16 November 2008

Stranger than Fiction

Directed by Marc Foster, Stranger than Fiction is of course a film about fiction. Will Ferrell, playing Harold Crick, is pretty tamed in this film, not unlike Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. The plot is simple: Crick discovers that he's a character in an unfinished novel by an author who is renowned for her "ability" to kill characters. Of course, Crick is scared and tries every possible way to stop the author Karen Eiffel from killing him.

In the course of the film, the characters gradually develop. Crick has grown from a cold, indifferent IRS agent to a sensitive person who manages to understand the author and even let her kill him. Ana Pascal, a baker with whom he falls in love, also gradually learns to love the man for what he really is, despite her first impression of him as a cruel tax man. However, most touching of all is the development of Eiffel who begins to understand how her 'fiction' has intertwined with reality and the implications of what she's been doing. I'm not going to reveal the ending but suffice to say that Eiffel's decision at the end is a moment of understanding that's truly beautiful.

In my humble opinion, Stranger than Fiction is not just a film that aims to showcase the scriptwriter's intelligence and wit, but it also gives an insight into how to lead one's life and how magic always happens. This film may be a banal cliche for some, but for me it's really touchingly heroic. Not heroic in the sense of a knight in the shining armour saving the life of a princess, but heroic in the way an ordinary person can be.

Perhaps in the world that is getting more and more complicated, this film teaches us that stoicism is still a good option to stick to and God may perhaps be kind and let you live. That's all I can say, otherwise there'll be spoilers alert.

1 comment:

Matthew Hunt said...

I didn't interpret him as cold or indifferent at the start. He was simply introverted.

Everyone says that Jim Carrey was toned down in The Truman Show, but to me he seemed as manic as always.