09 September 2007

Premonition


It's a typical Sunday, with nothing much to do ... as soon as I started writing the previous sentence, it came to me that I've got to give a lecture at Silpakorn next Wednesday and I haven't made any preparation, that I've got to be in a discussion group on Tuesday on outlawed drama (again for which I haven't prepared), that I need to choose a short story for the upcoming exam (again for which I haven't prepared), that I need to visit my uncle, spend more time with the three Ms (my Mom, Mat, and Madge), go to JJ, do ironing, etc. ... well, the more I think of what needs to be done, the more discouraged I feel in writing this blog.
Yet, I soldier on ... here is my latest entry on Premonition, starring Sandra Bullock and the rest of the cast whose names I can't remember. My first impression is that the whole film is built on promising premises: what if you have a chance to wake up in the future and realise what's going on? what if you know the future and have a chance to remedy errors?
It's a shame however that the film doesn't fulfill these. It plays too much upon the accuracy of the events, which is of course something that it should do. But this happens at the expense of the intensity of emotion and philosophical entanglements. The priest's lecture on fatalism looks ludicrous and out-of-place in the middle of the film. I don't know why this happens, but perhaps the film focuses too much on the unfolding of the actual events, rather than the philosophical complexity of the whole scenario. We are, I believe, given too little information about the protagonists to feel involved with them -- maybe they're too banal? In this case, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is much better. We feel their love and grow attached to them.
I know that in this film the couple actually become estranged from each other and no longer feel love for each other. But the film doesn't bring enough emotional subtleties to elicit this fragility. Once the audience doesn't emphathise with the characters, the whole philosophical complexity becomes so distant and totally disengaged from the whole series of events.
However, there's still something that I get from this film. Compared to Jerry McGuire, which we watched the other day on cable, Premonition somehow signals a shift in attitude towards life. In Jerry McGuire, what rules is a cheap psychological talk that makes you believe you can do everything (someone would've said that this is the American optimism of the 90s), Premonition shows an opposite direction (perhaps due to the pessimism after the 9/11 tragic incident): we cannot control everything, but if we can do our best within the limits of what we can do, that should suffice.
That is what I learnt from the film, and I should've by now realised that this is the best I can do to my weblog today. So I shouldn't linger but stop all this nonsense and go back to do ironing ...

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