Wednesday, June 24, 2009

City Of Angels

“You’re an excellent doctor.”
“How do you know?”
“I have a feeling.”

-A conversation from City of Angels

That conversation from City of Angels had a familiar air about it. Saying “I just know” or “I have a feeling” and then letting perceptions take over faith. I watched it last night and I really liked the movie…more for what all it had to say at various points than anything else.

The movie is about an angel Seth who makes it easier for the dying to embark on their last journey. He moves among mortals invisible to everyone and becomes visible only to those who need his help. While helping a heart patient who dies on the operating table, Seth sees the cardiologist Maggie and falls in love with her. His love grows as he gets to know her better but he is distressed that he cannot be with her as he is an angel and she, human. It is then that he meets one of Maggie’s patients Nathaniel who turns out to have been an angel in the past but has decided to take on human form for the sake of his lovely wife. Meanwhile Maggie’s colleague and boyfriend Jordan asks her to marry him and she is torn between him (who knows her well and understands her life) and Seth (whom she loves). She finds out from Nathaniel during a check-up that Seth is an angel but he can and would give up everything – his immortality, his lack of fear and pain, everything – just to be with her and because he loves her so much. She meets Seth and tells him about Jordan before leaving for her uncle’s cabin in the mountains to spend some time by herself. After this meeting Seth realizes that he cannot let her go and he cannot have her marry Jordan. So he decides to take what the angels call the ‘Fall’…from being an angel to being merely mortal…just to be with her. He finds her uncle’s cabin and arrives there broken and beat. Seeing him bleed Maggie realizes that he has given up forever to be with her and confesses that she loves him too. The movie ends tragically though and that left me feeling sad. But overall I loved it.

Many fundamental questions have been asked in the movie and they left me pondering...like “What is the point of having wings (of an angel) if you can’t feel the wind in your face?” There was another interesting conversation about why humans cry –

“Why do people cry?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean what happens physically?”
“Well, tear ducts operate on a normal basis to lubricate and protect the eye and when you have an emotion they overact and it creates tears.”
“Why? Why do they overact?”
“I don’t know.”
“Maybe…Maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can’t contain it. Your mind and your feelings become too powerful. Your body weeps.”

Your body weeps…when the emotions are too intense. That’s why one cries…

Aside from all these small thoughts to ponder upon all night, the movie left me ruminating about a bigger idea…Seth’s fall from an angel to human…from immortality to being vulnerable to death…from forever to now, here…the extent to which he went for love. His words when one of his angel friends asks him whether he would have gone ahead with his fall if he had known that Maggie wouldn’t be around too long struck me hard – “I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand than an eternity without it. One…”

Seth gave up his fearlessness, his lack of pain, his ability to be anywhere he wanted at the speed of thought, his power to read other’s mind, his everything and life as he knew it to become human…to bleed when he was cut, to feel pain when he fell, to have to drag himself after being mugged just to find Maggie in the mountains, to not knowing what she was thinking – that uncertainty…he took it all up for her, for love. And he stood by it.

Angels must feel pain and hurt. So they may be healed and rewarded with love. Angels must fall. If you were someone’s angel, would you?

18 Thinkers Pondered:

deepocean said...

hey Anu,

That's the power of true love. How wonderful it would be to transform from immortal to mortal just for love's sake. Beautiful actually. That's what is walking extra mile in love all means - not because you are bound to nor that you are obligated. But just for love. :) Good stuff.

Smita said...

Ah!!! I have seen this one and had loved it.

My fav scene was the one where Seth stops the store manager from attacking the robber.It felt so assuring to see there is a force which hold us back 4m doing stupid things :-)

As far as your question is concerned I my answer is a confident Yes!!!! :-) To love is normal, to be loved is ethereal :-)

Lovely review!!!

Twin Utters said...

I quite liked the ost of city of angels .. Its by this guy gabriel yared .. Awesome music :) and oh yes a good watch !

Twin Utters said...

I quite liked the ost of city of angels .. Its by this guy gabriel yared .. Awesome music :) and oh yes a good watch !

Anupama said...

Hey Twin Utters!

Welcome to my blog...I have heard only Iris from the OST of City of Angels and was disappointed when they played only a bit of it in the movie...now that you recommend it I'll try and find the entire OST...thanks for the comment and for stopping by :)

eye-in-sty-in said...

nice revu Anupama!

Anupama said...

Thanks a lot Eye-in-sty-in :)

Satish said...

Liked the comment "Angels must fall" . Guess that is why it said "Falling in love" as opposed to "Growing in love"......

On a lighter note - It is aptly said "Love is blind" so that we can "Fall in Love"......

Anupama said...

Hey Satish,

I must ponder on that bit - why we all 'fall' in love when all true love does is to make one rise higher...thanks for the comment :)

eye-in-sty-in said...

you can call me spike :-)

Anupama said...

Spike it is then Eye-in-sty-in! :)

Anupama said...

Hey Smita!

Missed replying to your comment...yeah I could relate to that scene too...I guess that's what they call 'having guardian angels' and it sure is reassuring :)

Thanks for the comment :)

Anupama said...

Hey Push!

'...just for love...'...that should be the only motivation for doing things when one is in love...completely agree with you there :) ...thanks for the comment...

Vibhushan said...

When Seth was an angel, because of his supernatural powers, he didn't have fear of any worldly things, never felt pain from any physical injury... but he felt the pain in his heart for his love, he feared losing his love... He was above all physical worldly things, but his heart felt fear and pain like a human... Human or angel, love is a quality of heart in both... and that did not change after fall...

May be Seth was an angel because he had the guts of giving up his angel-hood for love, and may be Maggie was human because it took an angel to 'fall' from angel-hood to human to make her understand the power of love...

May be it is this which sets an angel apart from human... and also may be this is what will change a human into an angel...

eye-in-sty-in said...

Many ppl have found spike easier to type than eye-in-sty-in.... although I fail to see why!

Priya Iyer said...

loved the review :) seems to be just the kind of movie i would love to see.. have not seen many Hollywood movies, but guess I HAVE to see this one..

Priya Iyer said...

i thought i left a comment here :(

Anupama said...

Hey Priya!

My bad :( ...checked my personal mail just now after today morning and saw both your comments...and yes, you have to see this movie...it makes one feel nice about love even if it is tragic...kind of upholds the virtue of love...

Thanks a whole lot for the comment :)