The most tense and unflinching dramas are the ones that literally put a viewer through an immediate sense of life-or-death experience, against a seemingly invincible enemy. Netflix’s first Quebec film, ‘The Decline’ intends to something similar and even succeeds to an extent. Its narrow survival narrative creates an intense atmosphere by pitting its characters against insurmountable odds and as a viewer, there are certain moments in the film which make you wonder if it has any real-life inspirations. If you were bothered by the same nagging question throughout the runtime of the film, read on further to know if it is based on a true story or not.
Is The Decline Based on a True Story?
No, The Decline is not based on a true story. However, it does hold some relevance in context with the current situation of the world. With the coronavirus outbreak, the entire world is taking precautions to isolate themselves and along with that, even supplies to basic necessities are quite limited. Something similar goes on in ‘The Decline.’ A group of “survival fanatics” completely isolate themselves from the rest of the world and try to survive with the restricted supplies of food and water that they possess.
In the opening moments of the film, it is established that all of these campers are just here to prepare themselves for a potential threat that could destroy the world, but little do they realize that the real threat has been with them all along. This almost serves as a lesson for everyone, suggesting that it’s good to be prepared for a disaster but no amount of preparation is enough for the worst-case-scenario. The campers in the film have a decent supply of food and water which could last for years. Moreover, all of these campers only gather in isolation to learn how to survive and they’re very well aware that the world outside the camp is still safe. So initially, with no real threats, they actually seem to be having a pretty good time at the camp.
But the real threat eventually turns out to be one of the campers. The entire storyline of the film confines itself to the lives of 7 characters, out of which, it primarily focuses on four. Using these characters to drive its narrative, ‘The Decline’ portrays how in a given situation every individual reacts differently and how eventually, only the “fittest” survive. Although the psychological implications of the film and its characters are not all that deep, its representation of human nature is pretty spot on, adding a layer of realism to it.
Just like real life, some of the characters in the film easily give up on their morals at the first sight of trouble. Even the man who started the camp in the first place just dismisses his own ideas of looking out for his campers and instead, shows that he’s way too contrived in his own shallow ideas of survival. Now that they’re far away from the real world and all of his chips are down, he can be the monster that he truly is. And that’s exactly how it is in real life.
While many would stick to their respective morals even when they’re forced to face stressful situations, others would simply be as good as the world allows them to be. In conclusion, ‘The Decline’ is far from being a true story and even if it was based on one, we would probably know about it by now. Even so, some of its psychological themes make sense and can even relatable for many in today’s world.
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