Thread: Colorful (film)
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Old 2011-05-21, 19:49   Link #31
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: United States of America
Age: 28
When I said I could kinda identify with Makoto, the kinda part applies to being a morose cynic with no faith in humanity. Its precisely as his brother described; Makoto hurt people on purpose while thinking they deserved it anyway. He recovered from it to the point where his tears on that dining table were real and heartfelt. I don't know if I ever will or if I even want to. Other than that, I have very little in common with Makoto. I was the top of my class pretty much all the way through and I didn't really live a bad life nor was I ever really bullied. I guess I do also come from a Buddhist background and a middle class Asian family with some domestic conflict but after switching my settings many times, I believe that people hype the influences of such stuff much more than is applicable. People are people; no matter where they are from and most of the times, their reactions to incidents, especially repulsive ones, are very similar. The only thing that differs is just how people seek resolution and that depends more on the individual than anything else. That said though, I did see plenty of drama in real life

I don't think the movie asks the viewers to sympathize with Makoto. It is more an effect of the movie that you end up sympathizing with him than a requirement. It simply tells you a story from his point of view after his accident. To me, it was really obvious from the go that it was Makoto himself. The whole "different soul on a different body" deal was only there to drive the plot in my opinion. For all I care, it could all have been the delusional fantasy of a boy who just tried killing himself and didn't want to face reality right away. I also think, rather, wish, the "guide" he drew in the painting at the end wasn't "Purapura" but Saemoto. But it doesn't matter whatsoever. Whether or not it was Makoto himself didn't really matter when the affection his mom was showering upon him was real. I do think more or less along the lines of what you are suggesting with the non-changing reactions part though. Like I said earlier, people are people and most of the time, their reactions are very much the same.

The movie didn't dwell on the mechanisms much, it concerns itself much more with the growth of Makoto. The viewers are presented with the magnificent recovery of a boy who was struggling with his identity and completely stuck inside his own shell to the point of having committed suicide. It was bound to be cheesy. Such stuff takes years in real life and it still is cheesy. The way to go about with it is to go with the cheese pretending to be a happy hamster. Whether or not that is fair, given that going with the cheese feels like you are ignoring the very questions that drove you to despair is a question that doesn't need an answer. When you have had enough, you will realize the support you wished for has always been around you and you'll just go with it. If you are the really unlucky ones that really don't have any support then you might perish or with luck, you might come across someone who can support you. But in the end, cheesy resolutions are impossible to avoid. And when you condense the whole ordeal in a two hour movie, the cheesy feeling is obviously gonna multiply a hundred times or so.

I disagree that he was treating his mom like shit; it was just repulsion. He didn't deny her outright. I don't know about you but my reaction to my mom in a similar situation would be more or less the same. Heck I gave her attitude over much smaller stuff. Doesn't mean I didn't respect her.

I don't think the movie meant to trouble itself with deep philosophical constructs like interdependent origination. But a lot of it is common sense and there are obvious influences in society. It's not uniquely Japanese though; that concept has a stronger hold in Theravada than other schools of Buddhism actually. And it's not even uniquely Buddhist; a lot of it is also found in Hinduism (granted there are far too many forms of this religion but there are some which take the whole "everything is tied together" deal further just as much as xxxholic does if not more), the Chinese 'religions' and even western ideology. The golden rule isn't exactly derived from Enishi but since you mentioned it, well, it is found not only in the Analects of Confucius and the Neeti Sutras of Chanakya but even in the sermon on the mount. But that's all irrelevant as far as the movie goes imho. It was simply what you'd expect from a movie with reconciliation as it's theme. And an admirable message it is.

@idiffer again, yes, a lot of everything is pretty obvious but a lot of it also has deeper meaning that's not so obvious. You would be surprised at just what deep implications are of some of those 'obvious' messages. And if you are calling the Buddhist doctrine corny, you are quite off from the target. It's anything but corny and has a very pragmatic approach to life. Heck, Pope John Paul II once criticized the doctrine as Nihilistic. While I don't agree with that (especially coming from the figurehead of a religion which believes the end of the world as we know it is justice bla bla), it does tell you that things are perhaps not as obvious . But a lot of it is open to interpretation and people tend to talk more than practice the way of life. Debating philosophy is thus only part of it; living the practice is more important. Don't get lost in the wilderness thinking too much is perhaps the wisest thing the Buddha ever said.

Regarding the only good thing Makoto did being a friend to another loser, just how exactly was Sano a loser? The whole point of the movie was that there are no such things as losers. People have flaws, everyone of them does, but there is no such thing as unfathomable evil. It implies that there is no such thing as perfectly good either but that's just fine. And it sounds corny but if you think about it, it's more that that's just how it is. It only feels corny because it feels "obvious" and we don't want to admit that we ignored something that was always there. But hey, obvious as it is, most people in the world suffer. There is suffering, that's the first truth proclaimed by the Buddha. I don't want to imply this movie as Buddhist since I sincerely believe that the message is universal so I will stop. Anyway, the movie establishes that Makoto is a wonderful guy and perhaps a virtuoso as well. And Sano was the only one who could truly interpret his art. She has issues, sure, but she is anything but a loser. And Makoto helped others as well. He was the reason his otherwise dysfunctional family was putting things together instead of completely dispersing. He helped Saemoto get the motivation he needed. He accepted Hiroka with all her indignity. Hiroka is a "winner" for most of their colleagues but it is only Makoto who truly acknowledges her. His mom committing suicide would have been counterproductive. His recovery and reconciliation is precisely what helped a broken woman get back to her life. Yada yada. Whether or not being a bum contributes to the world's balance is out in the gray (you can argue for absolutely anything for argument's sake and it's fairly easy to make at least an argument for most things but whether or not such arguments are worth arguing over is again up for arguments; best thing to do is to get real and argue only when necessary, the precise definition of which is again up for argument ).

Regarding the "religious" message, like I said in my previous post, the suggestion that reincarnating back to life is better than being free of the cycle of rebirth is mildly amusing because that's antagonistic to the Buddhist goal of achieving Nirvana. Something completely unrelated to Enishi But the movie didn't expound on it enough to really derive anything from it. And destruction of a soul doesn't necessarily sound like Nirvana either. And I am repeating myself again but the movie didn't bother with the mechanisms much at all so while you are free to see and argue for deeper meaning into things, I for one am satisfied with the cheesy slice of life.

Last edited by Forsaken_Infinity; 2011-05-21 at 19:53. Reason: idk why but Animesuki has been a real pain with connections resetting all the while
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