Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

I saw a film today that just blew me away. (Actually I only saw the last two thirds, but I knew enough of the story to get up to speed on what was happening).
Will Farrell plays an IRS agent who is extremely uninteresting and boring. One day, he hears a voice narrating the story of his life. Upon consulting a professor of literature, he realizes that this particular author kills off all of her leading characters.
Farrell's character goes to the author and bargains with her to spare his life and not kill him off. He is allow to read the ending of the novel to see how he dies, he couldn't finish it so he asked his English prof to read it for him. The English prof has read it, claims that Harold (Farrell's character) has to die. This novel is the author's greatest work (of an already acclaimed career). There's no way out, but the ending is beautiful. Harold reads the story, and comes to grips with the ending, encourages the author to finish it and is resigned to his "fate."
Harold goes forward, knowing that he is going to die, but he knows that his death ultimately plays a great role in something wonderful.
Even as the author writes the ending, she cries out in anger, as if to say, "Why do I have to kill my creation off like this?"
I won't totally spoil the ending, but I went to to see if anyone else saw any of the Christian overtones. One forum poster laid out the theology of the movie. There was some disagreement. I don't see how. That film had so many Christian overtones. Ignoring some of the morality of the lead characters (don't necessarily lead what we would call "Christian" lifestyles) look at some of the scenes.
The lead character realizes his fate and asks for a different ending.
When assured that the ending must happen this way for something beautiful and meaningful to happen, the lead character is resigned to the ending, knowing it will cost him his life.
The omniscient, all powerful author is extremely distraught at what happens to the character.
Yet, because of the obedience of the lead character, there is a salvation (so to speak).
Any opinions on Stranger than Fiction? I thought it was extremely powerful. One of the best films I've seen in a few years.


The MAN Fan Club said...

It was decent for me. You are a much deeper person than I am.

Way to go!

billy v said...

The movie, if you examine the surface plot, Harold's relationship with Ana, even the acting performance of Farrell were probably not the greatest ever, but the story that I saw behind the surface story was powerful. When Emma Thompson (the author) cries out in anger because she kills off a man who willingly dies to save another person was extremely emotional to me. I could imagine the Father (in my human mind) in anguish over what happens to Jesus on the cross even as he is the author of this anguish.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Very interesting my good friend.