Saturday, March 6, 2010

Movie: The Invention of Lying

What happens in a world where people don't have the ability to lie and just state the truth?  How do they deal with each other, knowing that people around them always tell the truth?  In "The Invention of Lying," we are transported to a parallel universe where people always speak their minds, with no holding back, ever.  Since they cannot lie, they have no concept of fiction, or even religion.  The result is a quirky but also funny world.

Next, you throw in Mark, played by Ricky Gervais, who plays a chubby, unsuccessful movie script writer.  Note that there is no concept of fiction, so the movie scripts are actually just narrated documentaries of history.

What throws this world off it's normal track is when Mark, through a situation, discovers his ability to lie, or in this universe, "say something that isn't."  Suddenly, he has a new-found power and the ability to shape the world as he wants, as people will accept everything he says and act accordingly.   He uses this ability for his own selfish reasons to achieve rich and fame, but also uses it in a more caring way at times.  Of course, he will dig bigger holes with each lie and run into more mess by trying to get his way out of things.  And last but not least, there's the attractive girl Anna he falls in love with, played by Jennifer Garner.

Ricky Gervais has been in and has directed some interesting unusual comedies.  The last movie I saw that had him playing a major role in was Ghost Town.  He has the ability to play a sad uninspiring person but also come off as a prick at times.  Initially, Mark lying ability empowers him to get away with everything.  However, when he makes up lies too big and has to address them publicly, he is also rendered helpless by the curious questions that the people ask.   In the meantime, Anna, stays beside him as a true friend but also frankly tells him that she won't be romantically linked because of his bad looks.  "I don't want fat kids with snub noses."  Jennifer Garner plays the part of Anna effortlessly of appearing naive, but that's just how people in the universe behave.  She is not cruel, but really just being truthful.  In fact, the audience learns that she is in fact, kind-hearted.

The Invention of Lying offers an interesting take of the humanity in a creatively strange fictional world.  If not for the romantic storyline, the movie is still enjoyable on the level of watching the little scenarios played out by the other characters who are unaware why their actions and words provide comedic relief to our "real" world.

「謊言的誕生」男主角是由創作英國The Office的Ricky Gervais所飾演的。故事發生在一個平行的宇宙裡,裡面的人沒有說謊話的能力,所說的完全是實話。在這種世界裡,人與人之間的互動變得很奇妙。講話不經遮掩的時候,人的正常對話和反應,反而我們看起來有另類的幽默。

當然,光只有這樣的世界是不夠構成一部電影的。在這個大家都講實話的世界裡,由Ricky Gervais所演的男主角Mark,有一天因為在辦事的時候,偶然發現他竟然有說謊的能力,而且似乎他是全世界唯一有這個能力的人。因為這個「小」事件,使得他的生活徹底地改變了。

原本,他是一位剛被解雇的電影編劇。不過,那個世界裡,因為大家都不會說謊話,表示完全沒有虛構的故事。因此,所謂的「電影」,其實只是有人在陳述歷史而已~~~ 另外,他和Jennifer Garner所演的女主角Anna第一次約會,她直接當他的面說他長得難看,身材又胖,又窮,永遠配不上她。


Ricky Gervais的幽默,可能不是大家都會習慣的。不過,比起一般美國的那種很直接的搞笑,倒是有一種很微妙的笑點。Gervais所演的角色,除了有一種苦情樣,片中許多地方還有一種無奈感。Jennifer Garner,則很自然地將那天真的傻大姐揣摩得出來。雖然她口中說出來的話有時很傷人,但不過是那世界的人行為模式。其實,她的內心是相當善良的女生,也是Mark之所以會愛上她的原因。


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