This meme is hosted by The Bumbles Blog
This week’s theme is confusing plots…
The movie that immediately springs to mind is Vanilla Sky. I know a lot of people who couldn’t even watch it all the way through because they found the plot so confusing. However, as with many confusing plots, there was a “click” point where everything fell into place and made you say “Ah! Now I get it!” and on this occasion, it was well worth sticking with it to the end, as it’s an excellent film.
A less enjoyable example might be eXistenZ. A game within a game within a game which made the characters question their reality… it was pretty dire and not really worth it. Quite a disappointing movie which was overshadowed by another similarly presented reality-questioning movie which was released the same year – The Matrix. Where eXistenZ failed with the plot, The Matrix succeeded and even the acting inability of the incredibly wooden Keanu Reeves couldn’t make it fail. The balletic “bullet time” which was pioneered in this film was something special and even people who aren’t fans of the film (like me) can happily admit to appreciating what it gave us.
Two more recent expeditions into confusing plots are Inception (dreams within dreams within dreams – where does it end?) and Shutter Island (is anything real?), both starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Personally, I found both quite easy to follow, but I heard comments ranging from vague confusion to outright incomprehension from other film fans. For me, Inception was the better by far – it was slick and the concurrent timeline filming worked exceedingly well (and the scene in the tumbling corridor was amazing in itself), whereas I found Shutter Island very predictable and more than a little dull (because I figured it out quickly I felt like I was waiting for the film to catch up with me forever!). I get the feeling these two will be mentioned quite a lot by others taking part in this week’s movie meme.
Finally, there’s one I “got” despite hearing everyone else going crazy over how weird it was – Donnie Darko. Again, I caught on pretty quickly, so I didn’t find it particularly confusing – I just found it particularly bad – I really didn’t like it much at all and still can’t understand why people rave about it.
Perhaps I read too many books with “unexpected” twists, and have studied films for too long (I’ve been regularly picking them apart since I did a media studies course years ago), but I’m very rarely confused by a plot. Or if I am, I find there’s a definite point where everything falls into place and everything becomes crystal clear. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I can’t be. Can I?