Saturday, December 18, 2010
Movie Review of Is Anybody There? (2008)
Buddha told a parable in a sutra:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
- Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
Edward (Bill Milner) is a melancholy eleven year old who lives with his parents in a large house they use as a senior’s rest home. His Mum (Annie-Marie Duff) is perpetually exhausted and his Dad (David Morressey) is going through a pre-midlife crisis. The story takes place in the early eighties.
Edward is fascinated by the concept of ghosts, determined to discover if there is life after death. He resents having to give up his larger bedroom to a senior and is unhappy with his home environment. Clarence (Michael Caine) an aging ex-magician arrives and the two of them develop an unpredictable relationship. At times heartbreaking, often funny, this movie examines grief, loss, regret, yearning, and the process of aging. Everyone in the story has much to learn about living in each precious moment.
The acting is superb, but for an English Canadian, the British accents were a challenge; subtitles would have been appreciated.