Themes, Motifs & Symbols


The central concern of ‘The Layers’ is the conflict between Andie trying to lead a civilised life, and her attempts at battling a troubled mind. This conflict may be shown in a variety of ways: civilisation versus savagery, order versus chaos, reason versus impulse, law versus. anarchy, or the more extensive caption of good versus. evil. Throughout the film, I have associated the instinct of civilisation with Andie and the instinct of anger and sadness with Alison.

The conflict between both of these instincts is the motivation of the film expressed through the dissolution of Andie’s attempts of being disciplined and civilised, as she adjusts to a harsh work setting, where she is judged by her co-workers, and bullied quite extensively by her colleague; Alison. ‘The Layers’ is an allegorical piece, meaning that the main ideas and themes are communicated through symbolic characters and objects. He The conflict between civilisation and savagery in the conflict between the two major characters: Andie, the protagonist, who symbolises discipline and tenacity, and Alison, who represents chaos and anarchy.


The recurring work commute and routine has been placed to develop and inform one of the film’s themes, which is that of monotony


Red and Blue

Like ‘The Matrix’ (1999), red and blue pills; different options.


The bridge between two minds

The Painting

  • Taking a step back to detach self from negative thoughts
  • Using depression as a harness for creativity

The Pier

  • Standing on edge the world
  • Starting again
  • Going through the life cycle


  • Compliments the visuals
  • Highlights what Andie is going through: confusion, sadness, anger and despair, yet also highlights self growth, acceptance and a message of hope