Monday, August 6, 2012

Symbol Changed Fiction into Reality: a Deep Review & Interpretation about "Stranger Than Fiction" by Curiosa

Symbol Changed Fiction into Reality

Deep Review & Interpretation


Marc Foster's " Stranger Than Fiction " (2006 Film)


Benaya Curiosa Stephen

One of the best Dramedy ever Exist! No Doubt! with a hint of Sci-Fi element.. Never watch it before? I recommend you to check this one particular movie. Okay, so let's make it deep now. 
In Stranger than Fiction, the main character named Harold Crick (played by Will Ferrel). He worked as an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service. He was a really dicipline and a really hardworking figure, an obsessive time-saver who always doing anything basically from his schedule which he already set all of his schedule in his wristwatch. He was more like a robot than a human. One day, suddently he had the strange thing that happens in his life, he heard a woman voice who was narrating his life just like he was a character in a book. Not so long, he heard the narrating voice which happens to be Karen “Kay” Eiffel (Emma Thompson) voice, a book author who always kills her main character in her story, and so..was predicting his own death. Alongside we saw Harold’s life, but, this film also shows Kay’s depressive, unhealthy, and struggling from writer’s block life (E.g. Tobacco Addiction etc). Unpredictably, this strange event made Harold know how to live with a normal life, even found the love of his life, Ana Pascal (Played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), a rebellious anarchy-believer baker whom he audited. This strange happening made Harold’s live better and happier, alongside with his endeavor to find out whom was the narrating voice in order to prevent his own death. In Stranger than Fiction, a lot of simple things symbolize an important meaning in our life, and later a lot of these simple things became really important in this story.
A lot of things in Stranger than Fiction is used to represent a symbol of something meaningful in our life. Both Harold and Kay were living in a sad life. A cookie and a glass of milk,  in this story was representing the normal childhood condition whose every people supposed to have, a condition that Harold never had in his childhood life. “Ana: After a really awful, no good day, didn’t your mother ever give you milk and cookies? / Harold: No. My mother couldn’t bake. All the cookies I ever had were store bought.” (Stranger Than Fiction. Dir. Marc Foster. Perf. Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson. Columbia Pictures and Mandate Pictures, 2006. 49). And then suddenly after he taste those cookies and milk, for the first time in his life he felt relax, being cared like a normal person in his life. Cookies and milk and Harold’s condition in here who never had his normal childhood is represent a sad condition of children nowadays in America, lot of them had only single parents. What a pathetic life, child who never know, who never had enough love and careness because their parent always busy with their life, and they forgot to provide a good life for their children and it was affect their child’s future just like we seen in Harold’s life.
Harold’s life and characteristic was a stereotype symbol representing how busy the life of mostly workers in America nowadays about how time is become really precious and rush in our life. “They hear my voice as they read / and think, Who is this girl that is speaking? / I know the end, she tells them. / It is the last line, both source and closing.” (180 more page 18), maybe this poem is the most suitable to depict Harold’s feeling when he was hearing the voice who was narrating his life especially when he heard the voice talk involve about his coming up death. Suddenly after he heard the narrating voice his life becomes incoherent and miserable. First time in nine years of his work, he was late to take the 8:17 bus which would result to his late. He couldn’t concentrate in his activity and was really annoyed by that voice. His life was become more miserable when he heard the voice said “little did Harold know that this simple, seemingly innocuous act would ultimately result in his death.” (Narrator (V.O.) Stranger than Fiction page 24), then it was leading to Harold’s stage of authenticity realistic life denial when he said “Why? Why was be my death!? Hello! Why!? ” (Harold Stranger than Fiction page 25). His denial was a symbol representing the mental condition of mostly people in the world today. They forgot to accept the reality that we are all going to die in some point in our life. They tend to denied a lot of reality which we all supposed to accept in our life or if not it would make our life become worst than before, for example, a lot of people refused to accept their physical condition, they attempted to made a change to their self with the breast implant, plastic surgery, and etc which causing them to ill or become uglier than before.
“Not every day / is a good day / for the elfin tailor. / Some days / the stolen cloth / reveals what it / was made for: / a handsome weskit / or the jerkin / of an elfin sailor. / Other days / the tailor / sees a jacket / in his mind / and sets about / to find the fabric. / But some days / neither the idea / nor the material / presents itself; / and these are / the hard days / for the tailor elf.” (180 more page 232). This poem reflects Kay’s condition. She was like the tailor elf who looking for the idea to finish her story, struggling to find a way to kill her main character who was Harold Crick in order to complete her writer’s block. She was having a hard time to find the idea to kill Harold. This trouble which made her to become a chain smoker. Kay’s bad habit of smoking, and Cigarettes itself was a symbol that she didn’t care about her body and mind, she was to obsessed with her incomplete writer’s block, and her interest with death was a symbol that her happiness in life was already gone, she was already dead in mentally just not physically. That’s what we found nowadays in most of the people, they we’re workaholic, too obsessed with their career and never think about their health and happiness. They didn’t realized that they we’re already suffering from mental sickness just like Kay in here, “Most of these people are sick or injured… which is great, don’t get me wrong— But they’re gonna get better which really doesn’t help. Is there— is there any way to see the people who aren’t going to get better?” (Kay Stranger than Fiction page 71) and “I’d like to see—if at all possible—the one’s who aren’t gonna make it. The dead for sure ones.”. (Kay Stranger than Fiction page 71). Out of routinity, man deserved to enjoy his life, they we’re too afraid to try what better in their life which was just trying to become more appreciate with their life.
This film also contains a concept about the butterfly effect, the concept of a small insignificant condition or things may cause a large change in the future. I think that was one of the point that Stranger than Fiction’s writer Zach Helm was trying to said to the audience in here, “And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties which we assume only accessorize our days, are in fact here for a much larger and nobler cause. (pause) They are here to save our lives.” (Narrator Stranger than Fiction page 122). Helm want us to appreciate all of the things, no matter it was simple, insignificant or no. As we read that a simple wristwatch had already saved Harold’s life from death, How cookies and milk brings happiness to Harold. Even this story plot was build with The Butterfly Effect concept, for example, at the opening scene of this movie we saw a scene of a boy who had a bicycle as a gift from his father, a scene from a woman who was looking for a job in the newspaper. At first we must didn’t notice about how important those scene in the ending of this film. The boy who ride a bicycle was the one who might cause Harold’s death because he was felt down from his bicycle when he was tried to cross the street near the bus stop, and then Harold was help brings that boy to the sidewalk and he didn’t realized that he was still on the middle of the street when a bus coming toward him and crashing him. After that we found that the bus driver was the lady who was looking for a job from the newspaper in the early scene. Fortunately the wristwatch was saving Harold’s life by controlling his blood flowing when he was injured.
And now what I think is the most important point on this story that the writers is trying to tell us is all of those things in our life, no matter if it just a simple thing is useful in our life. All of condition in our life no matter it is just ordinary or significant is related each other in our life and can cause a big difference in our future. 

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