Follying around

The most BURNING QUESTIONS in movies & series vol. 1

What burning questions can you ask yourself after a screening of famous films?

Rafał Donica

5 February 2023

burning questions

Various stretched, ridiculous and unrealistic things I’ve seen in movies, but they could always be tolerated thanks to suspension of disbelief or turning a blind eye so that you could hardly see anything anymore. However, there is a certain group of film facts unexplained, passed over in silence, covered up with an editing cut, leaving the viewer with an annoying question mark painted on his forehead. Facts for which the filmmakers found no logical explanation, and which the plot had to include in order to push the action forward without abandoning the direction taken in the script. The screenwriters and directors preferred to pretend that there was no issue, keep watching the film and don’t pursue the subject. Simply this and that happened, maybe by a miracle or maybe deus ex machina….

„Avatar: The Way of Water” (2022), dir. James Cameron

avatar istota wody

What was behind Jake Sully’s unexpected decision to leave his countrymen for dead? After all, back at the beginning of Avatar: The Way of Water, he was a hero with balls in his seat and was at the head of the Navi guerrillas regularly harassing the armed arm of the humans. And suddenly, when it turned out that these bad guys can find his hideout through the kidnapped Spider, our blue protagonist decides… just like that, to leave his tribe, that supposedly for their safety (that’s how he explains it to himself) and hastily move away, although let’s be honest that he simply fucked up… i.e. gave a scratch from the battlefield as soon as it got hot under his ass. Let’s assume that Spider betrayed to Quaritch the address of the encampment, which was, after all, very possible, in which case the soldiers would have massacred the entire village, looking for Jake, which somehow Jake did not worry at all, and even forgot about the existence of his tribe and flew carelessly with his family to the sea for an all-inclusive vacation. Meanwhile, no logical arguments supported the idea that his escape would in any way ensure the safety of the tribe left without a leader.

„The Menu” (2022), dir. Mark Mylod

menu anya taylor-joy nicholas hoult ralph fiennes

For half the movie, the character played by Anya Taylor-Joy is told that she shouldn’t have been among the guests invited to the dinner, that she didn’t fit into the puzzle, that she messed up the restaurateur’s detailed plan, and so on. So how come the girl, who found herself on the island by COMPLETE ACCIDENT, turned out to be… closely related to one of the guests? Question two: by what miracle did all (!) employees of the Slovik’s restaurant, as one in full attendance, participate in his extended, and quite extensively, suicide? I can understand sharing someone’s bitterness about the order of the world (that dishes are no longer enjoyed by anyone, but simply eaten), but to condone in the name of someone’s idea, and so insignificant, a martyr’s death? Time for question three: why did Chef Slovik tell the secret of the dinner, that everyone DIED, to the guy (Nicholas Hoult) whom he neither knew well nor liked? Why did he do it, and how could he be sure that this annoying youngster wouldn’t betray his plan, warn the other guests, etc.? And finally, the fourth question: why did no one, absolutely no one, from the restaurant’s staff or the guests who were set on fire let out even a tiny scream of pain, but everyone burned politely in silence, like some kind of… marshmallow?

„Mine” (2016), dir. Fabio Guaglione & Fabio Resinaro

mina armie hammer

So I thought to myself in the middle of the screening that probably our main character was not standing those several dozen hours on a mine at all, but on something he thought was a mine. And in fact in the finale it turned out that it was… a simple metal can, which was placed in the place of mines by the girl from the protagonist’s vision, disarming minefields in the desert with her father. Cool twist in the finale, no small surprise and huge catharsis with simultaneous facepalm for the main character. And it’s all cool, just WHY did that “click” so characteristic of a real mine emit when stepping on that can? Let me remind you that our hero only stepped on a tin can buried in the sand by a child. And then there’s that hat of our protagonist’s companion: why instead of “borrowing” a hat from a tragically deceased colleague… Armie Hammer covers the face of the deceased with it? Because it is better in the middle of the desert, where the SUN BURNS IN THE FACE, to get rid of the headgear, and expose one’s head in full view to the scorching rays? This question, however… has the answer, but only for photo/video people, so to speak, since Armie Hammer’s face with the hat on his head would have remained… obscured by half-shadow throughout the film, and such a visual impediment the filmmakers could not afford.

„Andor” season 1 / episode 4 (2022)


How did it go? A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… they had a Soviet AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle out of the blue, firing for inconspicuousness… a laser beam. From where, how, why, why such a blunder? Millions were spent on scenery, vehicles, clothing; all to make the reality of Star Wars different on every level from our own, earthly one. Yes, there have been instances in the history of the franchise of actually existing firearms, such as the heavily tuned Mauser C96 (a gun from 1897!) used by Han Solo, converted, however, quite heavily into a … Star Wars weapon. But never before have the creators been so keen to save on costs as to put in the hands of the hero a weapon so familiar to us Earthlings, without major modifications, making it easily recognizable at first glance even to the layman.

„Fresh” (2022), dir. Mimi Cave


This unassuming film about dating a handsome stranger met at the vegetable department deserves far more attention than it has received from viewers. For Fresh holds suspense, sprinkles surprises, has nice acting and also has a unique atmosphere created largely thanks to the cinematography of Polish-born Canadian cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski. But we were not here to talk about praise, but about unanswered questions. And such an “enigma” in the film Fresh remains for me the character of the grown henchman/co-worker of the antagonists, who, together with a woman, arrives in the film’s finale to the relief of our villain, after which… he literally dissolves into thin air. And although I waited until the closing credits, when else would he attack our main characters, after all, he became the only surviving bad guy; he neither attacked nor appeared in the frame, and the filmmakers in no way explained the sudden disappearance of his character. Perhaps the actor just happened to run out of contract at that moment?

„Avatar” (2009), dir. James Cameron


Jake ventures into the forests of Pandora as an uninspired, newly born Avatar without a shred of knowledge of the flora and fauna around him. This can be easily recognized by his complete confusion as to what to do in the face of the threat of attack by one animal or another (at the time, he was advised from the sidelines by Dr. Grace). Why, then, when night falls, does Jake wrap the rod with a rag, soak it in some liquid he met in the woods and set the whole thing ablaze like a torch with a sense of the obvious? How did Jake know with such certainty that this substance would ignite so vividly and, indeed, at all? Secondly, where in the forest of Pandora, so created as ECO, came from… I don’t know: gasoline / fuel oil / solvent, in other words, to put it simply – a flammable substance?

„Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021), dir. Adam Wingard

godzilla vs kong

The first team’s attempt to travel to the Earth’s interior paid with their lives through “reverse gravity,” which killed them during their descent. So special vehicles called HEAVs were constructed, inside which the human body has a chance to survive the clash with reversed gravity. I’m already leaving aside the fact that the character played by Alexander Skarsgård sits at its helm and without any training can fly it perfectly, while I’m puzzled by how he can be sure that King Kong – after all, also a living organism – can cope with going inside the Earth and reversing gravity. Let me remind you that supposedly the heroes are troubled about the fate of the great ape, but Alexander Skarsgård reassures them with these words: “He’ll be fine, I’d worry more about us.” And one more unanswered question: what also shines so beautifully in that INSIDE the Earth, that such everything is bright as in the sunshine at high noon?

Rafał Donica

Rafał Donica

Since watching "Blade Runner", he has been passionate about cinema, loves "Akira", "Drive", "Escape from New York", "North by Northwest", the underrated "The Hateful Eight" and "Terrifier 2". Author of the book "Frankenstein 100 years in cinema". Founder and editor-in-chief (in the years 1999 - 2012) of the Polish film portal FILM.ORG.PL. Since 2016, a professional reportage photographer.

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