When we are allowed to live out our fantasies without consequences, they eventually blur the realities of our real lives. HBO’s Westworld merges the innovation of virtual reality with the classic western. Westworld is your a typical futuristic amusement park that allows visitors to explore their every fantasy in a western world through robot host. However, as time progresses these artificial robots develop an incipient consciousness, altering the dynamics of a reality that humans seek to have sole control over.
Boasting a star cast of Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, and Sir Anthony Hopkins, the sheer star power of Westworld is enough to capture audiences. Nevertheless, the show is supported by an intense, action gripping script, disturbing concept, and excellent writing. The most grappling aspect of the entire show is how it seamlessly merges the classical western narratives with futuristic robots that result from a dystopian corporate structure. Westworld also highlights the abuse of power that humans experience when they are given too much of it. The mannerism, exploitation and constant rewiring of the robots are somewhat metaphoric to the hypothetical limits that civilization will come to when given the opportunity.
Many may look at Westworld and think that it is a future that is not their concern. Contrary to popular belief, the virtual reality market is expanding at an exponential rate, and our addictions to mobile devices are playing a key role. Even apps like Tinder are providing a virtual dating experience to enhance the accessibility of their services. North America is leading the way by taking just less than a quarter of the $403 million in revenue in 2016. The market is expected to grow to $1 billion in 2017, shifting to Asia as the primary market with 45% of the revenue. According to research from SuperData, the truly astonishing phenomenon that is virtual reality will grow 20 folds from 2016 to 2020 and become a $38 billion dollar industry. It leaves one questioning, are we going to solve the problems that will plague us in the future or will we just create a reality that allows us to escape it?
Weighing in on Westworld: 5 Reasons Why it’s Worth the Binge
If you’re looking for a few days of staying in during this holiday weekend, the HBO hit is the ideal companion.
1. Visions or Video Games
The show depicts a reality where reality and the video game world merge into a disturbing reality. It’s quite difficult to draw the lines between the fantasy park and just how much of the world it has taken over.
2. Heinous Human
A vast majority of shows depict a future reality in which robots take over and destroy all that is left of peace. Westworld flips this concept and illustrates the power of man when he is left to his own devices without any thought of the consequences.
3. Attention to Aesthetics
Though the show is set in vastly different worlds; the cinematographers have managed to capture both with meticulous detail. The virtual reality amusement park is nothing of a trip to the old south while behind the scenes, it is a mechanical concrete fortress.
4. Plots and Possibilities
When repercussions are non-existent the story lines are endless. While viewers feel a sense of remorse for the robots, one also has to understand that their realities change everyday, leaving each character’s future in uncertainty.
5. Maestro Makings
Ramin Djawadi, who also works on the score for Game of Thrones, composes the musical score for the show. Ramin flawlessly takes contemporary songs and arranges them in the tradition of the Western style piano. This not only enhances the Western theme, it subtly reminds viewers of the modern setting.