There are few things more bleak and depressing than the utterly meaningless nature of the Sartrean Universe. Named for Jean-Paul Sartre, probably the world’s worst dinner guest, the Sartrean Universe in one in which there is no rhyme or reason for suffering, joy, or indeed for life itself. According to some totally random (and therefore completely reliable) website, Sartre’s theory of the universe is:
There is no ultimate meaning or purpose inherent in human life; in this sense life is ‘absurd’. We are ‘forlorn’, ‘abandoned’ in the world to look after ourselves completely. Sartre insists that the only foundation for values is human freedom, and that there can be no external or objective justification for the values anyone chooses to adopt.
Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the movie Frozen. In fact, Frozen is the very embodiment of the existential nothingness found in a Sartrean Universe. First off is this country of Arendelle. I mean, where the hell is Arendelle anyway? We can assume, based on the names and such, that it’s probably in Norway (because the rest of us pronounce Anna to rhyme with banana without the ban) but the last time I checked, Arendelle was totally fictional–I mean, it’s not even a real place–which is totally emblematic of the nothingness Sartre proclaims. Elsa’s cryogentic powers are completely absurd, because seriously, the power to turn things to ice? What is this, Pixar’s The Incredibles? Naturally Elsa’s powers are completely out of control, and while she isolates herself to keep this from the rest of the population, it makes no difference. The hopes of the townspeople are raised entirely when they open the gates for Elsa’s coronation, but that just reveals Elsa’s power, and she completely abandons her queendom, leaving them to freeze to death in the barren wasteland she herself created. She builds a castle, but even that is totally futile, in the scene where Anna confronts her and tells her that Arendelle is, you know, desolate and frozen now thankyouverymuch, and Elsa chides herself for being a fool, ever thinking that she could be truly free. Well, the fact is, none of us are truly free. Kristoff’s trade in ice is rendered completely moot. Hans, when he’s playing the good guy, gives out blankets and uses up the royal family’s coffers in doing so. Anna, out of some misguided thought that her sister can fix the situation, refusing to see the existential nothingness the entire scenario provides, is practically mortally hurt. And a main character is a talking snowman. A talking snowman? Talk about absurd. There is nothing that proves a meaning of life in Frozen. Sure, Elsa unfreezes everything in the almost-end, but what’s the deal with turning the castle courtyard into an ice skating rink? Sure, fun for a moment, but with Elsa at the helm, there’s no hope for anything but winter and misery for the population of Arendelle. Rarely have I left a movie more despairing of the future of the (animated) human race and the utterly meaningless of their existence, which I couldn’t help but interpret as my own absurd life. What’s the point, really? The climate is going to change and we’re all going to die and then the credits will roll, with a perverse rock version of Let It Go. There’s no point in seeing this movie, but to be fair, there’s no point to life itself. Have a nice day.