Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two Nights- Two Movies- One Message

I had a couple of free nights recently and so I watched a couple of movies. They were films that no one else in family was interested in seeing, so I took advantage of the opportunity to watch in relative peace and quiet.

The first movie was a rather violent and profane film called In Bruges. It is the story of two hitmen who are hiding out in Bruges, Belgium because of a botched hit. The right person was killed, but an innocent bystander was killed as well. There are great moments when the two killers, played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, argue with one another. Gleeson loves the churches and the quaint atmosphere of Bruges. Farrell's character was born in and for the big city. Bruges is to slow, quiet and dull for him. Events in the movie seem to crawl by until the hit men receive their instructions from their boss, played by an evil Ralph Fiennes.

We learn, through a turn of events that I will not describe, that the two hit men, as much as they seem to dislike one another, are actually great friends. Each of them is called upon to risk his own life for the other, and each answers the call without hesitation. There is a strong undercurrent of faithfulness and loyalty between the two. It is possible to miss this lesson, but we should not.

The second film, The Darjeeling Limited, is the latest movie from Wes Anderson. As a general rule, I love Anderson's movies. They are just weird enough to be very interesting, yet normal enough that I do not have to assume an alternate identity to "get" them. This one stars Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schartzman as three estranged brothers trying to re-connect on a train trip/ pilgrimage across India. The colors and situations are vibrant, expressive and explosive. The three brothers share a serious love-hate relationship. All of this seems to come from their unresolved conflicts with their mother, who, it turns out, is the object of their pilgrimage.

Again, I will not spoil the story because you should see this film. You should see it because it is obscure. You should see it because it is absurd. You should see it because it is funny. You should see it because if you pay attention you will learn a lot. The brothers on the trip were able to reclaim their relationship. Through a series of unexpected and unlikely adventures they remembered that they love each other. They are reminded of the importance of family, even if their mother does not get it.

Both of these movies could be classified as redemptive. There are values that are brought into focus that may be unnoticed without the movies. Watch. Enjoy. Learn. Grow.

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