This film is the ultimate parody on the meaning of life.It is however fashioned rather expertly with two differing philosophies: transcendentalism and absurdist/nilhistic ideals. The way that the meaning is ascribed to life can be a positive one, or a more negative one. This depends on your idea of the way the world works. The movie moves through many philosophical ideas such as meaningful coincidences, rejection of the ego filtration of the masses and comes to an enlightenment of sorts of the protagonist who comes to an epiphany when he synthesizes the two ideas in to his own philosophical conclusions.
One of the most compelling words in the script is the idea that no one ever chooses to examine their lives unless something comes along that makes them do it, then afterwards, they forget all about it. This could not be more spot on. We often are taken to the depths of despair before we closely look at what works and does not work in our lives and how we deal with it.
Deconstructing life is a key component in this film as is the idea we are all connected to each other. This is part of the dilemma of the existentialist who seeks meaning to his or her life, but in turn finds that it is not life that has meaning, but meaning that is life. Another memorable quote is given by the nilhist “It is inevitable to be drawn back into human drama. ” As humans we know easily done, particularly if there is a pattern in a relationship that makes it difficult to ignore.
The discussion at the dinner table with Albert and the “Christians” was most telling in its inability to compromise:
Mrs. Hooten: Albert, what brought you to the philosophical club?
Albert Markovski: You mean the existential detectives?
Mr. Hooten: Sounds like a support group.
Cricket: Why can’t he use the church?
Mrs. Hooten: Sometimes, people have additional questions to be answered.
Cricket: Like what?
Albert Markovski: Well, um, for instance: if the forms of this world die, which is more real, the me that dies or the me that’s infinite? Can I trust my habitual mind, or do I need to learn to look beneath those things?
Why does existential curiosity seem to engender such a response from those who are religious? Why is it that they seem to feel threatened?
The blanket description in the film is particularly effective in explaining how we are all connected, in my estimation. If we all exist under the same “blanket” it shows we are one in the same situation. If we connect the blanket idea to the world, the universe it shows the interstices of time and space and oneness. The rest is just material world and exists “out there” and is not aligned with the meaning we seek. The meaning we seek then is why we exist and what things that surround us has to say to us, or as Albert says: “Everything is the same, even if it’s different. ”
So what kind of existential experience did you have by watching this movie. The fact it was filmed as a comedy means that people are not always serious about looking into the meaning of their lives and need something to assuage their existential angst!