Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cold Souls

Paul Giamatti's latest film was quite out there. I commend him for doing such a different film than he's used to, but it wasn't the most enjoyable film I've seen in a while. It's one of those projects that seems more like a better idea than it is a movie (kind of like Jerry Seinfeld's new show sounds like a better joke than a television show--The Marriage Ref).

Cold Souls is the film I am referencing, and it's quite similar to the name of it: If people want to, they can get rid of their souls and put them in storage. If your soul just weighs you down and you need to feel nothing, you can have your soul sucked out of you and stored in a facility. You might not be overly energetic and excited, but you also won't feel sadness or any other negative feeling you can't get rid of.

See, it's a smart idea. But when it's turned into a film, it's kind of dull and boring. Paul Giamatti plays himself, an actor, who just feels an overall "blah" in his life and thinks that storing his soul will solve his problems. Unfortunately, his soul is stolen (once he wants it back and realizes its worth) by the Russian black market (technically a soul mule--as opposed to a drug mule) who sells it in Russia. He must literally go soul searching to get his soul back, which he eventually does.

I liked their dialogues about souls--what they look and feel like, why people would want to switch them, what it feels like not to have one or to steal someone else's, why someone would want to be rid of it. Those points were very interesting. But, the other parts were sort of dreary and depressing. I know we were trying to mirror Giamatti's dull life, but there weren't really any pick-up points during the movie. It was kind of just as dull as he was feeling with some minor parts of interesting dialogue.

The concept of the movie could strike up good conversation. I just don't know if the film itself would sustain a strong enough audience to sit through it. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that bad. Realistically, I just don't think it's the type of movie that people normally see. The average person likes mindless blockbusters that have major actors and actresses and has happy endings (like some romantic comedy). This is more about the idea than the entertainment value. I respect movies like this (hence one reason I picked it up and watched it), and I'm not unhappy that I saw it, I'm just honestly trying to gauge what others would think. I guess I would say to try it for yourself.

Any thoughts on soul searching or storing souls?

What do you think of Cold Souls?


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