Today I have watched Woody Allen’s “Irrational man” film at the “Moscow” cinema theatre in Yerevan. (: And now I am sitting at my balcony, it is raining outside, and I feel cosy writing this post.
I believe Woody is a great director. He knows people very well. And he tries to make deep works. Alas, not often people notice that. There were only 7 couples at the screening. I think it’s not a coincidence that Woody gave up trying to get money for films in USA. He works in Europe now. I just checked, surprisingly, this movie was produced in USA. This situation makes me think about how to make good films in case of free market? My usual guess is that when you have big enough market, then you have enough minority, which will pay for good films, thus they can be produced. However, it seems that even USA market is not big enough.
Whatever, this is a film about a man, who spent almost all of his life in the struggle for fairness. And he paid high price for it - deaths of close people, suffered a serious illness. Eventually he got despair, depression. He failed to make world a better place.
In particular because he was struggling by peaceful means. While the world around him was struggling against him with not very fair, peaceful means. That’s how fair meed fails.
Now this man decides to make something against the cruel system. Some small, but important thing. The difference is that he feels that he exhausted all the peaceful and legal ways to make a change. He decides to act illegally. And he thinks he can win. However the film is about that he cannot win, that fairness cannot win in this world.
Even if the world consists of beautiful and clever amazing girls around who think they believe in fairness.
So he confesses to his girl under the pressure, by having the naive belief that she can understand him. Wasn’t she understanding before? She had so much empathy for his past privations. Of course girl does not understand him. Firstly, I believe, because she is too young. And secondly, because that is not her struggle in reality. It only seems cool to be around someone who has seen life. Yes, there was a disadvantage - he considered himself a looser. However he very soon got back to life, because he got back to struggle for fairness. And she naively thought that she made him back by her “love”. And as we saw, she was unable to accept the man who fights now. She returned to her nice guy former boyfriend, whom she dumped for the philosopher previously, and who did not show any sign of concerns about humanity, justice, etc. Yes, he could buy a ticket for a political satire. That’s what every decent person should do. Buy a ticket and enjoy politics in the theatre.
May be she was unable to accept him, because she did not love him. Or she was in love more with her perception of him, not the real him, who values many other things, not only pretty young girls. He wasn’t loved by the woman who wanted to get to Spain either. They both were just using him to satisfy personal needs. Why would he take that woman to Spain. What for? Why cannot he find other one in Europe? And why he is sure she won’t dump him in Spain to find someone even more convenient? Does she deserve to be taken there? Because he believes in people.
May be the difference between these women was that the young was not aware of her motives, but the older was. She clearly had known what does she need. And she would not pass the philosopher in to the hands of police, not because of her values, but because she eventually found someone convenient.
Also, this movie is about our inability to distinguish between situations where we have to be honest, and where we don’t. This is what the philosopher stressed right in the beginning of the movie by asking his students if they would tell the police about the thief who is hiding at the neighbour’s flat, or not. Then he challenged them with the question if they would tell Nazis about Frank’s family, just for the sake of honesty.
Roy, young boyfriend of the girl, welcomes her back. However I believe she deserves a the other outcome. It’s not fair when people get positive reinforcement for negative actions. Russians have this tale about broken through. That tale is about fairness. Because those, who don’t get negative reinforcement, take people for granted and tend to continue to abuse their friendship.
I believe Woody makes films very close to real life. Indeed, that guy would accept her back. Without even one salty word. But this time. Not the next.
Also, this abandoned husband. He said: “think again” to her. What about? He had to say “go to hell”. But he did not.
Both of them, the boy and the husband may think that they got lucky. However I believe they’ve missed a chance to know who is their real friend, and who is not. If they wanted to see.
The other question is - do they really need a friend? A close person they can trust? Or they need a cool chick/man who will take to Spain/etcetera? Also, the men. Who do they need?
Roy will surround that girl with love and kindness, will make everything for her to feel comfortable and cosy. Will she answer equally? I doubt it. Because it’s not clear she can love at all.
May be nobody is able to love, just people find convenient variants, coinciding interests. I don’t know.
Woody skilfully exposes people’s behavioural patterns. Patterns, we often don’t notice ourselves. Or even if we do we have no strength or will to behave differently.
That is when I think about how many similarities people have. Not only exterior similarities. And how predictable are they.
I have noticed “The Idiot” and Hanna Arendt’s name in the frame for a short time. It seems Allen loves Dostoevsky, it is not a first time he refers to him. May be his works will be taught in the future, just like today Dostoevsky’s works are taught or considered as must read, who knows.
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