Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sunday Afternoon Movie
I just finished watching the George Clooney film , "Up in the Air", via my cable company. I've been so busy lately, I have not had time to get to the theatre to watch a movie, so the "Movies On Demand" function of my remote is a welcome perk.
I'd heard this was a good film and the trailers looked interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try.
I must say, I found the movie profoundly depressing. Don't get me wrong, it was well acted by all the principal stars, an interesting viewpoint from which to tell the story and very well executed, but from the first few minutes, I found myself silently sobbing. Tears streamed down my face intermittently throughout the whole picture, at the depictions of middle-aged people being told they were no longer needed and had been let go from their jobs.
I relate to this pain on a visceral level. I know first-hand, the utter despair and sense of worthlessness you feel when being told by your company that they no longer need or want you as a part of their operation. I know what it is like to be dismissed one day, left with no recourse, after years of dedication and hard work. I remember lying awake in the early morning hours wondering how in God's name I would pay my bills and fill my hours. I have an intimate connection to this terror; I know it personally.
None of it seemed real to Ryan, the protagonist. He managed to keep the ugly reality of his work neatly compartmentalized, and didn't let it get to him. He was unscathed by the hardship and pain of the strangers that he was paid to fire. The tables were turned on Clooney's character, when his romantic foil, Alex, showed him that his emotions were just make-believe to her, as much a non-reality in her life, as the emotions of the victims of his cold dismissal services were in his. In the end, although he'd started to become a sympathetic character and I did feel sorry for him, I think he sort of got what he had coming to him.