Sunday, September 06, 2009

"Conversations with God" (2006) - Movie Review

I know, it is not funny but I told myself that I am going to keep an open mind watching this film as it is only “spiritual” than religious. And as a disclaimer I did not watch this film to blast it (which I will) and relish the process of it (which I will) but it just so happened that the movie killed itself by making a hollow portrayal of Neale Donald Walsch who wrote the series of books “Conversations with God”. This is an attempt on giving the origins of it. Boring it is not but empty and soulless in its characters, indeed it is.

The people who know me and read this blog faithfully (thank you by the way) are aware that I particularly do not believe in the idea of invisible friend and the organization of getting people in a big huge room to praise the invisible powers and endless life that idea has to provide. Still if there is another idea which praises the existence of ourselves as the gift and the natural process of going through it succumbing to the dirts of this planet, then we have something. As I always say, anything fanatical including being an atheist is a deadly religion of its own.

With that understanding, “Conversations with God” takes to see Neale Donald Walsch (Henry Czerny) at his bottom of the bottoms in the lowest of the lowest in his life. He has a broken neck, a wife (we never meet) and house he cannot go back to after he lost his job. He has no friends and his rents are due. No one is ready to hire a broken neck guy but is not there a law which can invite hell a lot of suing for discriminating based on being physically disabled? Walsch does not apply for construction worker job but mere administrative positions for which he is overqualified which is reasonable.

What he did previously is unknown until we learn something like he used to work in Radio. We miss his past life of who he was and what kind of person and the life he led before living for the park area where he can tent upon. Before he began to live a life of scavenging foods from dust bins and decided to not clean up. But wait we do not even know the friends he begins to make after that. There is an alcoholic Fitch (T. Bruce Page) who has the only convincing and thoughtful dialogue in the whole film when he apologizes in his way to Neale after an embarrassing moment he generated with Neale’s friend Leora (Vilma Silva). They become friends on the bond of being homeless and they do not discuss their pasts or we are not shown.

Then there is a bright sunshine old woman (Ingrid Boulting) in the park who without any question decides to let Neale in one fine day to clean him up for his interview. They never talk before that or we never see her converse with any one than to have a sole scene to stare at the people in the park. She then puts a hand on comfort and says everything will be fine. And we are supposed to be moved? Then there is Carly (Zillah Glory) hunting people in the commuting bus to talk and she talks to Neale. We do not know what she believes in or even react until Neale asks her to have a relationship for which she humiliates him of something unexpected coming from the poor man who have been lonely and penniless for the long time.

For all the talk about knowing yourself, Neale is a paper man. His believes before he begins to hear the supposed “God’s” voice is not mentioned. The film gets back and forth with the current book touring he goes on and the state of his low points till it meets the book which makes him wealthy and popular. In the very first presentation to a group of people, he is accused as hypocrite by an audience for him not leading the perfect committed life and divorcing his partners. He begins by accepting his mistakes and tells their privacy is theirs and cannot be breached for proving his points. That robs off an entire part of the life which would have given a before and after Neale.

After all the failures and mishaps in his life, Neale begins to hear a “voice” claiming itself to be god and tells of course reasonable simple things of leading life without expectation and embracing love. I know what Neale went through which is a breakthrough in his thought process of figuring out his falling life. He began to listen deep within we call conscience and took the best out of it. Life is made complicated by the living and the living is not the life. That is true but he goes a little cuckoo on giving the inner voice a name, “God”. Now by “God” I hope there is no religion springing out of this.

No comments: