The Significance of Serenity

Serenity is a 2019 psychological thriller starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. At first glance, the movie is exactly as advertised: Karen Zakarias (Anne Hathaway) tries to solicit her ex-husband, Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) to kill her current husband so she and her son can get away from his abuse.

Like any thriller, things get trippy. Really trippy. Baker eventually realizes that he has no idea how long he’s lived on Plymouth Island or how he got there in the first place. None of his friends have any idea, either. When he tries to ask questions, he is met with generic answers or no answers at all.

And there’s this lawyer who keeps trying to sell Baker new fishing equipment so he can finally catch the elusive fish that he’s been obsessing over for years. The lawyer lets some information about a “creator” slip, which fuels Baker’s curiosity even more.

Okay, no more beating around the bush: It turns out Plymouth Island is just a simulation created by Karen’s son that he uses as a means to escape his stepfather’s abuse. And of course, he has to have his father in the game. Baker Dill actually died in combat years ago.

This is definitely a good thriller. Some of it was hard to watch, but all in all, I really liked it. I thought that was that. The more I think about the movie, however, the more I find it familiar. Plymouth Island is a means of escapism from all the stuff going on in the outside world. It’s a safe space for Karen’s son where his stepfather can’t hurt him.

Writing is my own personal Plymouth Island. When I tap into my imagination, I can forget everything else and just focus the story. It makes me feel like I’m actually good at something. It’s also a creative outlet for my feelings. My feeling scan overwhelm me sometimes, and it’s nice to be able to channel them into a story. Channeling my feelings into a story makes me feel “normal” – it’s a way for me to keep my cool and not come off as obsessive about things or people to outsiders.


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