Of many twists and turns, Netflix original The OA featured the “Movements” was the most controversial one. It left viewers to wonder whether what they were watching was real or all in the mind of Brit Marling’s character Prairie. Here is wha the creators tried to clarify defending what the Movements are and how they work.
Many of the viewers might have got caught themselves binging for Netflix’s mysterious thriller’s ambiguous finale episode titled Invisible Self. The eight-episode anthology created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij successfully managed to create ripples among the audience.
The Movements in the Finale:
The series follows a woman who calls herself the OA, though her adopted parents named her Prairie when she was a young girl. The series ended with a dramatic school shooting, a performance of functional interpretative dance dubbed as “Movements.” As per the storyline, the dance form can allegedly open a tunnel to an alternate dimension.
The Movements had a key role to play in the season finale. It featured the group of teenage misfits stopping a school shooter just at the nick of time. Everything is done via a perfect performance of the Movements that taught by Prairie. However, the ending appeared as inappropriate and unclear to many, which promptly received a lot of negative feedback.
Theory by the Showrunners:
Hence, after the season finale, co-creators Marling and Zal Batmanglij opened up about the concept to The Hollywood Reporter. They offered their theories defending the Movements. They also clarified, why one shouldn’t call them “interpretive dance.”
Marling, who we also know as Prairie Johnson aka The OA on the show gives a convincing theory. She explained the Movements as an expression without dialogue. She considers movement is one of the ‘most primal, immediate, ancient forms of communication’. As Prairie had to share her traumatic experience, she thought of introducing this technology to the boys. The dance form motivated as well as liberated them in a way that maybe nothing else could have. It was most possibly the only way for her to tell her story and track down Homer.
On the other hand, creator Batmanglij shared that it is unfortunate when the dance form is being reviewed as “interpretive.”
In his words:
“That’s not reductive, it’s inappropriate. It’s not interpretive. What is it interpreting? It’s OK to not have the language for something because it’s never been done before in a narrative situation. But that’s not what that is called. That’s not interpretive dance. It sounds funny when you say it like that and sure, it is funny. Funny is not wrong.”
He further compared things with various scientific discoveries. People always have trouble accepting the scientific discoveries around evolution. So the Movements may not be an exception. He added: “I think if aliens came to Earth, we would laugh. If there was an alien technology, we would laugh.”
How is The Movements being Introduced to the Plot?
As the story proceeded, OA was given a “movement-” a series of hand and body choreography accompanied by specific breathing and sound, according to Vulture. With time, she and her fellows learn that these supernatural motions can potentially heal the sick, raise the dead. In fact, it can even open a portal to another dimension when they perform together.
But right after receiving the fifth movement, Hap forced OA to leave the house. This is when OA starts looking for Homer. Not just that, she also decides to teach the movements to a new group of five people to locate Homer so that she can be with him again. Five people called Jesse, Steve, Buck, French (Alfonso), and their teacher Betty Broderick-Allen were added.
The Cliffhanger Ending!
While OA does teach them the Movements, and they do perform them, the first season ends before we learn whether the Movements work or not. At the end, The OA was seen waking up in a place that’s all white and whispering, “Homer?” Now there is a question: “what’s next?”
The OA season finale left everyone to ponder at a cliff-hanger ending. This might lead many to believe that OA was making her story up right from the start. According to the show creators, the confusing ending was intentional.