Sometimes life can get as hopeless as these movies are.
We're all doomed, condemned to live the same circle of life as every human being, and to make the same mistakes as everyone else. Our birth was doomed from the start. We are sentenced to relive our parents’ story, and even if we attempt to change this, it will probably end up in disappointment. There is no reason to look after our hopes and dreams. They're nothing but sweet lies that make our eventual death a little more bearable. In the end, we all die the same and our existence becomes another number in this planet. So, what’s the point of even trying, right?
When we see life this way, we know for a fact that no one understands us. Everything is nothingness inside our head, and sure enough, nobody can be experiencing the exact same thing. People seem so happy overall with their lousy life. They just don’t get it. As a matter of fact, it just seems impossible to imagine that someone else can relate to us in this matter.
Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t matter how bizarre or complex our hopelessness gets, we're not alone. In fact, since human emotions are universal, we can always find a common ground in different mindsets. But instead of trying to look for someone that will barely understand all the complex mayhem in our head, there’s another way to put our thoughts in a new perspective.
The nothingness of life as we know it has been displayed more than once in the film industry through crude and troubling stories. Dark romances, disturbing affairs, and addictive bleakness are among the most popular topics in these movies that succeed in portraying life as real and helpless as it can get. Here are some examples:
Lie with Me, Dir. Clement Virgo (2006)
Leila is a nymphomaniac living in Canada, who spends nights partying and having sex with random men to satisfy her apparently voracious sex drive. When she finds out that her parents are divorcing, their decision disturbs her to the point that her love life becomes affected too. Suddenly, Leila meets David, and their affair grows equally in passion and aggression. Leila and David develop a complicated relationship. He is a possessive man, but Leila does not know how to commit to a real relationship because of her need of different partners in her sex life.
Naked, Dir. Mike Leigh (1993)
Johnny is anything but romantic. After committing rape, he flees from Manchester to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he assaulted. Now living in London, Johnny rekindles an old flame with his former partner, Louise. Not feeling satisfied with this “sentimental” encounter, Johnny seduces his girlfriend’s roommate, and eventually ends up as a homeless man with a dim future ahead. During his nighttime journey through the city streets, Johnny spends his time ranting at strangers and meeting characters in destructive circumstances, very similar to his.
Head-On, Dir. Fatih Akin (2004)
This is not your typical love story. Everything seems to be doomed when Cahit, a forty-something alcoholic drug addict decides his life couldn’t get any worse and wants to end it all. Simultaneously, a twenty-something girl called Sibel finds herself in the awkward limbo between pleasing her parents and yearning for freedom. Seeing that she can’t stay home but can’t run away either, suicide seems the way to go. After being hospitalized, Sibel meets Cahit and asks him to marry her in order to get out from her parent’s house. During their fake marriage, they develop deep feelings for each other, even though they both have dangerous and impulsive self-destructive tendencies.
Nymphomaniac, Dir. Lars von Trier (2014)
A young man named Seligman finds a wounded woman in an alley and brings her home. She introduces herself as Joe and explains that she is nymphomaniac. Joe and Seligman start bonding by sharing their life stories. She talks about her sexual experiences with hundreds of men since she was a young teenager, while he deepens in his hobbies, such as fly fishing and listening to organ music. As their relationship develops, Joe reveals her inability to fall in love, as Seligman, ironically, starts to fall in love with her.
Mulholland Drive, Dir. David Lynch (2001)
Rita survives a brutal car accident in Los Angeles and is now suffering with heavy amnesia. After forgetting her own name, she seeks for shelter inside a stranger’s empty apartment, which happens to belong to Betty Elms, a cheerful woman that just arrived to California in search of fame and stardom. Completely captivated by Rita’s story, Betty decides to pause her actress dream and helps her solve the mystery behind her amnesia. Together, they find out that lust, obsession, desires, love, and gloomy nightmares are just the tip of the iceberg hiding inside this “dreamy” city.
The Piano Teacher, Dir. Michael Haneke (2001)
Love stories are not always developed as we think they should. In some cases, they even go back and forth between expected and unexpected. This is pretty much how things work for the pianist teacher Erika Kohut, whose life revolves around her music lessons and sex fetishes in a very odd way. All of a sudden, Walter enters the picture, and mutual attraction is inevitable. After auditioning for Erika’s classes, the young man gets involved with her, and they begin a very complex relationship that involves sex games, submission, and all kinds of fantasies.
There are many stories in this topic that we can address, and surely many more will come in time. Because this is life, the real version of everything, tragedy, and inescapable death. Sure, the film industry has attempted to find relatable narrations to explain how nothingness is really lived. But we all know that, in the end, nobody gets it better than us. No one understands our existence better than ourselves, and maybe that's why no one will ever understand it completely. No one knows, no one cares. In the end, we're doomed.
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Photo Credit: Hiver Miner