Looking for God
I’ve spent this Diwali in bed, thanks to an epidemic of viral fever. My namesake, Amit Tiwari, brought home three DVDs to keep me entertained during the few waking hours I’ve before the relay-course of medications begin to make me drowsy all over again: Woody Allen’s Match Point, Duncan Tucker’s Transamerica, and the French-Canadian filmmaker, Jean Marc Vallée’s C.R.A.Z.Y. Unlike his previous recommendations, all of them were quite simply brilliant.
Mr. Allen’s film marks a break from his earlier repertoire: Match Point isn’t an ‘intellectually funny’ movie; it isn’t even set in New York. Put briefly, it’s the story of a tennis coach who must choose between lust (his passion for a struggling American actress) and happiness (marital bliss with a wealthy British heiress): or as the character played by Jonathan Rhys-Myer says, between ‘good and luck’. Ultimately, for Allen, good- and God- don’t exist. What’s more: in this case, we, the audience, don’t want Him to intervene, even as Mr. Rhys-Myer’s character turns wickedly immoral.
Mr. Tucker’s Transamerica explores the cross-country relationship between a transsexual woman, played superbly by Felicity Huffman, and her newly found bisexual hustler-son, played by Kevin Zeger. The scene when Ms. Huffman tells Mr. Zeger’s character that she is really his father is to die for. Again: Mr. Tucker, like Mr. Allen, irreverentially shuns all moral judgement, in what is essentially a celebration of Freedom of Expression.
Mr. Vallée’s C.R.A.Z.Y. is a sympathetic film about the childhood and youth of a Quebec man coming to terms with his sexuality, especially with relationship to his conservative family, which includes his parents and four brothers. The title of course is a tribute to Patsy Cline’s number, and becomes a character in itself in the movie. Once again, God remains notably absent; or if He does make his presence felt, it is in a most enigmatic- but ultimately redeeming- way.
I recommend them all highly.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Looking for God