Birth School Work Death
This movie is fairly unique in our age. It allows itself to be many things to many people and even gives us the opportunity to ponder some deeper questions. I appreciate this movie for allowing this to happen. I could see different approaches that would not have been as congruent with this open reflection and I think the director and authors should be congratulated for their work.
To me the movie is about death. Kidman's husband dies while running. We see nothing of the ten years between the opening scenes of him collapsing in Central Park NYC and her life as it exists now. Obviously she has been trying to move on and she is set to be married to a new man. A boy shows up at her family's apartment in Central Park or Manhattan and claims to be her husband. It is clear that Kidman's character hasn't completely moved on. She of course finds the whole idea proposterous but over a few days or weeks (?), she really wants to believe it is possible. It is a great insight into the power of romanticism and death. Our love for those close to us is rarely understood until they are no longer around. In death, we often amplify those feelings and the loneliness seeps in. It changes us and no matter what time passes, we long for this hazy memory. Kidman pulls this off and I think that is why I see birth as a movie about death.
There are other stories and plots in Birth and they are done well. I think the opening scenes of the movie set the tone for the film. We follow Kidman's husband in Central Park on a snowy day. He's going for a jog. The opening is about two minutes long and there is not much going on except for this long shot sequence. It is focused and silent which draws you into the scene to try and understand what is really going on. This happens again and again. The director makes choices that keep the camera focused on one shot for long periods of time. There is the long shot of Kidman at the opera, but there are also shots of Hesch's character that are allowed to unfold.
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