Magnolia Review

I am sure that all those who write about movies have an inherent hesitancy about writing about their absolute favorites as I am sure that ten dimes make a dollar. It emanates from an n number of factors, ranging from the fear of not doing justice to their love for that work of art to not being able to delve into the technicalities while keeping emotions at bay. But most importantly, it is that dread of giving away too much of yourself to the reader, for in the imperfections of one’s favorite songs or movies or books lies the hard-hitting truth to the base of one’s own existence. It is this very trepidation that has delayed this post long overdue as well, but I realize I cannot go through a single more day without my conscience haunting me for not talking about Magnolia. My movie.

Clocking in at 188 minutes, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, like all great movies seems too short. It is a mosaic of a plethora of characters suffering from Capgras delusions with their own identities, with emotions building up in a whirlwind to a point where they all seem like a full cup that the least motion might overbrim.

A more conventional director might have assigned these endlessly fascinating characters at his disposal with a hard-lined plot, confining them to a cumbersome narrative with all their motives laid out and their behavior explained. Paul Thomas Anderson, who is one of the greatest directors to have ever lived, is a breath of fresh air. He knows how fast audience thinks and how emotions contain their own explanations. Here Anderson appears almost naked before his audience, a man unable to conceal the depth of his own vision.

The structure furthermore contributes to our lack of satisfaction in whatever answers we think we encounter. But the hint at a snap solution is too broad and juxtaposition too obvious. We instantaneously reject any easy putting together of two and two and suspect a five. But time and time, Magnolia makes a gesture to itself as a source of discovery and meaning. The response of the audience is a suspicion of an invitation to start figuring out and putting together the enigma with the camera’s collaboration. Yet can one possibly attribute a final meaning to it, or is the very absurdity of a rain of frogs a shout-out to the human mystery that can never be solved ?

The world of Magnolia and the characters which firmly inhabit it are an illusion of their own. Most would find it hard to appreciate it in their first viewing, being misled from the crux of it by the facade of coincidences and chance and rain of frogs and what not. Dissatisfied by a movie that would rather evoke than supply. But what Anderson does here, and does only to the knowledge of those who see through the act he is putting up and destroying simultaneously, is an attempt to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need. I have always understood the elusiveness, and over the years even come to respect it as well, for there is an evident semi-autobiographical vein here. It is no secret that the frames belong to the storyteller and one would only want the most understanding to be held worthy of having a pert of oneself. When it draws towards commencement, Anderson’s world seems complete, and all the viewer can bring to it is his admiration.

At the end of the day, it is a movie about pain. About a bunch of souls trying to convince themselves over and over about the identities the world has imposed on them, yet breaking away from it as they do so and being understandably, petrified of the thought of finding themselves. It is about parents for whom the children are the abusers and they, the victims and about children who know better. It is about those who live without love and how it devastates them. It is thankfully also about a few who thank God for their good lives and forgiveness if they ever happen to not love it enough. It is about the entirety of ‘life’ and all that the word encompasses.

Love stories are about those who find love in happy times. Tragedies are about those who find love in unhappy times. Magnolia belongs to the latter, yet when it ends, it leaves me exhilarated about my existence, greedy for living it for it so bluntly reinforces the truth that we try to evade – that all that we take with us when we die is the regret for all that we could have done when we were alive.

There are very few times when the vision of a director works on the same wavelength as yours, striking a chord which leaves you with an out-of-body experience at the theater. When Magnolia came to its denouement, it was the closest I had ever been to knowing what a complete stranger truly feels, as if Paul Thomas Anderson was an individual I had once acquainted and then long forgotten. I believe it is primarily why it is my favorite movie of all time, and will continue to be in the future as well. The moment it ended, with that heartbreaking smile of Claudia’s, was the closest I had ever come to a communion with God. I was aware of his existence then, of his presence in every human being, and such a moment has evaded me long since then. I look for it every time I watch a movie, finding traces of it in some, yet the entirety of that experience still remains alien to me. If I was ever given the choice of carrying a moment of my life to the grave, I would most probably choose the very one which has found its way in the above lines.

It is the general belief, and a correct one too, that writing works which end with a quote work better. Whatever you have to say in closure, almost all the times someone else has said it better. Here, I quote Francois Truffaut, who while talking about Jules & Jim said all that I think Paul Thomas Anderson could have about Magnolia – “I begin a film believing it will be amusing — and along the way I notice that only sadness can save it.”

RATING :- 10 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes

 

 

 

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Synecdoche New York Review

Synecdoche New York is a movie about movies, but not in the conventional sense. Its affairs do not concern themselves with scrutinizing the method of crafting a narrative, but rather the intentions behind doing so.

What is it to have a true cinematic experience ? I believe it is the singularity of emotions an audience coming from different paths of life experiences when watching a movie. A person feeling the same joy, same sadness, same intrigue as the one sitting next to him. In Synecdoche New York, what Kaufman does is create a world where characters morph into each other every passing scene and subject themselves to desolation of the others, scrutinizing how we as a species react in a state of singularity to same events. But its vision is not limited to the confines of the screen. This movie rather plays outside it. It makes us aware of the actors we are in our perceived reality constructing our own worlds with our own actions while seemingly attributing it to preconceived destiny.

As all great movies made about life are, essentially what defines Synecdoche New York is a quest for a meaning to one’s existence. What Kaufman says is melancholic, but harshly true and beautiful like the poem about spring that opens this movie. Our quest seems to be for a permanent meaning, yet we ourselves change every passing day. All our previous selves survive inside us somehow, and each of them have ascertained themselves with different meanings. Our folly is we yearn for a permanent meaning for our multiple selves, eventually subjecting ourselves to believe in a nihilistic mindset, missing the bigger picture.

As most of Charlie Kaufman’s work has been, Synecdoche New York is a comedy as well. It’s just that it doesn’t rely on gags and one-liners to crack the audience up. Rather it is the irony that even after having every disease imaginable, Caden outlives almost everyone and that this movie begins and ends at 7:45. Does that say something about why it is so convoluted and abstract ? If you look a bit closer at the absurdity of the events, I believe it surely does.

For better or worse, this is a movie about everything. It charters life from the point where thought originates in an individual and subjects the viewer to a downright depressing or hilarious ride, varying on whether you are all worked up when it ends or you have an ironic smile when it does, respectively.

The first time I watched Synecdoche New York, it felt incomplete to me. The second time I realized it was to be completed by my own inadequacies and fears. There are bad movies, passable movies, good movies, excellent movies and great movies. And once in a blue moon, there are movies like Synecdoche New York. These are movies which you feel you can’t tell people about, movies that are so special and so yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal. It sure isn’t the greatest movie ever made or anything, but Synecdoche New York is my movie, just as my body is my body and my thoughts are my thoughts. The day I find someone worth recommending it, my God, that would be the day.

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011549616628 YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes