Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
METAPHOR FOR LIFE
on 4 October 2013
The movie is slow with very little action, and dialogue which repeats itself with every new matchbox. A quiet unnamed man meets with two guys, at an airport, who give him very little instructions. They send him to Spain to meet people in order to get information which he must piece together. Our loner (De Bankole) carries along a simple carry-on bag but has 3 changes of suits that are never wrinkled. He wears a different colored suit in each city. He drinks espresso with two cups, making him easy to identify to his contacts. He does Tao-Chi at night, most likely to relax from all that caffeine. The airport is symbolic of the gateway where souls pass.
The contact code phrase is "You don't speak Spanish, right?" spoken in Spanish. The counter phrase is "No." Once contact has been established, the contact talks about life and uses a phrase from the original airport conversation. At this point they swap matchboxes. Our loner then opens the box and pulls out a small piece of paper with numbers and letters on it, some sort of code. From what I gather he quickly deciphers the code mentally, afterward he eats it. Symbolic for man getting hints or clues from God, but not knowing what they are. Early on he meets a woman (the one in glasses on the back of the box) who is naked in his hotel room. Her clothes allergy remains for several days as our loner refrains from sex. Symbolic of birth, or maybe the teen years.
The characters he meets get older and give him different advice, eventually he gets a quiet ride (symbolic of the hearse) after a cemetery and dirt speech. Here his death is symbolized in a large building with the furniture covered. He then has his final confrontation (PLOT SPOILER) where he uses his "imagination" to pop into a guarded fortress and kill the "controller" a symbol for God, played by Bill Murray. Or perhaps we are symbolically killing Bill Murray for all the stinker movies he has been in as late.
Our loner returns to the airport where he puts away his bag with 3 suits, exits and steps into the light, most likely symbolic of reincarnation.
There is no real action. There is full frontal nudity, but no sex. Tlda Swinton, one of the more interesting characters talks about movies. This should open up the life metaphor. Later you see her escorted by two men in black suits with sun glasses (they represent grim reapers). God watches over us through a black helicopter.
If this movie isn't a metaphor for life, then it is just a lousy film.