For someone with no prior introduction to conspiracy theories, and the lives of frantic conspirators, Conspiracy Theory is a great introduction. Mel Gibson plays a rather smart but paranoid conspiracy theorist, who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Under the guise of a New York City cab driver Jerry (Gibson’s character,) writes and distributes a newsletter about conspiracy theories.
The director Richard Donner, shows Jerry’s process for creating his newsletter early on in the film. Jerry collects newspapers from a newsstand attendant, finds choice articles, and then types up his conspiracies on a typewriter in his apartment in lieu of a computer. He then prints out more than five copies of the newsletter. The next scene is showing Jerry dressed in a suit and tie with his collar popped back instead of in his normal clothes. Jerry was driving around in his taxi to four different mail drop-offs, and mailing off his newsletters. Later in the movie when he is asked how many subscribers he had “five,” is his answer.
Jerry’s apartment only resembles a New York City apartment in it’s size. Donner was very detail oriented when creating Jerry’s apartment. He covered the walls in conspiracy papers, pictures, and books. The walls that did not have anything on them were silver, and the refrigerator had a lock on it. The refrigerator had several magnets on it, but the only one that stands out is the black Prisoners of War magnet. Under the P.O.W. symbol, there is the phrase “You are not forgotten.” (The coffee inside of the refrigerator also has a lock on it, and the combination is the date of a White House press release about a possible missile crisis that never happened.)
Once Jerry mails off all of his newsletters, he goes to visit a lawyer who works at the Attorney General’s office, Alice (played by Julia Roberts.) Alice is a grounded individual who lives her life on facts and rationale. When Jerry arrives on the floor that her office is on, he is being restrained by two guards because he did not make an appointment to see her. Alice saves the escalating scene, by excusing the guards, and meeting up with Jerry. Jerry tells Alice of one of his conspiracies, and then asks Alice if she is going to warn anyone. Alice dismisses his theory.
After entering a marble building, Jerry goes to read a board with a...