Monday, July 10, 2006

What Dreams May Come

Some random thoughts on the movie "What Dreams May Come", which we watched on Saturday.

warning: spoilers below

Hmm, a story about a character called "Christ"y who does the following:
- heals a sick child
- dies
- is resurrected in heaven
- steps down from heaven, gives up everything he has to seek the salvation of a person

I wonder where they came up with this story idea? Hint, the bottom of hell is shaped like an inverted cathedral.

This movie is among the most visually stunning I have ever seen. The entire movie, up until the end, is unique and thoughtful. But sadly, the ending is completely vapid. It would be interesting to see if the book from which the movie was based has this same empty finish.

It seems like there are so many good movies with lame endings. It is easy to blame "Hollywood studios" for this, but if the book has the same problem there is not much you can do. Da Vinci Code comes to mind as another book with a somewhat unfulfilling ending. Maybe the problem with us is that we expect too much from endings. I heard once that if you can't think of a good last line to a story you are writing, you've already written it. Maybe people just try too hard to wrap up everything in one happy finish, instead of just being happy to have created a good story that just ends when it ends and that is that.

When I saw Clerks, I remember there was a deleted scene (the last scene of the movie) where the protagonist gets randomly shot at the end of the film. Apparently, they decided to cut that scene and Kevin Smith said he was glad that he cut it. But in some ways I think that scene would have added to the film, so I don't think it's a no-brainer that it should have been left out. In general, I will always prefer a non-conventional ending to a standard one - as long as it is not contrived and does not make me feel used as a viewer. Of course, this is why it is so hard to make a truly good children's movie - the ending needs to be predictable or you will have a lot of angry parents on your hands.


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