28 May, 2011

Kicking and Screaming

Once in a while, you chance upon a movie that makes you revisit what you said in a casual conversation a few days ago. It has a tagline which makes you think. "Anxiety loves company". It makes you laugh in empathy, it makes you remember why you like the word quirky. It also makes you slightly uncomfortable. And uncomfortable, I have to regretfully inform you, is always good.

Following the life of four friends who refuse to take decisions to move past their graduation and start life as 'adults', Kicking and Screaming is aptly named. The characters are gems. Jane and her (disgusting) habit of removing her retainer while talking. Chet who in in his tenth year of university studies and is still serving at the bar. Grover who can't deconstruct why Jane dumps him to study in Prague.  

"Oh, I've been to Prague. Well, I haven't been to Prague been to Prague, but I know that thing, that, "Stop shaving your armpits, read the Unbearable Lightness of Being, date a sculptor, now I know how bad American coffee is thing... "  
And without the proverbial 'plan' the four find themselves cruising along a dilemma: they can't muster the will to leave the university, they can't see themselves doing anything else. If my poor excuse at a review hasn't put you off completely, read this to persuade yourself to watch the movie. Oh did I say the Director was 25 years old when he made this? Seems someone hadn't lost direction after graduating! 
"What I used to able to pass off as a bad summer could now potentially turn into a bad life."


  1. It's a coincidence. A very remarkable one indeed. Only a few weeks back, I was telling a friend from college how instead of trying to move ahead in life and don the proverbial mantle of responsibility, I seem to be 'kicking and screaming' to hold on to the past. Not willing to let go of it. Not yet at least. Every effort in the last two years seems to have been in that direction. While everyone else seems to have found his niche and is settling down, I still want to feel lost. And perhaps keep at it for as long as possible. Is that procrastination or just the fear of the big bad world? Time will tell. And it shall force my hand too. It is ironical that a person who was called every synonym of old would behave so childishly. I seem to be aging faster, but in reverse.

    I know I am supposed to let you do your own sorting, but you might want to have a look at Blue Valentine. I could not resist and it's a sign I must think about relinquishing that stupid vow. Well, we shall see.

  2. Write about a movie and Marvin shall respond. Of course you need to get rid of that vow of yours. Soon.

    Its an interesting game the mind plays. This postponing of uncomfortable decisions, settling into a place supposedly 'incorrect' but definitely more comfortable. Lets see if the Budhau turns Benjamin Button.

    Blue Valentine :) Since I've watched it, seems my sorting technique has something going right.

  3. No, I do not just respond to movie posts. That's being very presumptuous.

    The idea of uncomfortable decisions seems to me very relative. What might be uncomfortable for me can be right in the comfort zone for someone else. How many people have you known who would rather give up the perennially financially constrained student life and start earning good money? This someone else's difficult decision might be to hold on instead of letting go. How much are you willing to sacrifice for what? THAT is the important question.

    I think for me, the more fundamental reason is something else. And that has something to do with distinction. It's a coincidence and bad fortune, therefore, that my definition of 'distinctive' has everything to do with the past and very little to do with the future.

  4. I never said you just respond to movies. Who is being presumptuous now? Hmm?

    Yes, it is all relative, as most things are. It always comes down to what you value (money, job satisfaction, knowledge, relationships, personal achievement, public applause) and that helps you decide. What I term a 'comfortable place' seems to overlap with your 'willingness to sacrifice'. Two sides of the same decision making coin.

    The movie has these characters refusing to let go of the familiar for various reasons. For you, it is a different reason as you so clearly mention. What strikes me is your highly evolved knack for deconstruction. And the almost step brotherly treatment towards construction.

  5. Marvin6:47 pm

    It all boils down to just two reasons - procrastination and distinction. Even that deconstruction theory, if true, can be explain with their help.

  6. Abhijit2:45 pm

    What's this construction, deconstruction you guys are talking about? kuchh samajh mein nahi aa raha.

  7. Ha ha Abhijit, the conversation may seem rather confusing without context. Deconstruction, i.e. breaking things into their constituents, removing the fluff and seeing them for what they are. Its quite a skill to be able to do so actually. And Marvin is quite good at it.

    Construction, on the other hand is the ability to take those deconstructed pieces and put them together to make something meaningful. It also refers to doing something with the pieces and what you learn from them.

    Makes some sense? But these are my definitions and are of course 'relative', if you know what I mean. Marvin of course can shed more light :)

  8. Let me explain it with the help of a remark I remember making. I was talking to my Mama and he was asking me how I had been. I think I said (and I am paraphrasing myself here) - I know what all is wrong with my life but I do not have the will or the motivation to fix it. I'd rather just let it be.

    There is your deconstruction and construction in one line.

  9. I learnt a lot with the comments.



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