Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Click is not a silly movie at all

In fact it centres around my favourite quote- Time is the Master.

I worked for a minute with a PR company. The head wanted me to make the job my life. So, I was put on the company's closed user group and kept getting calls on weekends and long after work had finished. And most times, it was for nonsense. The only time in fact it was important was because the following the day I got fired. But anyway, from the experience I've learnt to treasure the simpler things in life - wellness, family, friends, laughter etc. I've become fiercely rebellious to the ideal of being a machinated person...oh, I have to work long after work finishes so I can look like I care without get paid for overtime. Oh, I have to get work calls on my personal phone all the time to feel valuable to the company..........

So in Click, Adam Sandler plays Michael Newman, who believes initially that labouring over a work project is more important than going on a long awaited camping trip with his "smoking" wife and adorable children. He thinks "I have to impress my boss and the foreign investors and nail that promotion...the wife and kids will always be there." So, he cancels the trip, works on project and sits in his boss' favour and his family's disappointment. Then the plot thickens when he gets a mystical universal remote that manipulates Time
to whichever way Newman likes. So, for example he fast forwards arguments with his wife so he can work on another project (he's an architect I think), he fast forwards taking a shower because the heater is not working and ends up at work in his bathrobe. He even fast forwards sexual foreplay and ends up speeding up sexual intercourse. You see, the thing is, Sandler's character believes that "Time Is Money."

And for many of us, Time is damned well money! Because Time is money, we drive like possessed persons who need to find a bathroom in traffic, so we can get to work on time. Because Time is money, we do the corporate thing and kiss up to the big wigs especially when they're anal characters and either ignore or fight out the not so influential co-workers and subordinates because, hey they can't help you pay your bills...Screw them/Hello Big Money. Because Time is money, we work very late without overtime and forget to pick up our children from school who are probably afraid of the sand flies and are crying miserably, wishing for a familiar face. Yup, Time is money. If you work longer, then your pocket will be longer. If you work shorter, then your pocket will be shorter, ungrammatically speaking, that is.

So Time was money for Adam. And it seemed to be working out for him, he got the promotion and then took over as CEO. But that was only on the work side. Personally his life was in shambles - he'd divorced his soul mate, had to watch her marry someone else, lost any sort of relevance to his daughter, recognized a young him in his son (work-obsessed) and also, had become a big, fat fatty. And basically all of this happened because of the remote. Well, on one level. This is the level where by becoming accustomed to manipulating time for Sandler, the remote started to sort of prompt the fast forwarding action for him. Also, whenever things fast forwarded, Adam would still be there in the moment but basically as someone that just grunted yes or no to human voices. So, whenever he came to himself in the fast forwarded action he was sometimes alarmed at things he'd agreed to or allowed to happen. That's on one level.

On the other level, Sandler's distress is all because of his own greed. He wanted the best of both worlds - the big position at work and the great family life. Unfortunately, balancing the two was a challenge and he ended up sacrificing one for the other. Sadly, when he reached the pinnacle of success, his family wasn't there to enjoy the view with him: something's got to give. Like Neo, he had two choices. He chose work over family. Thus, when the movie comes to climax, he's an old, dying man, telling his son to go on his honeymoon and forget about work because "Family Comes First." (I was in tears; for a comedy it has such a strong message.) The movie comes to resolution after that: when he supposedly dies, he actually comes back to present day, the start of the movie when he's deciding what to do about the camping trip and the work project. He chooses the camping trip.

Time is the Big Cajuna, The Man. The more we try to manipulate time, the more time manipulates us. Don't forget who you are and don't forget those who made you who you are. You weren't born an employee. You were born a person with a name and a family. You think time is money? Wait, til you find out he's the Master.

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