Quick Thoughts: (500) Days Of Summer (2009)
A hopeless romantic falls in and out of love.
This’ll probably preface everything I write, but I love this film. For me, it’s The Graduate (as it implies itself) but more concise, fun and deep. This film is about romantics. Not just love hearts and fairy cakes, but, romanticism in its essence. About idealisation. The film asks: what does the ideal world look like? The answer it gives: spontaneous sing-song, cartoon birds, Han Solo in your reflection and true love. Actually, that’s not fair. The film asks: what does an ideal world look like inside of the real world? The answer: a perpetual cycle, but that’s not a bad thing. To throw an overview across the plains (strange phrase I’m not certain about, but) Tom falls in love and out of love like the seasons cycle. It’s all in the title–needs no explanation. But why? The film demonstrates that we’re a product of long term experience, but that who we pretend to be is a product of short term experience. In short, your mother never liked you; you’ll probably never get along with the girls that well. A girlfriend ditches you; you don’t like women for a while. Don’t take the analogy to seriously or over analyse it–it’s a bit too general–but what else are analogies supposed to be–yes, a good one would have been succinct and so one, but leave me alone. The point is and was, people hold core personality traits and adopt some from time to time. Like that time you brought those shoes that… I’m sorry, I can’t do those references–know that I tried though. Anyhow, here we’re delving into social conditioning and I think it’s clear that such a thing is inherent to being human to a point I need say no more. But the film does present a nice little question we all love: why? Why do we change? Why must we adapt? Why do we need summer, winter, autumn and that monsoon thing some people get–don’t overlook the metaphor–we’re talking about depression here. This is a key element of the film. it’s a rise and fall, but since the film is perpetual and has a recyclable plot: what is more important? Yes, the joy and love got more screen time, but is this representative of real life? We all have ups and downs otherwise you’re one of the lucky few in a coma–in which case: why are you reading this? The point being, the world is constructed up an idea of opposites. Einstein and such. Or was it Newton? Or someone else? Either way, equal and opposite forces. Love is nothing without hatred. Depression is nothing without joy. The film seems to argue this obvious fact for the sake of exposing the truth behind emotions. There’s some that don’t feel good and others that do. Without the opposites we don’t feel and so Tom’s 500 days is really his life, just like it is yours. Whilst Tom’s faults may be his romanticism, yours may be your collection of shoes that you were telling me about. We all live in peaks and valleys; beneath the bridge, walking it; the troll and the goat. Where does this leave us?… mmmm… nowhere. Is that a bad thing? Well, I propose there are no such thing as bad things, simply things that make you feel bad. And so in the cycle you are. The existential undertones of the movie may depress, uplift or (insert emotions) you. But either tomorrow, next week or in 500 days you’ll be feeling around about the opposite for at least a moment.
What’s the takeaway? In truth there isn’t one. You’ll only give it back. No, the takeaway is inevitability and balance. You’re inevitably going to be on and off balance. Sorry, but you’ve got little control over that one. But, I guess you could be grateful for the experience. What would be the opposite? Balance? Not feeling, perceiving… actually that sounds like a nice break. But, here we are and here we stay: in our own screwy minds. So I guess knowing the rules of the game let us know when we’re being cheated. That’s always helpful.
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