Il Diario di Tinton

{2010-02-01}   The invention of Lying

Seen 2009-02-01 on flight ATL – CDG AF 681

It is easy to misinterpret: the world portrayed in the movie is not only about saying the honest truth all the time: many characters don’t really say the truth, they express their opinion and the rest of the people hear it as being the absolute truth. So the characters in the movie are very naive and childish. They don’t understand the concept of personal opinion.

For example, if somebody believes that being fat is ugly, that doesn’t mean everyone has to believe the same, right? Well, in the movie’s world, that is not the case: everyone has to agree that fat is ugly, that a loser is a loser for ever… This is the world of the movie. Completely absurd.

And this absurdity is exactly what gives a meaning to it. The fat audience can relate, because the protagonist is fat, and it is shown that even if one is fat, one can be happy and find the woman one desires. The depressed can connect with the depressed character and remember that there is always somebody that cares for them, even when it seems like there isn’t. The elderly or terminal can relate to the passing away mother, and remember that it is actually better to die happy believing in something. All these connections can only happen once the audience internalizes how absurd the other way of thinking is.

Seeing the movie from this angle, the movie gains a few more points: a mockery on todays society. Strange, though: After all where there is mockery, there has to be some level of imitation, right? But todays society is based on lies, how could a society based on avoiding lies even get close to imitating the real one?

Well, maybe a mockery induces the audience to think about what the mockery is mocking. And throughout the movie i kept getting a desire of telling the society “Come on! Wake up!”. So, from this perspective, the movie succeeded: it was able to get the audience (or at least me) to ponder on the society i live in.

Is it possible, really, for the audience to interpret this movie as if telling lies brings happiness and saying the truth just sadness? After all, the society is very unhappy. Without any lies, it seemed like every one only had negative things to say, and they weren’t having much fun. And the fact that in the movie, the society is so naive, so stupid, could make the audience bored and want to switch channels. Could it be possible that the audience doesn’t pick up that the movie is actually criticizing it?

Or maybe is the movie actually so bad, that its intention wasn’t to criticize society?


* Anne cooks dinner for the family



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