A Sledgehammer to the Soul
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover is a tale that will reverberate through your soul. Or it might simply break it. Regardless, what follows is a review and some teasing out of themes. Spoilers Ahoy! Read at your own risk.
A rather superficial viewing of this movie might lead one to think of nihilism. After all, everyone tries to change their fate, in small and ultimately ineffectual ways — and then stops trying. This is not a tale about Meaningful Actions, but a musing on character and the depths of humanity.
The Writer/Director conveys one truth boldly: “Humans are but thinking beasts.”
Is this the only truth the world has? No, but it is the first truth an insightful person ought to learn, as it underlies a lot of our pathologies. We hide from this truth at our peril, and nearly all of us do it anyhow.
Sounds like a rather harsh movie, doesn’t it? Here’s why you should watch it anyhow: it crystalizes a surrealistic, sharply lit beauty. The writer/director sees our flaws, embraces them, and out of them wrests a caustic beauty.
Specific spoilers below (in the vein that the above is merely my opinion):
This is really a story split in twain.
On the overt side, is Albert, the gangster. I must confess that I am certain I did not completely grok the humor. The sheer hilarity that I only see through a glass darkly — and laugh nonetheless, doubtless comes across far more clearly to an English Audience. Still! He is a brute, an ugly man whose behavior is an affront to his surroundings. Much of the humor arises from That Which Is Not Done. Here is a man never truly happy — and always laughing. His attachment to power is like that of any bully — there is an unquenchable need to twist the knife in someone else’s belly. And yet, as the tale weaves towards its terribly awesome conclusion, we see that he derives some sort of sexual pleasure from his “meaningless” cruelty and sadism. It’s not right to see him as simply a brute — here is a man bent and warped monstrous in unnatural ways. Yet, his pecadillos are not so far away from our own, are they? If a full third of humanity turns away from what a pop evolutionary psychologist would call their “essential nature” — to reproduce, well, the specific nature of his particular twisting of the sexual drive pales, does it not, before humanity’s perversity?
On the subtle, fearful, timorous side, are Albert’s wife, Georgina, and Michael, her lover. They seek escape in a feverish carnality — escaping through a lustful sin to places seemingly without fear. Here we see the surrealistic charade, aided and abetted by the cook and his crew. As boisterous and loud as the other scenes are, these are quiet, their hooded intensity screaming through the screen. As the lovers pass from room to implausible room, their clothes change to vivid new colors. Here is where our writer strikes closest to home, for many of us. Georgina falls for a bookish man, seeking to tell herself that she’s choosing a better man than Albert, a smarter, slighter, more caring person. Michael falls for Georgina, casting her as Gwenivere (or is it Cersei) in his imagination — the helpless damsel needing rescuing from her horrid husband. The deeper truth, that neither are willing to acknowledge, is that their coupling is fundamentally about lust. Oh, they wrap themselves in illusions — just as Albert does. But see! They do not even speak to each other between their trysts (the author pierces our illusion of their love, by mentioning this fact, as they finally commune with words instead of touch).
But woe to he who pierces the illusion! And this is another profound truth — that people, in failing to acknowledge the truth, lash out in rage at anyone who would disillusion them.
This is a visceral gutpunch of a movie. My title references the Soul — that which people believe elevates them above beasts. We share with beasts not just needs, but desires as well, however we cloak them in the pretense of being “more.” Though we do not elevate our desires, we can, at the least, elevate our interactions with others from the basest of games (I win, you lose) to cooperation.
Tod Kelly asked, in one of his Thursday Night Bar Fights, what you would show to aliens, if they were gifted with extraordinary understanding, in order that they might understand us. I say: “Aliens, watch this. Know our folly, and know that we can be brilliant despite it.” Also, “If you can’t take us as we are, shove off and find someone else to bother with your trinkets and toys.” For this movie speaks to visceral, deep parts of us, that I doubt we shall ever change.
kate gosselin and furthermore him butt goes finished created by
quick weight loss C Diff and Swine Flu
quick weight loss5 TV Shows That Were Shameless Rip