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  • Writer's pictureBreanna Crossman

Dream Scenario: Doing Nothing Yet Getting So Much In Return by Danna Taboada

Dream Scenario is a American black comedy fantasy film starring Nicolas Cage, released in November of 2023. The film surrounds an average and boring biology professor named Paul Matthews who always felt unseen by the world. This all changes when suddenly, everyone around Him, from his children to his students, start to see him in his dreams. With this, Paul becomes an overnight sensation as news outlets interview him and strangers begin to take pictures of him. Paul can’t help but enjoy all this fame, allowing his students to go into depth of their dreams and analyze the role he played in them. It’s only then when Paul realizes that in all of these dreams, he does nothing. He stands and watches which frustrates him gravely. Unfortunately, these dreams take a dark turn as Paul becomes violent. This results in his downfall in the real world. Everyone begins to see him as a villain, despite Paul never actually committing these crimes. 

Paul is seen as a criminal, a person not to be trusted. By the end, Paul does resort to violence, has his wife leave him after their relationship is permanently strained, and is forced to live on his own.

This movie makes you feel bad for Paul as he begins to lose everything he’s ever had all because

he had a taste of fame. Paul begins to switch his focus on his popularity and uses it to his advantage to publish a book he’s been always wanting to finish but hasn’t even started. He cheats on his wife, Janet while he visits a public relations firm, immediately feeling guilt and humiliation. He lets his wife’s career become affected after his negative reputation comes to light, refusing to make a public apology. He becomes too focused on himself and loses sense of what truly matters: his ordinary, boring life with his two young daughters and his loving wife. 

But of course, by the end of the film, Paul realizes that. So, through this new piece of technology centered around dream travel, Paul does what he can to visit Janet in her dreams. It appears it has worked! Paul visits Janet in a dream that Janet herself described to Paul when he had asked her what she would’ve liked to dream about if he was included in it. The two are reunited after so long and all Paul wants to do is remain there with her. He doesn’t want to let go and even states himself that he wishes this were real. He no longer cares about fame or popularity. He doesn’t care about his book or his studies as a professor. All he cares about is family. Unfortunately, the movie ends there and while most hope Paul will begin to take action to repair his relationship with his wife, it’s probable that he won’t. 

Throughout the film, it’s clear that Paul wants to publish a book surrounding his studies. For some reason, he never does. Then, when the whole world starts dreaming about him, he sees this as motivation as he speaks to the firm that would like to partner with him. It’s only when they agree to publish his book that Paul realizes he actually has to start writing it. The book isn’t just going to write itself. It's moments like these that help the reader realize how reluctant Paul is to accomplish things. Whether it’s writing the book, helping his wife out with her damaged career, or even installing a security system in their house after some mentally-ill stranger broke in. The dreams symbolize this as well. As most people tell him, Paul literally is doing nothing in these dreams. He doesn’t help out in any way, shape, or form. He just stands and stares. Paul didn’t do anything to achieve his fame. It was just given to him. 

With that being said, Dream Scenario, directed by Kristoffer Borgli, is a commentary on many things, one of those being the people who wish to accomplish great things but fail to put in any effort. It’s the people who do actually gain overnight fame from just existing. It’s the people who say what they will do but will never actually do it. 

“What is a man If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed?”

- Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Danna Taboada (she/her) is a sixteen-year-old writer from New York. She loves listening to music of any genre, dancing, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and writing. She plans on majoring in Creative Writing in the future.

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