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During the course of Pacific Rim we share with Mako Mori a memory of her childhood when she was saved from a Kaiju attack by Marshal Pentecost in his Jaeger. During those events she somehow lost a shoe and then later picked it up looking at it, I think.

I didn't make much out of this, but then later when Dr. Geiszler first visits Hannibal Chau he (or at least the camera) notices Chau's extraordinary gold-plated shoes and when Chau later gets eaten by the newborn Kaiju, only one of his shoes remains, which Geiszler picks up and looks at it. (And furthermore in a funny post-credits scene, we see Chau burst out of the Kaiju and angrily ask for his shoe.)

Given those two quite remarkable incidents with shoes, yet totally different in their individual moods, my question is: Is there any deeper meaning to those shoes or the way they are picked up and looked at? (Of course it may also be that I'm just making more out of it than there is to it, especially given the intentional light-heartedness of this movie.)

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1 Answer 1

A great question.

I personally have always seen red shoes as a representation of dream states, as in The Wizard of Oz, and here is a great site which offers up an interesting take on this, including:

...I think they simply serve to show a bond between the characters. It raises a question, what does this mean, why is it important to them? Later, we discover why; she wore them when he saved her from the Kaiju...

For a more 'highbrow' take on the significance of the shoes, might I direct you to this essay, which explores the deeper psychological significance of shoes in art and literature.

To whit:

...the nesting of self-replicating geometric forms, as posited by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975, when he coined the word “fractal.” Shoes are a familiar instance of this: a slightly enlarged re-expression of us, copying both the physical anatomy of the feet encased in them and the emotional contours of the person walking on those feet. Hannibal’s shoes are not alone here. Mako Mori’s red shoes, the other star players in the footwear department, also copy her in just the same way.

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While those articles present some interesting insights, your particular quotes don't do them much justice. But on the other hand you cannot quote or summarise the whole article either and together with the links it's really a good answer. Thank you. –  Sonny Burnett Aug 9 '13 at 11:04
True - I looked at my answer and think the quotes could be improved. I'll get on it when I have more time (unless somebody wants to edit it for me ;)) –  Nobby Aug 9 '13 at 12:55

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