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4 reviews in total 
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12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
What does it mean to be human?, 16 October 2010

What makes us human is not our names. It is not who our parents are. It is not even that we are ever born naturally or cloned in a lab. It is the depth of our feelings that makes us human, be it envy, jealousy, or love. It is what we feel, how deep we feel, and how we express our feelings; through art, our relationships, sex, or any human behavior. We appear on this earth for a very short while, shine for a very short while with bright light, and then go back to the vast nothingness we came from. Accepting our fate, living with what we came with, and seeing the core of humanity within every human being we ever encounter is the meaning of life. That is all.

2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Shyamalan as a Thinker / Filmmaker in today's Cinema, 21 June 2008

M. Night Shyamaln's best film yet! Do not fall in the trap of what the critics say. Remember Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock which was not well received by the critics at the time it was released. Now it is #9 on the AFI's 100 greatest films. M. Night Shyamalan and Darren Aronofsky are two great filmmakers of their generation.

Terrorism is not just a social happening; it is environmental. Terrorism is not something from outside. It is something from inside. It is our intention which makes the environment murderous. The environment responds to what is "happening" within us. And the environment includes humans, animals, plants, and the air we breathe. It is everything.

Our actions might have an appearance of benevolence, but our intentions are the source of real benevolence OR malevolence. Offering food and shelter to someone when we just do it because we have to is NOT benevolence, as was the case with Betty Buckley's character. The movie is full of different characters with different intentions. The John Leguizamo's character with gossipy and envious bent, the soldier's supposedly protective-and-serve attitude with his obsession toward his gun, two young boys with prying arrogance and a sense of entitlement.

When you truly want to live for someone else, to serve someone else, to love someone else, then you will survive. That is the intention which is fundamentally woven into the fabric of this planet and the universe. The rest leads to destruction, sooner or later as the movie tries to point out. So does the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium stating that how we adapt to our environment decides our fate as a species. Our individual fates are bound with our identity as a species.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Immortality means surrendering to death., 25 November 2006

This is not entertainment. This is cinema at its best. Weaving through exquisitely amazing images, Aronofsky talks about time as a structural dimension of consciousness; and death as a transitional stage in the continuous stream of life. It is a philosophical, existential, spiritual (if you like), and very much a humanistic film. Everything exist at the this moment: life, death, past, present, future, pain, pleasure, love, and loss.

More frequently than not, the critics disappoint me. Reading their reviews reminds of the intellect of a six-year old child. Watch the movie, let it sink in, and allow it to unfold in your daily life, gradually and repeatedly.

Birth (2004)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A movie about our fundamental need to be loved., 7 November 2004

This movie is actually not about reincarnation. The theme of reincarnation consists the outer layer of the story. It does not make any difference if you believe in reincarnation or not to understand and appreciate what happened and why it happened in the movie. Love as the core fundamental need which binds all humans together is the main theme of story. A ten-year old boy finds some love letters from a woman madly in love with her dead husband. He 'wishes' to be the object of that love. This desire is so strong that the viewer wonders what has been happening in this boy's life that has created such a huge gap in his emotional make-up. His family is not wealthy. The father is a tutor and the mother is probably a homemaker. Maybe he is being neglected often. His family life is not explored sufficiently and it really does not matter. The viewer can construct various scenarios for his need to be loved the way that dead husband was loved by his wife.

Nicole Kidman, as a woman still in love with her dead husband, is torn between settling down with a man (her fiancée) who is 'able' to satisfy 'her needs' and her longing for a love which could fill her up to the brim with ecstasy and rapture. She is even willing to wait another eleven years for the young boy to become twenty one, so that they can marry. Although at the end of the movie, it becomes apparent that her love for her dead husband was not enough to keep him happy and content, it is a love capable of transforming a little boy to the degree of washing him off of selfishness and dishonesty (if there was any).

Going back to reincarnation theme, after looking at the movie from a psychological perspective, a firm believer in reincarnation could attest that the young boy was the dead husband understanding the value and depth of his wife's love only after his death. This view is plausible not because of the concept of reincarnation, rather for his inability to remember that he was dishonest to his wife and betrayed her.

The way this movie has been advertised and a couple of scenes which could make some viewers uncomfortable does not do justice to the profound message that the makers of the movie wished to bring across. This is not a movie for an average person. Do not expect to be swept off your feet with reincarnation philosophy or a love story. It is a painful, realistic, and utterly agonizing look at human beings struggling for a feeling, a force, or a fate which could define their lives.