Dat Evangelion allusion in the movie: One Hour Photo

12 10 2010


It’s been 7 years or so now, since Neon Genesis Evangelion got referenced in the movie “One Hour Photo”. I only got around to watching it, today, so don’t judge.

Now I read somewhere that Robin Williams is an Evangelion fan (oh, also it says so in wikipedia), and I think that’s awesome, because that would make it so that it’s a cool guy who like a cool series, and that is awesome. But did he SUGGEST adding in this symbolism? There’s a 1 in 3 chance, which is pretty darn good.


As you can see, the one taken in this screen capture (all these screen caps  is of an action figure the EVA 05 thru 08 model. This puts us in a perspective, for those who have seen the Evangelion movie “Death & Rebirth”. After this point may be spoilers because I’ll be contemplating how the EVA 05 action figure might be a microcosm for the character… or rather the motivation of Sy, the photo guy, in the film. So, after the break: SPOILERS.


This is what really got me thinking. HE’S NOT A GOOD GUY, STOP SPREADING MISINFORMATION! Of course the kid does go on about how EVA 05 can fly, and has a “silver sword that he uses to kill bad guys”. WRONG AGAIN!  Heck, the Evangelion 05, 06, 07, 08 could’ve been the good guys, they delivered the final judgment upon men in the form of the third impact.But, don’t forget! the EVA 05, 06, 07, and 08 did some pretty horrible things, like fusing with my waifu, and turning everyone into Tang or LCL or a mixture of both, given that, most people would at least have an initial impression that the mass production EVA models to be the bad guys, but indeed they are truly the protagonists of the series, and the first children (filed under the marduk reports) were the antagonists in respect to the plot.

  • Similarity Abstraction No.1: “He’s got a silver sword that he uses to kill the bad guys”; Sy steals a SavMart knife and uses it to threaten the husband and his suitor.
  • Similarity Abstraction No.2: His actions cause the two to reflect on their actions. Something somewhat divine, taking their sexual relationship to a sick extreme for a brief moment.
  • Similarity Abstraction No.3: The kid really wanted it, the action figure, but later, when Sy offered it to him as a gift, “his parents wouldn’t let [him] have it” was the response.

Therefore, I think the character Sy is microcosmically embodied by the EVA 05 action figure, to a certain degree. If this is true, though, then it would reveal a sort of awesome background motive where Sy tries to live up to this thing that the kid always wanted: the “bad-guy” who the kid sees as a good guy. It’s confusing, this inversion, I’d be more content if the kid had just agreed the the EVA 05 was a bad guy, and I wouldn’t have to see any meaning behind this at all. Once, again it’s the kid wanting the toy and clearly thinking it’s a contextual “good-guy” that spawns the sort of motivation that Sy undertakes in becoming the protagonist.

The biggest refutation that counters the claim, or keeps it from being completely true, is the reliance on using threats. Because in all of technically, Sy didn’t do anything wrong like the EVA had. Maybe it’s all part of Sy’s living up to being that anti-hero figure without actually doing something relentless and heartless like those unmanned killing machines.

But there’s one more thing that I need to abstract from this, in order to call it a success:

Similarity Abstraction No. 4: In the movie, when the angels were hurt they regenerated. But the thing they did was they cannibalized (or rather consume the stuff that they were consisting of) Production Model Eva 02. What did Sy cannibalize? Easy. When he went all psycho and took the photos of the husband and the suitor in the bedroom, later revealing that as a child he was…. something happened, also he had a bad father. It’s like the cycle of abuse, except lessened to a level where Sy could just unleash his pent up (desire to do that sort of stuff) and do it only once and make it for good.

Yep. EVA 05 being in the movie, and the kid not letting go that such a monster is actually a good guy adds a third layer to the film, and even though it works well on some levels, barely in others, it couldn’t carry the weight of a convoluted (meaning-wise) plot that Evangelion had tied on to it. Seeing as  had struggled to connect the various aspects of the nature of Sy and the Nature of EVA 05 as seen by Jake and/or the viewers.



2 responses

15 06 2011

The instant I saw the EVA figure I thought it had some deeper significance for the movie. But I didn’t nearly think it through as much as you. So, nice.

My take on it is that it’s a more general nod to NGE to better outline One Hour Photo’s themes. Both are essentially about people trying and failing to reach out to others. By alluding to NGE, the movie might tell us that it’s trying to deal with similar problems.

16 06 2011

I hate to admit it, but I think I completely overlooked that layer. Both characters, Shinji and Sy were social misfits. In NGE, they referred to Shinji’s problem as the hedgehog’s dilemma, and that applies here to Sy as well.

I didn’t think, “Why was it that Evangelion got referenced”, and went directly to “Why was it that the Action figure was misinterpreted when an expert “Robin Williams” was on the set, and leading.

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