Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mr. Nobody: I Really Liked It: A movie that is hurt only by the weirdness that connects the past, present and future, and all of it without explanation

Mr. Nobody (2009) Poster
Have I mentioned how I’m not going to get my hopes up about a movie anymore? I think I have, once or twice even, well this time I mean it – except that this time it’s not my fault, really.

            Mr. Nobody is an epic tale, it reminded me of Cloud Atlas in the way it bounces from the future to the past to the present at different points throughout the movie. It isn’t on such a grand scale as Cloud Atlas; Mr. Nobody follows just the one man’s life but it follows his different lives depending on different major decisions he may make through his life. Who to marry? Should I have taken that road that may lead to my death or a major crash, or should I have taken another one? My parents are divorcing; do I live with my mom or my dad?

            I watched the movie with my wife (we started the night watching Dark Blue, which was expiring soon, but Kurt Russell as a racist cop did not sit well with either one of us so we switched it to Mr. Nobody) and we got a late start on it so we made it through half of it when my wife wanted to go to bed but wanted to watch the whole thing so we stopped it and started it up the next night.

            Normally this wouldn’t happen in our house, both of us hate stopping a movie and finishing it another night – if it’s a good movie that is, if it’s not, we’ll flick through movies like changing channels – I was fine with stopping this movie because man that first hour of the movie was pretty dang good. I was loving the movie at that point and was pretty sure that nothing could take away from the movie, not even stopping it and starting it again the next night – and I was right, that didn’t affect it at all, it was the movie itself that just sort of fumbled the ball at the halfway mark.

            This movie made me think of Slaughterhouse Five the way the entire movie is a story told to us by the main character in the future – or is it the present? – and he tells a therapist and then later a journalist all about his life.

            The reason I enjoyed the beginning of the movie was because of all the weirdness going on in the movie. I asked my wife if she was enjoying it or not and she said she was and that she knew I was enjoying it. I asked why and she said: “Because it’s so weird,” and she was 100 percent right, it was weird and kept you guessing as to what was going to happen next – but most of all it had me really expecting a good pay off at the end. Slaughterhouse Five is like that, it starts off telling the story one way and sticks with it right up to the end, and the same with Cloud Atlas, but this movie – yes, it stayed the same throughout, even to the end, and the pay off was understandable it’s just that it wasn’t presented in a way that fit the movie. It explains it all and I’m thinking, “Okay, okay yeah, I get it, that makes sense – wait, what? That’s it? It’s over?”

            Then my wife and I start going over the movie, talking about it, and we start asking ourselves questions about the movie that we know now - have no answers, the weird things going on, be them dreams or whatever – were completely pointless, they were just there for the sake of being weird. People walking backwards? Sure let’s throw that in there. The whole argyle world, what was the point, did my wife and I just miss it or was there simply no point other than to be weird?

            There’s a fine line between being weird and letting it stand on its own, and being weird and needing to explain it. I don’t know how to work the line; I just know what succeeds and what doesn’t. This movie fails because at the end I wanted answers.

I wasn’t happy with what the movie felt
was a good amount of information to leave the viewer with.

            One thing about this movie that really struck home about was in one of Jared Leto’s lives, he marries a woman who has depression. My wife suffers from depression, and holy hell I can tell you that it is horrible. I’ve never been psychologically tortured, but depression is what I can imagine being psychologically tortured would be like. I can only speak from my point of view, and I do not have depression, but I am deeply and madly in love with someone who does – as is Leto’s character in the movie, and he really did portray the feelings – at least for me – that I go through. Now, this whole depression plot line is pretty small, which was disappointing to me because it was somehow comforting to see someone dealing with the same sort of things I go through (yes I know it’s just a movie, but still, it helps seeing stuff like that), my wife on the other hand was really not in the mood to see it. My wife is currently better than she was a year ago. A year ago she was about where Jared Leto’s wife is during the movie.

            It was stuff like that, interesting stuff, emotional stuff that was so good you wanted more but it wasn’t given to you. I can’t fault the movie for having so many interesting stories that it didn’t wrap them all up, but I can fault it for being weird for no other reason than to just be weird. That’s a decision it made that – though it did look good and was entertaining – took a little bit away from the movie as a whole when it all became about nothing.

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