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Postmodernism states that there is no real truth because all people see and identify the truth basing on their own knowledge and beliefs. The movie, “Stranger than fiction,” belongs to a recent cycle of postmodern movies with a philosophical significance that explore important issues of our lives. Accurately shown postmodern characteristics help a viewer to get an overall message, in particular, a fate cannot be controlled. Some people would say these elements distract from discovering the overall message; however, fragmentation, asking questions without answers and conventions of genre are used as really powerful tools in the movie to prove opposite thing.
First of all, Harold Crack is the movie’s protagonist who lives his life in order, counts his brushstrokes, the number of steps to reach the bus stop, his work breaks and all timed with his wristwatch. It seems that the man just follows the watch’s instructions and acts as its servant. His inner conflict is that Harold allows the time to dictate his individuality. The character battles with daily routine for twelve years in order to find a comfort and an aim of life. The routine is represented by using physical fragmentation that draws the attention of an audience through the use of graphics, obscure camera angles, splitting screen and rotation of shots. These methods give a deeper understanding of Harold’s personality and make the film more interesting. The fragmentation smoothly moves to another element of postmodernism such as asking questions without giving the answers. The central movie’s questions sound like, is the narrator’s life real and Harold’s life fiction? Is Harold just an imaginary character of the book, “Death and taxes,” and all events, shown in the movie, are written and assumed by Karen Eiffel? However, a viewer has a lot of opportunities to ask other philosophical questions, unfortunately, without receiving the answers. Furthermore, the postmodern element makes an audience think about the importance of people’s actions and what is actually meaning of our lives. In instance, the personification of the wrist watch led everyone to ask, is time controlling us? This question brings the considerable lesson to use the time wisely and to not lose ourselves in the routine as the main character in the movie. The element,asking question without answers, also relates to another not less important postmodern characteristic which is called conventions of genre.
Mostly, films have a clearly defined genre, for example, comedy, drama, tragedy, horror, romance, thriller and so on. In certain case, “Stranger than fiction” does not exactly give one, letting people to decide what genre is the most appropriate for it. The film does not make the lives of its characters out to be comedic or tragic, but rather asks the audience whether or not their life is a comedy or a tragedy.
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