Friday, April 30, 2010

"Bubble" (2005) - Movie Review

Steven Soderbergh can be stylishly classy as “Ocean’s Eleven”, stylishly real as in “The Girlfriend Experience”. Here he is painfully real in “Bubble”. It has non-professional actors almost playing themselves in a way and it goes through the lives of these people in a span of a week. In this town of blankness, nothing gets dramatized even though there is so much of it happening.

In a small town is Martha (Debbie Doebereiner), a forty-ish single woman with no kids taking care of her elderly dad. She appears to have no life in this town but she is not aware of it. She works in a factory which manufactures dolls. What a strange place is this factory. To see the bald, hairless and eyeless model is more than eerie and creepy. But this is the oddity in this otherwise checkered town.

Martha provides ride to her neighbour and her only friend, a young man Kyle (Dustin James Ashley). Kyle works at the factory too. The conversations between them are unbelievably realistic and the humour in the film is how much we see those lifeless talks we carry through in a day. Lifeless but those are the starters for a good one yet Soderbergh does not let his characters speak those. Not because he did not want to rather because it does not happen.

In between them comes Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins), a young single mother. She immediately takes notice of Kyle and Kyle her and Martha on both of them. Martha is the old woman obligated to be nice while Kyle is the single most outstanding candidate for Rose. They are bound to happen, for better, worse and for the heck of it. In all these sequences, things happen without a fuss. No evidential mention by Martha that she is teeny tiny jealous of Rose and teeny tiny possessive about Kyle.

Soderbergh can be unique and adamant in his storytelling and flagrantly grandiose in some other stories. He chooses this setting because the story out here has either been dramatized or never been told for what it is. As much as the life of these three appear to be boring, this is the real life of the daily happenings in any of ours. This is not sad but these are the people, the talks that goes and emotions that are unspoken and deeply hidden. These happen without the need of Meryl Streep or Al Pacino.

The music of Robert Pollard cannot carry anymore on the tone what the film is about. It has guitar strumming of several chord in an unpredictable order. It is not out of tune or irritating but not pleasant enough to embrace it. It is enough to have a curiosity on the music and the scene which it plays for and it is the grey area between annoying and entertaining. It never settles out or yearns its audience. It is as Soderbergh’s presentation, unique.

The film is said to have been shot with no script. There was an outline laid out by Coleman Hough and they worked the rest on improvisation. It is how it gets the ambience of stinging non-fiction. The people talk to fill out the time they are obligated to be surrounded by others. Martha and Kyle have been conveniently living in those moments. It does not take a great cheerful and colourful personality to shudder the balance. All it takes is a young girl of Kyle’s age to respect her hormonal instincts.

“Bubble” is a statement on the lives. Not on this uneventful town rather a part of ourselves in our daily existence. There are no “Hi, how are you doing?” to a stranger in India but there are plenty in the US. That is the best quality which soon becomes a meaningless exercise. Such is the people in “Bubble”. They have become their life’s meaningless exercise and they have basked in the boring comfortableness of it. Even the slightest alteration can craze up the sublime.

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