Magnolia


 

I woke up quite early on Saturday morning. I usually like to sleep in to around 1-3pm; however, this weekend I woke up around 9am. Which I don’t even do on school days. With tons of spare time I decided to watch a movie online. I like to watch a good solid movie that I can relax to, a movie that is refreshing and new, something I can get in to and think about. Of course I would pick an independent film to watch, because they always seem to fit the mood I’m in.

I watched this indie film, Happiness, which is by far my favorite movie. It’s gross, dark, disturbing and ironic. It’s dark comedy also know as black humor or gallows humor. Which is a genre that is categorized by morbid or grimly satiric humor. Which I like; I like to laugh, I like to watch things that make my stomach ache, and my mind thinking. Happiness was one of those movies, so I searched rotten tomatoes to find movies similar to Happiness.

One of the few that popped up was Magnolia, a 3 hour indie film with an all star cast. Many well known celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Phillip Seymour Hoffman,William H. Macy, Julianne Moore and John C. Reilly. The movie starts off by the narrator describing three urban legends of people dying. Then gives a weather report and jumps right into the story, every time something climactic is going to happen, there is a weather report that is parallel to the emotions. Each character is very different but they all have a general theme of being ignored, unloved or lonely. A genuine hardworking policeman lives contently in his misery by being unappreciated for his police work. He encounters a cocaine addict who hates her father dying of cancer and is also an alcoholic host on a trivial game show What Do Kids Know?. A reoccurring contestant of the show, Stanley, is an intelligent boy who is mistreated by his overbearing greedy father. Another contestant from the show, whom is already grown up, is neurotic and unstable although incredibly smart. One man is dying and asks his nurse to find his son who is the an author on self-help books that teach men how to “tame” women. Who is a very dominant man, yet keeps all emotions bottled up.

Throughout the movie you find out how the characters are all connected to one another. Also share the same emotional disconnect with life struggling in their distress. As a result of the abuse they suffered as a child. Whether it be sexual trauma, neglect, pressure or exploitation they all affect each character differently but they all end up the same. It shows that to some degree these mistakes can not be fixed or forgiven. And that the pain will continue hurt. The tension in the movie made it interesting. It will build then jump to another story leaving you wondering what will happen next. My favorite character through out the movie was the little boy on the game show. He seemed so innocent and zealous about learning. However, exhausted by strain of his father forcing him to succeed. It made me feel like that he still had a chance to break free, before he wound up like all the other depressed adults hung up on the past. “We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us”

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