thatcow

An Entertaining Philosophical Journey on Life

Why do things happen? Is it chaos? Is there free will? Are events just accidents? Is there some spiritual force guiding or keeping track of things? Is life about strife? Do things happen to us because we deserve them or does fate just have a twisted sense of humor? If a person lives a content life and is happy with what the person has, does that mean the person is less successful because the person is not struggling for some “higher� goal? Is there any real meaning in life? Does faith play any role in things? Do we all really want the same things? What is happiness? Is life as miserable as people think, or do people forget to appreciate what they have? Is life just too routine and monotonous?

This movie is overflowing with philosophical thoughts on this crazy trip, we call life. I did not sit down to count the different conversations or to check that all of these conversations dealt with the subject matter. I think they could have come up with a better title for this wonderful movie. People have been wondering about the reasons and meanings for life’s blessing and tragedies since people could think abstractly. Everyone has successes and failures to differing magnitudes. I, myself, have wondered what it is all about. There are a great many things people have no control over. So, from what I have gathered in my readings are that all that you can hope for is to change how you react to things, and your attitude towards things. No matter how people try, they cannot prepare for everything, and it may also be foolish to think “that could never happen to me.� For centuries, people have tried to tap into fortune telling, horoscopes, and other forms of gaining insight into what lies ahead. However, it just turns out easier to look behind and see what people should have done.

The movie focuses primarily on the lives of four individuals, who each have a different perspective. There is the lawyer, performed by Matthew McConaughey, who believes that happiness happens for him because he has worked for it and earned it. The physics professor believes in pure logical thoughts involving entropy and cause and effect. The sales executive sees life as a struggle and that being happy is a clear beacon to encourage dark skies to come. The cleaning lady believes that a miracle has happened for her, so she sees the world as a place where good things can happen. Life then gives each person a situation to deal with. Each of these people deals with their event differently and hopefully grows as a result of what they experienced. As in life, there is no clear winners or losers. The judgment is strictly based on a person’s perspective. The stories of these people are interestingly presented in both time and space.

The story meanders around with the different stories by switching the perspectives and also the different time lines. This uniqueness keeps the audience from really knowing what the final result will be. I would have preferred a more satisfying ending or even had more resolutions at the end. However, this being a movie about life, perhaps the only resolution is that we try to strive to correct or make amends for the mistakes of our past. I feel that one of the characters Patricia, performed by Amy Irving, seemed like an add on. I think that they might have had some more room at the end for resolutions by doing some editing in the middle. The acting from the four main characters is superb. The questions raised by this movie are indeed important and are often forgotten among the bustle of our daily activities.

I recommend, at least, to think about the questions I have raised in the first paragraph. Unless you believe in reincarnation, you are one this planet only once and thus should make the most out of it. I suggest keeping track of those people and activities that really mean something to you, and enjoy them while you have them. I also recommend seeing this movie, despite the boring title.

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