Monday, December 28, 2009

Magnolia - Revisited



Say what you will about Paul Thomas Anderson's 1999 epic drama about interlinked, heavily flawed, characters, but no matter how many times I see this it hits me right in the gut each time. Beautifully shot, with some outstanding character performances, Magnolia is a powerful look at the trials of individuals each of whom share a connection they know nothing about. Of course some would call their connection hokey, but I would call it simply marvelous.

Ever look around, ask how you're connected to those individuals around you? You may be shocked to find it doesn't take a long trek before you find a connection. In many respects that's what Magnolia shows its viewer. Your life may be harsh, it may hurt every day, and you may even be lonely, but you're not alone. Everywhere around you people are struggling with various aspects of life, and it is that connection that in the end becomes their saving. Does it rid them of all pain? Of course not, nobody can but themselves. Yet when they truly need that crutch, if even for a moment, that's who they have to carry them through.

Magnolia is by no means a happy film. It runs you through the muck of these characters' pains, anxieties, flaws, and impending death, straight to the point of despair. Then something happens. Something nobody in film, nor the audience, it rains... frogs. Thrusting all these interconnected characters into one another, the frogs force them to address their greatest fears, pains.... and each other. These characters must face every problem that has lead them to their current predicament. Though don't expect any easy closure. You'll find none here. Much like life, after being forced to address these issues, each must move on and continue to live their lives... what they have left of it at least.

Truly a film I enjoy from beginning to end, Magnolia is an epic film in proportion, filled with great cinematic moments, perfect acting, and beautiful writing. It may not work for most, but then again I'm not most :).

2 better thoughts:

blake said...

Well said. This really is a masterpiece. And clearly, based on the club members' ratings, it's a polarizing film. I'm glad it works for me though.

The Mad Hatter said...

Your life may be harsh, it may hurt every day, and you may even be lonely, but you're not alone...

Well said. That's a point so good I'm grumpy with myself for not having included it in my own post!

Related Posts with Thumbnails