A very average Norwegian film from 2006. However, I felt that it did draw on quite a theme that I'd like to see challenged today. It's about a guy who is alienated from the rest of society. We've seen and read about all that before though whether it be Catcher In The Rye, 1984, dystopias, utopias...
A guy finds himself in a world that has no soul or emotion, and everyone is happy, and everything is 'nice'. He has a corporate job, he goes to bars, he has an attractive partner and home. He tries to escape. That's not totally spoiling I hope? I knew a lot of people that just had to have a 'relationship' for the sake of it. It's a requirement. I wonder if everyone will conform to that eventually. What choice will there be?
I was watching the news once at college and some guy got angry at the Catholic church for disallowing some woman to be a priest or whatever because she was a lesbian. Did he get angry, or was he told to get angry? "They shouldn't be allowed to do that it's not fair" Why not consider that if the religion openly discriminates, having the freedom to do so, as it's a religion -- a set of ideas and beliefs that billions of people have conformed to -- that the woman is just scumming herself anyway? Why be part of it?
I wonder if there are any other films like this? Forget that art house stuff, I don't want to have to pretend messages exist in overly-long, tedious takes. We know there are many utopian films and literature. How many of them are challenging modern society in general though? It's either extremist governments, societies that stray too far from the truth it becomes fantasy/sf, teen-angst, boring contemporary literature, old Soviet-era stuff that was banned, tonnes of books written by female authors about how a girl gets raped and murdered at 15, pretentious you-need-a-degree-to-read-this, etc. There's 'alternative music', there's 'alternative film' and alternative XYZ but is anyone actually directly showing that a lot of people just don't seem to have the qualities that we passionately consider to make us human? Why does so much of this 'cultured' rubbish have to be inaccessible?
Whilst this film has a lot of black humour and portrays the extremes of this 'nice' society I'm definitely someone who can see that it isn't different from the society and people I tend to experience. Whether or not that was the intention of the film... every time I thought it was going to clarify that, it didn't.
Materialism: T.V. adverts, women's magazines, soap operas, 'talent' shows, tabloids... Everyone says that the aforementioned has so much power, but then this implies that the majority of people are mechanical. All of this just ends up suppressing the emotions people have because it's depicted as being inhumane. I was in the supermarket the other day and I saw a woman on the women's magazines. She was on there because she looked "tired" -- are they saying you shouldn't look tired in public, and try and alter that fact with covering yourself in a tonne of makeup? Course they are. And that's what, metaphorically, people have done since magazines and the media have gained power like that.