Monday, August 28, 2006

THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST


Movie of the week.
THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST

What determines the character of a man. Is it his memories? Is it genetics? Or is it something that is physically imprinted in the cells of your brain as you develop?

M is a man (M is not his real name. As the title suggests, he's a man without a past - including a name) who has to find out who he is. At the beginning of the film, he is sitting alone at a train station on his way home from work. He's robbed of all his stuff, beaten to within an inch of his life, and left for dead. He wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is or anything at all about his life.

There you go - there's the premise. He doesn't even know what kind of person he is. It's only through what he does as the movie progresses that he finds out. Or, alternately, he has the chance to start with a clean slate. We like M. He's a decent guy, even if we find out later that maybe he's not (or wasn't). We actually hope that he doesn't remember his past life.

With no money or identity, M settles in with the homeless on the outskirts of society. He's is helped by female Salvation Army worker. To the film's credit, it doesn't romanticize homelessness. There are none of the stereotypes that would creep into a similar made-for-Hollywood film.

Aside: Those of you who read my entries probably think that I'm totally down on the Hollywood Film Machine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many many fine and excellent films come out of Hollywood even as we speak. In fact, such future classics as Pulse, Material Girls, Step Up, Zoom, and Snakes On A Plane (my god! Snakes on a Plane?! - I has to see that - I gotsta - The name is eating away at my brain!), are playing at your local theater right now!

I'm going to try something different. I'm going to give you the top reasons not to see THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST.
  1. Name not as catchy as "Snakes On A Plane (my god! Snakes on a Plane?! I gotta see it now!).
  2. It'll make you feel good. Everyone knows that the evening time is for wallowing in self loathing. Watch TV instead.
  3. It's in Finnish with subtitles. Oh, did I forget to mention that it was a foreign language film? Not if you're from Finland.
  4. It takes time away from doing more important things - like going to the theater to see Step Up.
  5. It'll end up costing you tons of money. Why? Because you'll be reading the subtitles and realize, "this would be a lot easier on the eyes if I had one of those big 64" plasma TV's".
  6. Look at the picture above. Don't they make a cute couple? It will make you conscious of all the things missing in your own relationship.
  7. You're currently learning to speak Norwegian, and you don't want to get confused.
  8. You'll say, "This is Helsinki? It looks nothing like the travel brochures!" But it's too late to cancel your Finnish vacation plans without paying a substantial penalty.
  9. Five years from now, you'll still be thinking about this movie. You have way too many more important things to think about in your life ........... like snakes on a plane (my god! Snakes on a Plane?!).
  10. The movie scored a 97% on the tomatometer. That means that 97% of all movie critics praised this film. .............................Screw those guys!
Enjoy.

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