I'm a big believer in the power of words- written words ofcourse, but spoken words as well.
Two movies that I watched recently made me question the latter portion of my belief. I watched them consecutively so its possible that the order in which I watched them had some influence on my views, but here it goes.
Closer was the first one- I had heard a lot about it. The critics- raved and the regular folks I know who saw it- balked. I was told it's 'sad'. So I figured I had to be in the appropriate mood to watch it - i.e. when i'm avoiding people. It was 'interesting'- didn't make me sad though.
I viewed it as a study on what people define as 'love'. Whether its the 'earnest love' depends on your definition of love. Can you love the person you are cheating with, along with the person you are cheating on? Does love require honesty? Above all- what does 's_x' have to do with love? A lot gets said- most of it very profane and direct. The thing that caught me was the fact that even though the four characters were talking a lot to each other....saying things most people generally don't like to say......they were still not saying what was really in their mind and ultimately it didn't bring them closer to each other. Except maybe Clive Owen's character, who appeared to be saying all that was on his mind and someone he was creepiest of them all. Anyway, it was as if even the director couldn't play 'god' and tell us what the characters were thinking exactly. That, to me, was the brilliance in making this movie. Its so different. It refuses to give you solid answers or even hope. The end effect of it on me was that- I wanted to quickly forget the movie.
3-Iron (Bin Jip in Korean), recommended by a Film Festival buff I knew, was also a love story but almost a polar opposite of Closer. The main protagonists in that movie never speak....until one line at the end(yes it has the love word in it). Yet the effect of all the silence was strange, because the two of them knew exactly what the other was thinking and we-the viewer did too. For someone who talks a lot (my grandma seriously wonders how my friends and I get through any conversation!) it was very puzzling that so much earnest emotions could be delivered without ever uttering anything. It made me wonder what is really required for two people to fall in love and if there are such things as soul mates. It was not a movie I could stop thinking about after the credits rolled in.
Now Its just pure coincidence that I watched these two movies together, otherwise I don't know if I would have noticed the effect of spoken words. The possibility that we could be saying so much but not really what we are thinking truthfully......or... that with the right person, you don't need to say anything- seems like a real one now. Not that people should stop communicating, but maybe sometimes with all the noise of talking, the message gets dulled out. Only the smart ones are listening, I think.