Somewhere in the movie "Nightmare Alley", Carnival chairman Willem Dafoe tells his new worker: "People are ready. "Give good money to make them feel better." What people find in the cheap and absurd Carnival of Nightmare is a collection of different contradictions. Why should ordinary and God-fearing people seek such morbid pleasures in a carnival full of scary entertainment? Pay the hard-earned money and see a man raising a chicken's head, surrounded by people who are reminded of the latest signs of the importance of humanity. In the early twentieth century, the trauma of the events of that time had created a collective desire among the people to seek meaning, and to be constantly confused on the border between morality and corruption, mysticism and faith. These conscious instinctual desires are seen throughout the movie "Nightmare Alley", in every character who steps on his badman path, these instincts are engaged in battle.
Even the carnival environment itself seems indecisive, it is not clear What is the goal? Put the characters in a direct and precise direction, or encourage them to give in to their darker temptations. In the first scene of the film, we find that the carnival is an opportunity for amazing dancers to perform, "dancers who are an opportunity for your training and enjoyment", showing the very opposite nature of the whole tail and instrument. A great deal of effort is made to portray high-level carnival plays, emphasizing that there is a great deal of intellectual and moral value in these plays, an attempt is made to draw a layer of respect on them. But one can hardly hide the fact that the purpose of all these plays is to provoke the audience, to give them a chance to taste a little of the lusts they have suppressed throughout their hard life.
At Carnival One There is a House of Wonders called the House of Hell, with thousands of eyes watching the spectators, and mirrors and signs that read, "Look at yourself, sinner." One of Cannaval's plays is a talking spider. He warns the audience never to be lustful and arrogant, and he himself became a spider because he disobeyed his parents' orders. Even Hoodley's lectures are like the sermons of a preacher. This proximity between religious passion and misguidance is a profound reflection of perplexed people who are ashamed of their misguidance. Religious iconography of the carnival environment encourages people to punish themselves. It is as if the message is conveyed: "Here you can give opportunity to your most evil curiosities, and then repent."
But the more time we spend at the carnival, the more we become immersed in the world of mysticism. A world in which psychologists and mind-seekers seem to have supernatural powers. It seems that they can gain metamaterial knowledge and even communicate with the dead. However, both Madame Xena (Tony Colt) and Pete (David Strattern) are always careful not to go too far in dealing with such an audience. They seem to know how dangerous it can be for viewers to accept the notion that they have the ability to communicate with the spirit world. When they realize that Stan (Bradley Cooper) is so eager to learn this knowledge, they warn him: "These horror shows are of no use. What hope do they have when they are lying?
Because the real danger comes when these mind readers at least believe in their scams. By resorting to carefully trained powers and a few guesses (out of luck), they come to believe that they really have mental abilities, or at least think they are so good at their job that no one will ever notice their deception. But by pretending to be able to communicate with spirits, they play with the minds of mourning people. At a time when the story of "Nightmare Alley" is taking place, people turned to mysticism who had many difficult experiences in their lives. The first is that there was a world war at that time that had never been seen before. The same war had taken the fathers, husbands, sons and brothers of these people from them. At the same time, a flu pandemic broke out, and the survivors of the catastrophe imagined themselves in an apocalypse, seeing their healthy friends and acquaintances fall to the ground like butterflies. And finally, the Great Depression had arrived, everything seemed gloomy economically, and rumors of another world War were spreading.
The suffering of the people of that time was beyond our imagination, religious beliefs did not give them deep peace of mind as before, so they resorted to magic and astrology. Here again we can see the traces of a fundamental struggle: religious people who, as usual, believed in the concept of the world after death, surrendered. They were tempted by stories about the spirit world and approached them. With the help of a kind minded reader, they reconnect with their lost loved ones. They can talk to them, feel the weight of a soul's hand on their shoulder, and relax with the idea that spirits are always present among living human beings. But with these beliefs, they abandon the traditional Christian values that give identity to their day-to-day activities. Be. At first, the sheriff did not seem very interested in these glamorous shows, calling them immoral, claiming that he was "not a hypocritical southern policeman who kisses the priest on Sundays and spends the rest of the week taking bribes, corruption and other things." "Be." Nevertheless, he also succumbs to Stan's play, desperately interested in finding a kind of occultism amid Stan's clever guesses and insights. Even the other rational characters in "Nightmare Alley" (wealthy businessmen and judges who are supposed to be skeptical of anything in their daily lives) greedily seek answers in Stan's plays. In the face of such a huge loss in life, this a vague source of destiny can be an opportunity to comfort a mother who is mourning her son, or a ruthless man drowning in the pangs of conscience towards the woman he has murdered.
There is a ghostly shadow over the characters in "Nightmare Alley". Thousands of miserable eyes judge them for seeking meaning in such a ruined world. They are constantly seeking spiritual peace to heal their untreated mental damage, and this desperate endeavor develops along a path that is fraught with contradictions. The carnival environment itself is full of strangeness, corruption and apostasy, and the spectators blame themselves for their immoral pleasures. Religious faith and belief in astrology seem to be two elements in the film that go hand in hand and always go up and down, creating a devastating and depressing image of a post-war society that has lost its way.>