We went to watch Broken Flowers last night at 9:45 and came out at 11:30 very dazed. It is a beautifully directed film about nothing in particular. It could have been about loneliness but it isn't. The central character Don is not particularly saddened by his near vegetable existence in a tastefully decorated house situated in a nameless town somewhere in America. It could have been about breaking societal ties and shunning human contact, but it isn't. Even though Don refuses to take an internet connection (we are told he got rich in the computer business and it has something to do with it) he is very open to walking over next door to his friend Winston's place. He is warm to Winston's wife and even manages to get along with his five children. So it isn't about "The Family Man" sort of dilemma either. Then there is the strange pink letter business which leads him on a cross country tour in a rental car. Apart from being an exercise in the dysfunctionality of modern life it does not serve much of a purpose. The understated humor in the camera movements and the heigtened emotions of the awkward silences are beautifully distant (I know that sounds vague...but that is what it felt like). Laura (Sharon Stone) and her daughter Lolita (Alexis something) are positively disturbing. In the end we are left wondering "It wasn't about the journey either" as Don does not come back a changed man. Infact like us even Don is rather confused by the inconcluisvity of it all and tries tragically to get some closure.
So what was the point of it all...may be nothing comes the answer. Maybe its a bit like life where most of us yearn for a chance to revisit that the fork in the road. We often wonder what became of those dimpled smile and that pimply faced innocence. We rarely get to do that, but if we ever did get the chance would it change us in any way; probably not. Like Don, we might just go back to living in the present and sharing a cup of steaming Ethiopian coffee with a friendly soul. Now I want to watch that movie again.
PS: Someone called me a tree hugger, hence the title of this post. Not that I mind being called a tree hugger but its a bit unsettling as I do not ever remember consiously hugging and comforting a tree. Though I admit to feeling really cuddly towards the Ents in LOTR. So ever since last evening I am feeling supercharged to go hug a tree and off I go.