spinthemoon (spinthemoon) wrote,

In which I ramble about geeky English Major stuff

This past weekend, we rented Lady in the Water. I knew the reviews were bad, although I hadn't read any. But, I enjoyed The Sixth Sense, and The Village, and even Unbreakable. I found Signs annoying, although I appreciated what he was trying to do. And, given my love of fairy tales, I was interested to see how this one went.

And I just want to go on record now as saying I truly, truly love this movie. 
The moment where Cleveland says Your faces reminded me of God had me bawling like a baby, and I hardly ever even tear up at a movie, but I think I could watch this a thousand times and still cry at that line.

So, I went back and read the reviews. I wasn't surprised at how many people didn't like this film. Movie critics seldom have a sense of humor about themselves, and this movie certainly is hard on the critic. And people have different tastes, and this is a movie of small moments, and not everyone likes that. But I was disturbed by how many people didn't understand it. And I don't just mean in a couldn't-follow-the-plot way.  It crystallized for me something that has been bothering me for a while now. We, as a society, are losing the ability to understand metaphor. We are becoming obsessed with the facts of things, and blind to the truth of things.

Lady in the Water is a very dense movie. The plot is straightforward, but the story is not. There is so much going on, on so many levels. It's not just about a man who finds a girl in the pool. It's about love, it's about loss, it's about redemption, it's about acceptance, it's about courage, it's about faith. But almost none of the reviewers seemed to realize that. It wasn't just that they saw what the movie was trying to do and felt it failed. They truly simply missed it. 

So why, as a society, are we losing this ability to see beyond what is in front of us? Why are we losing our sense of story? Is it that we are afraid to admit that there are objects which are bigger than they appear, that there are truths which are older than our memory, that there are things in this world which cannot be touched with our hands? Is our heavy reliance on visual mediums dulling our vision?

I wish I knew the answer.

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