Saturday, July 12, 2008

Review: Vantage Point

We watched Vantage Point last night. I don't often pick a suspense movie without a recommendation but the trailer and the premise intrigued me.

Vantage Point shows a JFK-like assassination through the eyes and cameras of several different people involved. They showed the events leading up to the assassination from four perspectives before showing the whole event with everyone involved.

My heart pounded so hard that Emma could feel it when she touched my stomach. I wanted the good guys to win but I couldn't figure out if they even could. My t-shirt was damp with sweat when the movie was over.

On a technical level, I loved the movie. The plot was well-thought out, the acting believable, but it left me unsatisfied.

It didn't include the elements a story must have because it didn't conform to reality the way great stories must. This was an episode with no history and no resolution. We saw the story from every point of view but no point of view told us the truth of the story and no one character ever knew what was really happening.

The director was making a point about reality. His point was that everything is perspective and opinion. There is no metanarrative (philosophical word: A grand story that tells where everything came from and is going, all other stories fit into this greater story giving the universe a sense of completeness). His point was that in our complex world everyone is doing the best they can with the information that they have, but no one has all the information and so no one can tell anyone else what they should be doing or what is really happening because there is no big story we all fit into that makes sense of every event and perspective.

That's a nice idea, but it doesn't work in real life. Postmodernism's claim sounds nice, but it's skepticism breaks down in practice and against the possibility that there could be a metanarrative that is given to us.
"Truth does not come from facts; it comes from revelation."
-Richard Swenson

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