Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Something, Anything" - A refreshing perspective on life..

"Something, Anything" - A refreshing perspective on life..
When you think about it closely, it is not the big, major crises in life that really affect us over a period of time. A death in the family or of a close friend, or an illness, or an event that seemingly looks catastrophic - all these will pass away. There is an initial momentum of futility that sets in when they happen, but by and by, its intensity wanes, and the monotony of our daily lives anaesthetizes the pain, the suffering – and removes any possibility of deep reflection and change. It is in the small day to day acts that we so mechanically perform, the social obligations that we so willingly accept, the cultural imperatives that we allow to be forced upon us, the “accepted” way of life that we unwillingly acknowledge and tag along - it is these that take a toll on ones psyche in the long run. Boredom, depression and a sense of purposelessness are the hallmarks of modern man. We may cover it up with a thousand reasons and scream at the top of our voices that all is well, but deep down there is this gnawing sense of insecurity that dogs us at every step. The greatest tragedy of Man is that he has become so used to living in conflict with himself and all around him, that it has become impossible to conceive a way of living that can be radically different and astoundingly simple. No matter how successful one is, or how much money one ends up making – one’s inner core suffers from a deep insatiable void, an utter lack of meaning in the robotic lives that we lead- thriving on masks that we have so willingly put on. And when one has the audacity, the courage and more importantly – the honesty to acknowledge and recognize that life has more to it than falling prey to mechanical, artificial living - then all it takes is to just step aside and feel the power of being alone - realigning, reorienting, rethinking our priorities and values. Out of this exercise may emerge something so profoundly wonderful – such as inner peace, contentment and a tremendous delight in doing things that one really wants to do and nothing more.
“Anything, something” is a delightful, sensitive, quiet and a deeply profound directorial debut by Paul Harill. It begins with a verse by Christina Rossetti– a great poet from the late eighteenth century:
“Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.”
The verse amply sums up the drift of this wonderful movie. It tells the story of Peggy Montgomery (beautifully essayed by Ashley Shelton) and her slow imperceptible conversion to an inward looking woman. In the very first scene, she is seen painting her nails about to be engaged; and then married to a successful Man. And in the space of next ten minutes, she is shown suffering a miscarriage and a silent withdrawal from her husband. She begins to live alone, carrying a silent pain in her heart. It is during this time, that she begins to look into the structure of her existence. The fa├žade, the game, the illusion, the constant one-upmanship; superficiality of middle class living reveal themselves to her - not dramatically, but in a slow steady act of reevaluating her life in light of her aloneness. A coincidental letter from an old High school senior, who joins the Trappist monastery, triggers her interest in matters spiritual. Again not in the sense of believing in an ideology or belief, but simply a nimble curiosity into one’s priorities, needs and happiness. Religion, after all, is not to become somebody, but only a refinement, a distillation of the Person that we are. And in the character of Peggy, we see that enlightened transformation into a more holistic, centered human being – capable of touching life in its raw nakedness than experiencing it through colored eyes of farcical values that surrounded her.
Director Paul Harill success in this film lay in his ability to present a realistic predicament of Modern life, without demeaning or criticizing anybody else. There is hardly a harsh word spoken in the entire film, and each frame subtly highlights inner psychological mess, and its redemption in a modern secular setting. To me, the highlight of this film lies in its climax (if that’s the right word to use), where we see Peggy reaching out and returning to normal life with a new confidence, poise and conviction. And to watch her get to that point is the real power and joy of this movie.
God bless…

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