Paterson (2016) {spoiler alert}

“Sometimes, empty page presents most possibilities.”

This is a very gentle, kind, patient and soft movie with a heart that touched me personally because of the kind of life I lead and hence, I identify closely with what was shown and what the movie tried to convey.

Since it started off a little slow, I found it trying after twenty minutes of viewing. There was the daily life of a bus driver and nothing was ever happening – nothing was really happening, was my opinion. Sure, Paterson is thinking and writing poetry while he goes about his simple day. But he is still a bus driver and there isn’t anything happening. Monday was interesting. Tuesday started getting repetitive and by Wednesday, I was really restless. This is how I often feel about my life. I get up, I go to work and nothing ever happens – not really. And I didn’t understand right then while watching the movie that it was supposed to be exactly like that but that was probably because I was watching it on a Friday afternoon after work and by Friday, I am completely exhausted and tired even at the thought of working on Saturday.

But this story isn’t about me, it is about Paterson and his life. However, I cannot talk about Paterson without talking about my life because this story is about normal people and their normal lives and it is rare that I feel so involved in a movie, identifying with it so closely.

I like it when something small breaks the monotony of Paterson’s life because it breaks the monotony for me, too, as a viewer. Again, that is exactly how things work out in my life. I like the small things that break the monotony of my life. And even though it is a good thing, it is also sort of unsettling (but not in a big way) – I can perfectly empathise with Paterson’s emotions when he sees the rapper in the laundry, when the bus breaks down, when he meets the little poet girl, when the incident with Edward pulling a gun takes place in the bar – even when the bartender’s wife comes yelling at him. The small things which he needs to distract him from his life and which are mildly unsettling but life goes on easily.

I cannot comment on how it is with his (very gorgeous and lovely) girlfriend because I do not have a lover I come home to in the same manner. I felt rather apathetic in those parts and felt it was all a little ridiculous. I could, however, completely understand why Paterson puts up with it all and why he even likes it and treasures it. But, emotionally, it didn’t strike me in the same way the other things in his life did.

Coming to the event which really stirs some big emotions towards the end, well, it was very, very well done.

I like how I didn’t immediately notice that Paterson did not carry a smartphone even though I carry mine like a disease. He didn’t photocopy his poems or save them anywhere else except in his notebook. He didn’t have an alarm clock but woke up well in time. There was poem in his life in its own way because he made it so – he needed it to be so because he is a poet but really, he is a bus driver. He wants to be a poet – it shows in all the ways he is living his life. But he doesn’t think he can do it, so right now, it is all very personal, and he doesn’t share his poems even with the woman he loves so dearly.

Paterson’s existence as a poet, which means the most to him, is torn to shreds in an evening.

Because I have been an avid Japanophile, I adore the fact that it is a Japanese man (from OsakaOsaka!) who helps Paterson recover from his tragedy. Poetry (art) has the ability to bring together people from completely different parts of the world – people with entirely different backgrounds, cultures can still understand each other so delicately because of their love for the same poet (artist). It was a beautiful, exquisite scene which was very elegantly done. The whole movie was very elegantly done. If someone asks me what the movie is about, my immediate thought is ‘it is about a bus driver’ – and that is undermining a whole life.

“Awesome. Bus driver that likes Emily Dickinson.”

I love the way he looks after the little girl after she says that. Adam Driver was really great in this role. I shall definitely check out more Jim Jarmusch works. I love the diversity and inclusiveness in this movie. It was warm and loving and made me feel better about my life – really.


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