Has anyone else come across two very different movies or TV shows that have very similar underlying plots when you think about it?
Here’s an example: A good woman is beaten, raped and generally sexually abused, then dies – but a mystic sign after her death makes it all right.
This plotline describes both Lars von Trier’s indie movie “Breaking the Waves” and the “Kirei” Operation of the Cool Devices series of anime. “Waves” is a live action series set in Scotland about a good woman who comes to believe that she can help her invalid husband by having sex with lots of strangers, until she is beaten, raped and killed by some of them. But it’s OK when she dies because – bells ring mysteriously. Kirei is about a nice woman and her friend who are vacationing on a South Sea Island who are abducted by a crazed group of male natives who rape them repeatedly, then toss them in a bottomless pit – but it’s OK because when Kirei is tossed in the pit she encounters her friend’s spirit, and two butterflies escape from the pit before the door is closed.
I hate both of them thoroughly for attempting to fob off a truckload nastiness with some cheap mysticism. But the underlying similarity is so striking.
Also my wife informs me that both Dragonball and Saiyuki (both anime) are inspired by the Chinese legend of Goku the monkey king. Both are far removed from the legend, and they aren’t much like each other either.
I know there are a lot of stories out there with similar themes, I’m looking for stories that you would never have guessed had such a theme.