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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Proof: Resonance, part 1

Yesterday I watched the movie "Proof," which had the best script I've seen produced in a while.

Theoretically (haha), the movie's a thriller about math (!). But, I experienced it as a meditation on the loneliness and frustration of academia. On one level, the story follows two young people (in their mid-late 20's) trying to finish their doctorates (albeit it in math, not international film), who are wondering if their (intellectual) creativity peaked at 23. Welcome to my existential crisis.

But besides the invigorating experience of resonance - all the more significant when what resonates, i.e., evokes a feeling of shared emotion or belief, is related to the feeling of being alone in one's head too much - the film also worked exceptionally well on the more general levels of narrative and style. The script was very tight - the dialogue so well paced with that mysterious balance between "that's what someone would say in that situation" and unpredictability.

The characters and their immediate story - grieving the loss of father/professor and trying to figure out how to move on - made me both believe in and care about them, even without a sense of identification with those details, while at the same time I especially identified with the setting of their struggle for meaning and success.

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