Independent movies most of the times go with the suburbs rather than the city. So does this movie. It is my opinion that it brings out lot of introspection to oneself or it seems that one would have lot of time to think things over. Independent movies bring out those times to think. Watching movies like this creates an environment around the audience, which has those moments of happiness, still with some underlying sadness. There will be instances of silences with the images staying still or with some uninteresting actions as it may look like. But after time pass by, those still images of uninteresting actions brings peace and meanings, so much more than dozens of dialogues. Take the character of Fin (Peter Dinklage), a man of very few words. There is definitely the anger and pain in his eyes of appearing different, but still keeps it entirely within him. He has given up with people and he does not want any more opportunity to get hurt. He keeps everything straight and never tries to strike a conversation. Still, he is a good listener. In those silent nodding and the looks, he invites the other person to flow everything and they do not expect an answer from him. They want him to listen and that’s exactly what he does. To explain that character by dialogues is absurd and those images and actions aid in understanding Fin.
When Fin is occupied in his whole world of trains, there is Olivia (Patricia Clarkson), who has her own grievance, maybe an unknown guilt of losing her son couple of years ago. The pain of looked upon and pitied is not been tolerated by her which drives her to the suburbs of no one. She meets Fin and able to identify the pain with him. Fin who is a good listener of course gets those and connects in the most silent way possible. There is a sequence wherein Olivia trying to break away the awkward silence tells that they can eat without talking. And Fin says yes to it. This is the strangest agreement in between two people dining together. That moment defines their connection. Those are the moments, any one can who is watching this film can expect.
When there is this two characters of this kind, there needs another one to counter those. Enters Joe (Bobby Cannavale), a talkative and strangely interesting guy, who has a mobile hot dog vending van. He is full of life. He extracts the essence of happiness with almost everyone. He looks forward in knowing everyone and especially a reserved person like Fin. He is the person whom will not like him for being very talkative, but given a chance of letting him in their zone, will create those joyous moments for them. Joe believes in forming the bridge of party in between these two. His action of taking something granted is vividly cute and funny.
These three find something common in between them. They do not much know about it, but they do enjoy each other’s company. They do not openly convey it but they do it in their actions. While Fin and Olivia have their own form of entertaining themselves, Joe gets joy in participating in those with them.
The movie tangos with the emotions, but performs it as a silent recital. It is refreshing to see the greeneries and the deserted train depot. It brings in the warmth in the air which some time gets missed in these three characters. The train forming the theme and backdrop for this unique movie is another interesting factor. Watching trains go by is interesting and even though I knew it, this movie brought out and made me think of my days in those tracks, when I was a high school kid. Walking in it and playing around when the train comes are some sick fun, I used to have. It is quite thoughtful and magnificent that the movie focuses to bring in that novelty in to it.
“The Station Agent”, is a view on solitude. In the middle of these three characters, they do share their loneliness. It is unbelievable to bring in the element of solitude in a movie with three characters, who become friends. The movie ends with the note of their blossoming of friendship to one more level. “The Station Agent” is where all the members of the audience, take time away from their friends and families to enjoy the solitude with the company of Fin, Olivia and Joe.