February 09, 2005

Magnolia

Magnolia’s gone right to the top of the list of movies I like. And I’ll tell you why — it’s the most amazingly imaginative movie I’ve seen. It tells the story of 10 odd people during one incredible (and yet somehow believable) day — people who are strangely connected to each other. And to top it all off, there is really some great acting in this one.

You’ll need to see the movie as I can’t even begin to describe it. There are so many characters — the two quiz kids (young and old), the show’s host, his daughter, the policeman, the show’s producer, his nurse, his son… Can’t remember any names, have just seen the movie once you see. Most could be the subject of a full feature-length movie.

The theme throughout the movie is of strange occurrences, and whether they are really coincidences or there is something ‘larger’ at play. The introductory narrative is fun, and sets the tone for the rest of the movie — which is a thing of sheer beauty if anyone asks me. All the varying parallel threads of the story keep coming together and splitting up, in a vague sort of dance that makes you want to try and guess what the next connection’s gonna be, what the next twist’s gonna be. I almost want someone to make a graph of all these interactions, it’s gonna be fun to watch.

The movie’s end will really really surprise you — and surely will annoy a lot of people. Actually the whole movie will probably piss off a lot of people. But hey, no one is gonna remain indifferent to this movie, which is probably the highest praise I can heap on it.

And some obligatory quotes:

Claudia Gator: I’ll tell you everything, and you tell me everything, and maybe we can get through all the piss and shit and lies that kill other people.

Jim Kurring: Let me tell you something, this is not an easy job. I get a call on the radio, dispatch, it’s bad news. And it stinks. But this is my job and I love it. Because I want to do well - in this life and in this world, I want to do well. And I want to help people. And I might get twenty bad calls a day. But one time I can help someone and make a save - correct a wrong or right a situation - then I’m a happy cop. And as we move through this life we should try and do good. Do good… And if we can do that, and not hurt anyone else, well… then…

Narrator: There are stories of coincidence and chance, of intersections and strange things told, and which is which and nobody knows; and we generally say, “Well, if that was in a movie, I wouldn’t believe it.”

Jimmy Gator: The book says, we might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.

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