. (Then why did you write it ijit?? I hear you saying… bECAUSe! Everyone else is saying that this is how the movie ends, and it’s INCORRECT.)
Beddooobeeeedoooblooopppp… rewind. So James1? (what’s with the question mark dude? I’ll get to that.) has just murdered James4? (see, you did that annoying thing again) and is heading back home. Others are totally cool with what has just happened, but James1? isn’t. They arrive at the airport and James1 gets on the plane and heads home. At the same time… JAMES5? is sitting back at the resort, and he is watching the rain and awaiting for his chance at revenge. THAT is what happened at the end of the Infinity Pool movie.
So, Um, The Breastfeeding Bit?
Obviously one of the most controversial parts of the movie is Gabi’s breastfeeding of James1? just before the movie’s end. What is that all about? Why? Well, I’m guessing that Cronenberg was saying something specific about James, and his recent transformation. He’s actually stating that James has been reborn into this new amoral world. Or morally transcendent world? Or something. So, Gabi here is saying, he’s a newborn. But a newborn into what? Blood. Gabi is feeding him his own blood even. It’s as if he’s been spiritually reborn. But an immoral rebirth.
What is the Infinity Pool?
That is the big question of this particular movie. And it’s even a question that is acknowledge when we first encounter our first Infinity Pool. James1 is on trial for murdering the native on the road – he goes into the pool, blacks out, and awakens on the other side, with a clone of himself as a result of the encounter. But which one is which? The Infinity Pool cabal even agrees it’s unknowable. Are they the real them? Or is the person being murdered in the arena them? No one knows. But ultimately, regardless of which one is which, the story is 100% about absolution of sins, forgiveness and justice. They have sinned… and they have to pay for their crimes, and in their cloning, they have created a sacrificial lamb that is able to stand in the gap for themselves. So, why do I now demarcate them as James1? or James2?… because we have literally no idea which one is which.
It could be that every single time they are duplicated, the original is murdered. And it could be that this happens every time. It could also be that every single time they are duplicated, the original watches in the stands. Or it could be that it’s 100% random every single time. We just don’t know. More importantly, is the fact that this artificial lamb concept is only emboldening them to sin even more. The substitute creates god-complexes for them all. A willingness, an eagerness, a desire to sin. It’s a passport that exempts them from the entirety of the moral code. They are bigger than God himself.
Personal Thoughts on Infinity Pool
I’ve already stated that I think that Infinity Pool will be the THiNC.’s mindjob movie of the year. Why? Because there is just so much going on here. There is the 1st world abuse of the 3rd world. There are the various religious and moral implications happening throughout. Questions about cloning about which is which. Questions about moral justification through money and economic superiority. It just goes on and on. I’m sure we will have an enormous discussion about the complications of this film over on Discord.
Edited by: CY