Friday, August 17, 2007
CHANGING LANES (2002, Roger Michell, Chap Taylor / Michael Tolkin screenplay)
Sometimes God likes to put two guys in a paper bag and just let ‘em rip.
The hotshot lawyer’s desperate, so he slips into a cathedral. He’s not interested in confession – at least he’s clear on that much – but demands of a priest, “I want you to give the world meaning. Because the world’s a sewer. Because I got into a fender bender with this guy on the FDR, and I had a little fight with him and I tried to do everything I could but this guy just won’t let it go.”
The irony is telling. This was no fender bender: the other man’s car may be a write-off. He has most certainly not do everything he could – at least not to help the situation. Nor has he given a moment’s thought to why the other man wouldn’t let it go: it’s all his fault, after all. Or God’s.
CHANGING LANES observes two men whose preoccupation with their own needs and addiction to lives led in chaos and at top speed lock them in a spiral of ever-increasing blame and vengeance. Roger Thomas at Ethics Daily perceptively compares this film to the more tragic HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG: both films concern characters who “are not willing to compromise or even speak rationally to one another. These are not evil people doing evil things. These are normal people making bac choices and refusing to consider that the good and righteous choice lies beyond their wished.”
The events unravel on Good Friday setting. Combined with background images like a Sacred Heart picture taped to a closet wall and the interwoven prayers and rituals of AA, the filmmakers would seem to suggest that the solution lies not only in better human choices, but also somehow in something Higher.
Available at Videomatica