Sometimes several movies come out fairly close to one another with similar plots, themes, or devices. When I notice it, I get curious. Presently, there are two movies out about women dealing with reincarnated loves: Birth, with Nicole Kidman and PS with Laura Linney. (When I say nice things about the city I live in, I mention it's cultural superiority. When an film comes out in limited release, it opens in New York and Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. Well, PS isn't here yet. While I'm whining, neither is The Machinist.)
I saw Birth tonight and I'm turning it over in my head. I've read a couple of reviews that said it was hard to figure out what was going on....whether the kid was her husband reincarnated or whether it was some kind of scam. I didn't see evidence of a scam. Did I miss something? I walked out of the movie feeling certain that the kid had honestly gotten confused. There was no scam and no reincarnation. So, if the movie isn't about the sappy romantic notion of boundless love, and it's not a who-dunnit, then the point of the movie was what?
She grieves endlessly for a husband who's lost to her. However, it's shown that the loving husband was a fable even in life. She talks about falling in love again, but what's that based on? Her interactions with the kid are brief, restrained and even superficial. The relationship they don't have is the sole topic of conversation. They maintain a lot of eye contact. Not much to base a soulful love on. The movie was pointing out a form of self-delusion.
I read an interview with Nicole Kidman in Vogue or Harper's Bazaar. She talked about her romantic choices in movies lately. Do you suppose she's using film to examine her own failed marriage? Of course, on some level. A more pertinent question would be my own reaction to the movie. 'Did I miss something?' I asked earlier and it wouldn't be the first time I read into something more than was there.