Sunday, August 21, 2011


‘You are what you love, not what loves you.’
Call it creative despair or writer’s block but sometimes nothingness becomes your material; maybe it gives you more time to self scrutinize yourself! Fellini made one of his masterpieces out of it; though complicated and deconstructive the film still remains one of the most personal expressions of himself as an artist. America’s one of the gifted screenplay writer, Charlie Kaufman tried to do something like that here. The film is too personal and self reflectional of Kaufman as an artist. There’s no wonder why the protagonist of the film here named as Charlie Kaufman and he’s screenplay writer suffering from creative block while adapting the script of the book about orchid flowers. He’s quite confused about its screen adaptation as the book has no story or plot. His personal repressed self and self locked existence led him to writer’s block. He’s constantly failing to meet deadlines and suck himself into the life of the lady who wrote the book. Compared to that his brother Donald, who’s living with him and attempting screenplay writing with the footsteps of his brother, completed writing one of the attention grabbling debut.
Now how can you create something unusual or out of the box from nothing? There’s a scene where Charlie’s wannabe screenplay writer brother Donald took him to attend seminar on principles of screenplay writing to solve his creative block. Charlie seeks an advice from the man named Frank Mckee…listen the question and an embarrassing and insulting reply on stage and than pay your ears to the personal meeting just after the seminar is declared over. Charlie waits for the man and than both discussed the problem. There lies the fine clue of the film about art and the detached self of an artist. But is it possible to create an original art without self expression? How can he remain detached to the project without personal expressions and yet bring originality? There's constant thrust between reality outside and reality inside which is your true identity! Kaufman is clever man and he turned out the screenplay ready with a personal and accidental tragedy but by deliberately using both Voice Over and ‘dues ex machina’ (any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve and insoluble difficulty); both strictly denied by Mckee, the usual code of screenplay writing. Maybe to create something unusual, you need to break the usual notions guided to you!
It’s brilliant and well constructed screenplay…so fresh, so original with equally brilliant screen execution and direction…the team of Kaufman & Spike Jonze brought another film, hard to avoid for the lovers of unusual Hollywood. Compared to Kaufman’s other two popular films 'The Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind' and Being John Malkowich', this one quite straightly narrated, less complicated and least ambiguous screenplay and yet it has finely internalized the character journey. But beyond that what is absolutely high point of the film is the double acts of twin brothers Donald and Charlie Kaufman, absolutely juxtaposed to each other and yet with so subtly characteristically restrained performed by Nicholas Cage. He truly deserved award for this one. Both Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper finely supported their parts as well.
Highly recommended to those who still haven’t seen it.

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