Sunday, April 23, 2017

Extremely loud & Incredibly Close

If the sun exploded and all went black, it would take 8 mins for us to know that it has. That's the time required by light to travel to us from that far.
For eight minutes we wouldn't be aware of what had happened and continue to receive the light and warmth.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the fourth film by Stephen Daldry. I had the pleasure of admiring two of his previous three films.
The Hours recreates the writing of Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and intersperses it with two women who are living Mrs Dalloways years after it has been written.
The Reader is about a Nazi guard who serves a life sentence rather than admitting in open court that she cannot read, which would have helped in proving her innocence.
They are both fine films and melodiously intriguing in what they are trying to say.
While they let you in their world, which is your agonizing world as well, a world which beats you down with questions of Camus' Outsider, Dostoyevsky's Double and Tolstoy's Family Happiness.
The hue and cry of us being a speck in the galaxy- a small consciousness in the middle of a grand mystery.
And how worthless it is to take it all so seriously.
It wasn't untill I saw this third film that i could vaguely decipher what Daldry's cinema is all about. It is about everything and it is about nothing. And I could decipher it because it ringed an achingly familiar tune.
A man is trapped on the World Trade Centre on 9/11. He calls his wife and tells her how much he loves her while she watches the building in smoke from afar.
He calls home to talk to his son but is met by an answering machine. When the son walks in, there are 5 msgs on the answering machine.
The son isn't more than 10-12 years old and has an extremely deep bond with his father who is his whole world. They are explorers together, they invent quizzes and games and the father regularly devises puzzles for him.
They even jokingly refer to the mother as a sleeping parent.
A year after 9/11, after he has built his father's shrine in a corner of his room where he plays the 6 msgs over and over again, yes 6, the son walks in his father's closet for the first time. He accidentally finds a key in a blue vase at the top of a cabinet. They key was in an envelope with Black written on it.
Remembering his father's advice to never stop looking for an earlier impossible puzzle that he gave him, the boy decides to search for the lock of that key.
He decides to track down every person in New York with the name Black and tries to find the lock for that key.
His father had taught him that there was always a reason, always a logic for everything. He wants to find the logic in how someone can fly a plane in a building and can kill his father without even knowing him.
And in this search he hopes to find the 8 minutes with his father, between the explosion in the sun and the time it took for him to know of it.

I have no idea how this film's CD came into my possession. I don't recall either buying it or borrowing it.

No comments: