Thoughts: God Bless Us All

There are times we feel alone and to an extent that no one understands us. Alone, unadorned, misunderstood and probably aloof, but then lighting strikes and you see something and realize, you are definitely not alone and there are if not millions at least a few thousands going through the same thing as you do. The stupidity, the insanity, the sheer trash that is the world around us exists as you believe it does and you realize that people agree to your point of view. God Bless America is that lighting that parts the dark skies and shines the light of reasoning which would resonate with your for a long time like that piece of  meat stuck in the upper echelons of your teeth after you have had that heavy steak dinner.

Saying anything more about this movie might be giving away its selling proposition, but since this is my attempt to revive my movie review ‘career’ I will continue to take a stab at it. GBA is about a person who is sick of this world in general. Frank (Joel Murray, bit part actor, tones of talent) is without love, without a job and possibly without much time left on earth (he is diagnosed to be terminally ill). With pretty much nothing left in his life to look forward to, Frank is now looking to vent his frustrations and the downward spiral of America fuels his enragement. Thus he decides to take matter quite literally into his own hands and he begins to ‘off’ the stupidest, the cruelest, and the dumbest and most repellent members of society. (The scene quite literally bought a tear to my eye). Along the way he finds an admirer and an accomplice in 16 year old Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) who also is sick of the existing state of affairs and plans to hitch her ride with him.

Bobcat Goldthwait is one of the lesser known directors in the industry and with movies like Shakes the Clown and World’s Greatest Dad he definitely isn’t winning an Oscar anytime soon. Yet, despite his modest budget and his low star power ensemble here, Bobcat (of Bobby if you are close to him) gives us a hilarious comedy that perfectly satirizes our self-centered, celebrity-obsessed, devoid of common sense or any semblance age. His sarcastic critique on our existing star adorned and star struck culture is vicious, unapologetically ugly and truly riotous (wipes another tear from his eye). The movie is a dark comedy and if I wasn’t so over the top in its praise I would compare it with something along the lines of Dr. Strangelove though I fear Kubrick (Cubby for those who are close to him) would not take too kindly to that.

The star cast as mentioned previously is not exactly the A-listers of tinsel-town. In fact apart from the lead Joel Murray who’s strongest presence on screen was as a supporting cast for Dharma and Greg (a sitcom in the late 90s and Chuck Lorre’s first real hit), the rest of the cast barely have their names sorted out. Joel delivers a perfect performance as one of the last thinking men, who has grown weary of life and of living in the sad society we have and is one of the strongest aspects of the movie. Tara Lynne Barr also does a decent job as the accomplice of the enraged ‘mass murderer’ and the chemistry between the two is nice, realistic and somehow just works.

For those of you looking for a Dumb and Dumber or Hangover type comedy please stay away. This is a very dark movie and there is more murder and blood than Robocop, Rambo and Commando combined. Yet the viciousness is moderated with humor that seamlessly keeps this movie always heading in the right direction. Watching this movie is as satisfying as playing Unreal Tournament in God Mode, point and shoot!! The meetings, the presentations, the excel sheets just seem to melt away after you allow yourself to be caught up in this epic.

GBA shows you the disturbing layer of American shallowness and cruelty and after watching this, you will realize that the whole statement of shallowness is not restricted to the “Western World”. With reality shows like Big Boss and Roadies to serials like Kyunki Saans … and Baalika Vaadu; With our sense of humor being dictated by pioneers such as Sidhu and Kapil Sibal to the junk shown on our news channels, you will realize that this movie depicts all too clearly the cultural cancer that people nowadays consider entertainment and it knows no boundaries. It is simultaneously hilarious and morbid. This movie is the antidote our “reality show,” celebrity-obsessed, know-nothing-and-proud-of-it culture.

I’m sure not a lot of you would have heard of this movie and I fear that it may fly under the radar since the typical mainstream audience is pretty much the targeted subject material here, but I feel this movie has the makings of a cult classic. The film’s eccentric behavior is I guess perfectly captured by H. Walpole’s epigram, “This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.”

For those of us who feel, weep for the tragedy we are going through and watch the movie for the smiles it will bring, and for the rest, I guess Big Boss 8 is starting soon!



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