Don’t Relax: Zoolander

The clip I chose for mental health & brainwashing is from the movie Zoolander starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell. In the clip, Derek(Ben Stiller) thinks that he is going to a day spa for a special treatment. He is very mistaken. He is actually in a secret brainwashing facility used on many models in order for them to do the dirty work of powerful corporate fashionistas. The brainwashing in Zoolander is very similar to that of Manchurian Candidate, in Manchurian Candidate, the trigger is the queen of diamonds in a deck of playing cards, and in Zoolander the trigger is the 80s classic, “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. When Zoolander hears this song he ceases to be his loving and carefree self, and suddenly possesses deadly martial arts moves and a strong will to kill the prime minister of Malaysia. This is also very similar to the Manchurian Candidate where Shaw is supposed to have the mission of killing the president. During his brainwashing Derek is told by Will Ferrell that the prime minister of Malaysia is evil and that young children want to work, although he has no recollection of this when the song isn’t playing, when it does turn on he remembers all of this information. The trigger of “Relax” messes with Dereks mental health greatly throughout the film and changes his personality completely and ultimately endangers his life.

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