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Synecdoche, New York (2008) - Charlie Kaufman

Do not enter this film knowing that you know. But you can exit knowing that what you know is never known. Synecdoche, New York is a film that punches you in the stomach but only that you’ll never feel it. It’s the manifestation of the absurdity of life essentially after all your fears have materialized. And that you’ve imagined them to have unraveled right in front of your eyes. That unraveling of suffering, pain, loneliness, and isolation is what the story is about.

The film creates a world in which the protagonist, Caden, is impenetrable. His is a language that exists more in being understood rather than being spoken. And to accept that your fear is the only constant that runs with you. And that the ephemerality of shared togetherness is never really shared, to begin with, is profoundly ethereal and comforting.

The film does one hell of a job at playing a part of life that is philosophical - as being an unapologetic driving force. That consumes those who are not averse to it. And discards those who are. This philosophy as a way of life demands more as a whole than its fragments. This is to say that the film demands the “you” that is true and real.

To watch it is to never truly grasp the measure of the sincerity of existence. The film’s inevitability takes you to great heights from where you jump into deeper ones. But it is surely the stuff of genius; the brown tip of a matchstick that burns first in spite of knowing its end is built into its beginning.


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