I Miss You
Michael Winterbottom's Code 46 has its share of heady sci-fi musings, of government controls placed on travel and on whom you can love, make love to, and, most importantly, procreate with. Not too dissimilar from Andrew Niccol's unfairly maligned Gattaca, Code 46 gives us a peek into a world some time in the near future, where the world is divided by those with "good" genes, and those with "bad" ones, genes that disturb an orderly and controlled lifestyle, instituted by an unseen government entity, represented by uniformed bureaucrats, clerks constantly demanding "papels," which without, one can barely do much of anything.
At its core, however, is a doomed love story, of induced amnesia, of two people destined for one another, in a world where their union is strictly forbidden. Memory, its power, and the notion of wiping the slate clean in order to move on with one's life, was the central dilemma in this year's best film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and pops up again here, as if a number of filmmakers are all drinking from the same cooler. There's an enormous amount of disconnect throughout the film, between characters one on one, and between peoples, one to masses or group to group, best emphasized by one small scene at the beginning of the film, where Robbins' character speaks to a merchant at a checkpoint. he engages him, wants to share a moment with him, while his driver sees no reason to humor such people. It only encourages them. This could be in a film set this very moment in time, shared between a businessman of any sort and, say, a panhandler asking for change or offering to wipe clean a window at a red light. Here, however, the point is made even larger, as Robbins clearly represents one part of a society, passing through a section of the country that might as well be a different one entirely. I think I just caught myself being redundant. Maybe the scenes I just mentioned, the one from the film and supposed one used as an example, are no different, no matter the game of genre dress up.
Anyway...it was a great surprise. The love story is beautifully handled, and captures so well the thoughts of each lover, when the other is away. What are they thinking? Do they think of me as much as I think of them? Do they still think of me or was I forgettable...did these moments of joy, of lust, of fright, of exhilaration, did these moments matter enough for another person to remember them the way I do, to think of them as much as I do?
I knew of the film, but hadn't seen it, and didn't exactly feel I had missed out on much when it left theaters after a brief and mostly uncelebrated run. It's really worth it. One of the better films from this year. I also recommend heading on over to iTunes and downloading the film's score, as done by Free Association. Hotness.