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Leaving the ivy-covered walls of Yale behind, the privileged and intellectual Samuel sets out to discover the real world armed with books and a strong conviction of atheism. He goes to work at an apple orchard under an alias, but is thrust into a world he is wholly unprepared for with religious locals and untrustworthy co-workers. His sexuality and lack of faith will be tested as he learns to rely on strangers in a world that can't be taught in books and a classroom. Written by
Intriguing But Unresolved... Unchecked Problematic Ideas
The movie seems very promising in trailers and even when one starts watching it, almost until the end... when loose ends are left hanging and all of one's hopes for the movie's potential to communicate relevant and illuminating ideas collapse.
Moreover, their referring to many problematic notions and expressions remains unchecked. The use of "retard," "faggot" and "slut" is never explained or condemned. The idea of homosexuality as a sickness--is left unchecked, too; and so are the presentations of immigrant workers as thieves and of menial workers as stupid and not at the level of a college graduate. We are never told or shown how we are supposed to feel about any of these issues. And while the ambiguity of religion is largely okay in a world of various religious convictions (or lack thereof), I don't see how the rest of the topics can responsibly be treated as a matter of contention.
Yet, I loved Jonathan Groff's acting. I also loved the post-graduate attitude, which signified the place from which the emotional journey of the character began. I can really relate to it, too: the way your own struggles and successes make you feel superior to others. Which is why I was hoping David would learn to appreciate people and see them as his equals--which he partly, arguably, maybe did. But then, what was the point of religion? Why the ambiguity surrounding his sexuality? Did he have a problem with his sexual orientation?
I am just confused by the way the movie ended.
Although Jonathan Groff was brilliant, and C.O.G. was mostly well-written and filmed, I felt that it was cut short. Only 10 concluding minutes could clear a lot of my concerns, if included. But, as it stands, the movie is aesthetically, narratively, philosophically and socio-politically unresolved.
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