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Garden State

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A Netflix movie recommended by Danyelle.  Albeit, I did want to see it from the previews.  Saw it by myself the first time, then watched it again with my mom and grandma.

I like Zach Braff in Scrubs, a silly medical sitcom using decent fantasy cuts.  He wrote, directed and starred in this.  This is a very, very low-key movie.  You really have to be in the mood for it to watch it.

The main character is a stuggling actor in LA.  He gets a phone call from his father informing him that his mother had died.  The shot of his answering machine taking the call is looking down on him in his bed.  The room is stark and empty.   The bedsheets are colorless.  Like he's living in nothingness.  The story is basically about him leaving the nothingness and finding joy in the struggle of living.

He flies back to New Jersey.  There he runs into some old friends who are in dead-end lives there.  And, he meets a new friend in Natalie Portman (yummy!)

Some of the situations are a bit odd.  He gets talked into doing some ecstacy at a party.  They show things happening around him in super-speed mode, with pauses in real time.  Then, he wakes up the next morning and there's a knight in armor looking at him from the kitchen.

There are some repeated motifs.  After having been to his mother's funeral, he helps Natalie bury her hamster.  After the shot in his stark bedroom, he tries on a shirt that was made for him by a friend of his mother's, and it's the same material as the bathroom wall covering.  So we see him blending into the wall.  Things like that.

I suspect there was a whole lot of symbolism that I missed.  There were many scenes that I can't figure out why they were in the movie.  There was a voyeur scene, where a bellhop at a hotel had cut holes into some rooms so he could charge people to watch sex in those rooms from within the walls.  There was a friend of Zach's who fired a burning arrow into the air and the three of them ran around so that it wouldn't land on them.  I have no idea why those were in the film.

Some were a little easier.  There was a giant void that they screamed into.   A couple who watched over the entrance to the void and were content with doing so, as long as it was with each other.

I guess I prolly need to see this a coupla more times to really get it.  Or watch it with someone like Danyelle who could prolly point out many of the things I missed.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Matinee.  Interesting character study of a 20-something coming home for his mother's funeral.

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