Yesterday, I went to the movie theatre with my girlfriend to see Les Miserables. It was her choice, but I wasn't adverse to seeing the film. I don't like musicals and I tend not to even like movies very much, but I do love stories and I will never turn down giving a medium a chance. I tend to hate musicals and movies because, in my opinion they tend to do a terrible job at what it is that they set out to do.
It suprised me a great deal that, within the first five minutes of the film opening, I was completely hooked. I was immediately drawn to the characters immediate struggles against the realities of life. Every characters plight was believable and relatable and their pain and anguish seemed real rather than manufactured. Even when the third act started to get boring as the plot slowed to a crawl, I was still more emotionally involved in the film than I have been in anything for a very, very long time.
When we were leaving the theatre, my girlfriend asked me what I thought. I told her that I thought it was fantastic and that, honestly, it reminded me of Final Fantasy. She had no idea what I was talking about, only knowing Final Fantasy to be some video game, but I was saying it more to myself than to her anyways. I made the same comment to my brother when I called him, afterwards, to discuss the film as we usually do, and he immediately knew exactly what I was talking about.
The thing is, it certainly doesn't 'remind me of any recent Final Fantasy games, which have all be as close to garbage as a high budget game is allowed to get. But, it reminded me of the best final fantasy games of days gone by. or maybe even less of what Final Fantasy IS and more of what I've always thought Final Fantasy was trying to be.
Beautiful music. Young people making desperate decisions as fate closes in around them. Passionate love stories. Freedom fighters swept up in a revolution. Examining the nature of religion and one's purpose in the world.
I'm not sure what, exactly, I want to discuss, but I can't get the thought out of my head as my mind has been chewing on Les Miserables for 2 days, now.
Do you feel like Final Fantasy has ever achieved what it sets out to do? Can it ever achieve the level of something like Les Miserables if you find the film/musical/book as inspired and moving as I did? What's holding Final Fantasy back from being that?
I think part of what holds FF back, for me, is it's constant desire to be "cool", in it's modern incarnations. From characters overly made-up hair styles, to characters who wear clothing that is completely non-functional/impossible, the games comes across as extremely pretentious and concerned with artifice. It becomes almost impossible to take the characters seriously.
On another subject for discussion, I think it's interesting how much Square used to look to the theatre for influence when it came to FInal Fantasy vs. the new games looking to movies, seemingly, for much of their cues. I thoroughly enjoyed the old choreography and blocking that characters used to do to convey information taht the graphics simply weren't sophisticated enough to portray. Similarly, it was great to see the heroes and villains do monologues befitting Shakespeare to convey the emotions they were feeling.
Where would you like to see Final Fantasy go in the future? Do you like it how it is? What do you think it would take to fix it if you don't?