Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: Seen at the Cinema

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Seen at the Cinema

Deja Vu

I'm a fan of Denzel Washington, but it's been a while since he's been in something REALLY good. This edge-of-your-seat thriller is part sci-fi, part thriller and partly good. I was definately on the edge of my seat--through the entire thing. And yet, about 2/3 of the way through, I realized I had lost my ability to suspend my disbelief. I just didn't buy it....entirely.

The interesting thing about the movie is that it brings up, once again, the idea of time travel and alterating history because of it. We are endlessly fascinated with this scenario because so many of us wish we could change the past so that our present would somehow magically be better, or maybe just different. Regret's a big thing; it's what makes us moral animals. However, beyond it's managing role in our behavioral consciousness, it's pretty much a waste of time.

In the film, you see Washington go back in time to change the outcome of a devastating act of terror; but it's done as an act of love, or what we imagine will be love. The interesting factor is that the idea that he's done it before is introduced and it teases you. The philosopher in me said to myself, we've all done this before. Our lives just a play, over and over, again until we get the outcome we "want". Desire is a powerful thing.

What I've discovered over time and experience is that even though I'm not a time traveller and I've no desire to take off my clothes and crawl into a tiny time-space collapsing tube, I do have the capacity, the innate ability to change the past and the future. How you ask? By changing how I think today. How I remember the past and write that story can be changed...and if I change the story, then the past is different is it not? Tragedy becomes challenge; anger becomes understanding. IN addition, what I do today affects my tomorrow in almost exact proportions. So the past and the future are essential to our psyche--memory is in many ways who we are, whether we like it or not. And our sense of the future is paramount in motivating our actions and interpreting our past. But it is the present moment, the all-powerful now, which really matters. It's the key to the time traveller's quest--changing the past and the future--for the better.


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