“I’ll tell you the greatest regret of my life. I let my love go”.
Then my only regret would be of not watching one of the most powerful dramatic ensemble films ever produced and released amidst the chaotic of mindless and plotless films these days.
What glued one to the seat throughout the entire 195-minute duration lies on the parallel lines of many souls living their lives right in front of us, no matter if you see it on a big screen or small ones, which actually serve as a mirror to what we really are. From the first 10 minutes of puzzling images spanning through decades of human (in)decencies as visualized through quick-cut editings, we seem to be asked to trace our roots that lead us to what we are today.
Thus, in one rainy day of Los Angeles where many intricated stories of life begins, Magnolia starts depicting and exploiting ourselves through the impossible list of characters as portrayed by impossibly talented actors at their best.
At once, we are asked to redeem our sins in the past by suffering from painful pains, both literally and mentally.
Other times, we wish to break ourselves free from any haunting commitment as told to us regularly on daily basis.
Occasionally, we do not realize how little lies as we started imagining from our youth has become a life on its own, trapping us inside that only wounding us everytime we make an attempt to get out of it.
Worse, sometimes we realize that it is only too late to show our deepest affection to our beloved ones.
As the characters start unravelling their masks and allowing us to touch their wounds, the film works as a paradigm that strikes hard to our mind without even being preachy. Those opposing the film may question the necessity of cursive languages, but this opposing team may not realize the aching reality the film grounds itself, that behind the seemingly ruthless acts, it is the hearts yearning for acknowledgement of existence that speaks at their loudest.
Through Tom Cruise’s perfectly-fit annoying charisma, through Julianne Moore’s heart-rending acute portrayal of a tormented spouse, through Melora Walter’s emotional grievances, through our sympathetic nods to William H. Macy’s abused character, we finally realize that these people are pieces of what made the film compelling to watch, all while we are kept reminded that:
“We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us”