Okay let’s admit it. We might’ve gone a bit overboard with the celebration on Leo’s oscar win like ‘Found the cancer cure’ party. My twitter feed is replete with people planning to throw Leo-themed parties to movie marathons to wearing Leo D. cutout masks disposing their last few shreds of dignity. And well some are just going with the flow like the people who celebrated the discovery of the existence of gravitation waves because “They totally get it! Okay?”.
The fact is the Leo Oscar win is what could be considered a case study in storytelling. Even without a constructed plot or even without a narration as such (although I always see everyones lives being narrated by Morgan Freeman) it still holds. By the looks of it we’ve got most of the elements in place required to come up with a strong plot line:
- The strong protagonist: Leo as the persistent, focussed, congenital smile charmer and his journey.
- The Antagonist: The faceless Academy judges who have so far been shooting tut-tuts of disapproval like a disappointed asian parent.
- The Laydeez: The 9000 women who’ve “supported” him on this journey so far.
- The Best Friend: Kate Winslet standing on the sidelines biting her nails like a soccer mom anxious to see her son score a goal.
- The Timeline: More than two decades since ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ got him a nomination, so basically the childhood to adulthood for most of the readers of this blog.
But then why would there still be this amount of vicarious joy just in the case of Leonardo DiCaprio, when there are so many struggle stories from various people getting late recognition. I mean hell…Ennio Morricone got his first oscar the same night after 500 movie credits and 6 nominations at the age of 87.
Well what seems like the biggest factor in this story, that is The Oscars, isn’t exactly as important. It’s arguable that even after winning all the other awards in the same year such as the SAG, BAFTA etc it didn’t amount to as much as The Academy Award. The Oscar was only a metaphorical chocolate cake kept as a reward for the massive weight loss you aimed for. The Oscar was set as a finishing line not because people worship the celebrities who went home with a tiny gold guy. In fact The Oscar was just a marked line for Leo to cross to reinstate faith in himself (and the people in turn).
Well then how did winning the oscar become the ultimate purpose of his career so far?
By the endless memes, of course. This is the interesting part. The influence of memes that has the capacity to shape a global perception. And so in order to simplify the story line in the same vein as the internet, the meme-iverse decided to condense the plot into ‘Leo can never get an oscar?’. And that’s the basic foundation of the most common plot line.
‘Will character X get to the goal Y?’
Like ‘Will Frodo make it to Mount Doom?’, ‘Will Andy Dufresne get out of this shit tunnel?’, ‘Will the Dark Knight ever buy a lozenge?’.
The reason the central character in this plot, Leo, hit the populous in the feels is:
- The ubiquity attained through Titanic: Now everyone at some point has watched this movie more than once. Yes, it is a blanket statement. But being in India, at one point Titanic was the only movie the non-english movie watching folk had seen. Even my maid’s dog had seen it twice.
- The less douchey Dan Bilzerian: Unlike my man Dan B, he doesn’t necessarily feel the need to openly brag about how he is the present embodiment of Jay Gatsby. Walking off a party with 20 models like its a thing.
- P for persistence/patience/perseverance: Well apart from the terrible South African accent in Blood Diamond, he did have a knack on choosing his roles carefully. Although personally I do think he goes overboard on quite a number of occasions, but the fact that he’s kept pushing ahead is admirable.
- Dadbod: Yes…on the verge of coming close to a list compiled by TMZ, the normalisation of a Dadbod in an era of chiseled abs helped people think he’s more relatable and human.
Now the question is how does all of this ever matter to you? Being blindly vicarious can lead to decoupling ourselves from our current reality. Because none of it affects our lives in any way.
The answer lies in the movie ‘The Mighty Ducks’, or well any ‘Underdogs finally win’ story arc for that matter. But The Mighty Ducks was a great movie when I was 7. And it instilled this feeling of determination to keep at it, be it as trivial as throwing a violent fit for a Masters of the Universe toy.
But there are more than a million movies by now on ‘the winning underdogs’. And more than enough real life stories on people achieving various feats. Well being in Hollywood does garner a lot of global attention and unseen dramatisation.
In the danger of sounding overtly analytical we relate to the struggle on waiting for that ultimate result to achieving our own goals by constant pursuing. Be it ‘Losing weight and looking fitter’ or ‘Pursuing our dream job with lack of security’ or just generally working towards something. Getting a live and large example of that gives us the comforts on the merit of sticking to one thing and keeping at it.
No I won’t say the puke inducing “There’s a Leo in all of us”. Cause it’s just an event that reinforces our concept momentarily. Cause now soon we’ll need to target Johnny Depp.
If at any point I seem to be the types who would have a DiCaprio poster on my wall for all the praises I’ve showered…well personally I’m not that big a fan. Cause I still haven’t gotten over the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t get an oscar for ‘Predator’…cause that was the day The Academy was dead to me.
This post is more of a Eulogy for the demise of our dearly beloved ‘Leo Oscar’ memes. May those widely celebrated and shared meme’s forever Rest in Peace!