The other night, for some background and a little dinner companionship, I plugged in one of my favorite movies: Magnolia. If you’ve never seen, it’s a must see. There’s a lot going on in this movie. It’s so rich with layers and dimensions that I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it and I just now really got it. And what timing (Passover). The movie is basically about personal Exodus. (I saw all the “8” and “2” references pointing to Exodus 8:2:
If you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your borders with frogs.
It’s about all of these people suffering at the hands of past decisions or experiences (i.e, “pharaohs”) that still enslave them. And their lives are just spiralling downward and they just keep making things worse for themselves because they don’t know how to break out of it. And, at the climax of the movie, when it starts to pour frogs from the sky, everyone either suddenly gets a glimpse of a different, better life or the falling frogs stop them from making their next really bad mistake.
And, of course, there’s the rapper kid at the beginning of the movie (who cryptically rats his murderous father out to the cop). His rap is about running from a “long time oppressor”. And he sums it up by saying, “If sunshine don’t work, then the good lord bring the rain in.”
Like, if you can’t snap out of your sorry ass patterns when the sun is shining, then the “good lord” will make it rain and see if that snaps you out of it. And ain’t that so true? I mean, how many times have we all hit some new low and we could have sat there whining about our misfortune but instead we have an epiphany or find some inner strength we didn’t know we had? And then slowly but finaly we turn in a new direction.
Duh. You could have knocked me over with a frog.
Edit: OK, you are probably all saying, “But what about Stanley the quiz kid”? You’re right: Stanley isn’t part of this self-oppressing pattern. He’s wise beyond his years. And, as Donny implies, “No, it is not dangerous to confuse children with angels.”
Now, can someone explain to me the title of the movie?