Holes Is A Water (and Energy) Movie

holes poster

2003, Buena Vista

I happened to watch Holes (2003) with my family, and I remember how popular the film was when released. Among other notable elements, this movie was the screen debut for Shia LaBeouf.

The movie’s entire plot revolves around water. In particular, the detention camp where LaBeouf’s character is sent is located in a drought-cursed part of Texas. And right after the curse is lifted, it rains again.  Water imagery and themes abound, as dry lakes, water tanks, and canteens are recurring features. Water is used as a reward, deprivation of water is a punishment, and a miraculous river flows uphill.  The idea that water is a blessing and drought is a curse is unavoidable for viewers.

In addition to the water theme, there are a few energy cameos, too.

During the Texas court scene in the first few minutes of the movie, a painting of oil derricks hangs behind the judge. That painting helps establish the setting as Texas.

When LeBeouf first arrives at the detention camp the windmill for pumping water, is broken; hence the camp is dry. This stationary windmill is peculiar because West Texas is normally windy.

Returning to the idea that representations of energy are used as dating elements, the movie uses torches (instead of flashlights) to identify a scene as a 100-year flashback.

When visiting the cabin of the character played by Sigourney Weaver, she says “Come in, you’re letting the cold out.” She is referencing electrically powered air conditioning.

And, very amusingly, Tim Blake Nelson plays a role as the camp counselor. He shows up in other energy movies, such as Syriana (2005), and other water movies, such as O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000).

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