I've been expecting this movie for over a year. I've tried not to read too much though, as my first impression was almost lust to see it. I've tried hard not to drool too much over the pictures and interviews. Did you know Brad Pitt was originally suppose to be Hugh Jackman's character? That this movie was a huge labor of love? It shows. It was absolutely amazing in the artistic sense. An almost overload of visual... visions.
It's not going to do well in the box office. I know this. I knew from the first I heard of it that it was going to be a "me" movie. You know, the movie you know was made for you and you only? Or so you would like to think. Anyways... I knew it would that kind of movie. Although I have to say that as I walked out of the theater dry-eyed (amazingly enough both of my companions weeped like children and yet, while PPMSing, nary a tear I shed) I also knew I wouldn't add it to my collection. Don't get me wrong... everyone should see this movie. Well, anyone with at least half a brain. But I know even out of all those people, only a handful will really get it. Hey, I have been reading reviews. It doesn't help that the media has been touting it as a sci-fi when I would classify it more as a spiritual drama.
Anyways. Funny thing happened during the film, somewhat near the end and perhaps explains why it won't do well with the general public. An older couple was sitting behind us and making little comments during the film. It wasn't too bad or too distracting until a pivotal moment in the film where Hugh is having an emotional breakdown while self-administering a tattoo. Before I could get into the scene and empathize my way into my own silent sobbing, I hear "He's going to get herpes." stated so matter of fact and dead pan (although it was dead pan because she meant it) by the older woman. I couldn't help but chuckle. Mind you, onscreen Hugh is cutting his skin in the midst of a complete meltdown and here I am giggling like a little school girl. Totally inappropriate. I know. But how else do you respond when you hear oh so faintly from behind you that a person is going to get herpes from a homemade tattoo? It wrecked any empathy I had been building towards the character and I suppose I should thank the old lady for keeping me from losing my own grip and empathizing too much in a fictional character. I admit it. Heck, one of only two times I have sobbed so hard my chest hurt was at the end of the new King Kong movie. KING MUTHAFING KONG. Talk about empathizing a bit too much. Me. Big hairy ape. I'm sure we have a ton in common.
Anyways. Go see the movie. Be disappointed because you don't get it. You don't need to. It's like staring at an abstract painting. Perhaps we aren't supposed to "get it". Perhaps we aren't supposed to find the artist's meaning or soul. Perhaps instead we are meant to find our own.