Friday, October 29, 2004

Movies: Envy

Barry Levinson's stab at comedy is a study of a human condition that all of us have to deal with almost everyday of our lives. The premise is interesting: what happens when your best friend across the road stumbles upon an idea you rejected and becomes, literally, filthy rich? What happens when he doesn't move neighborhoods and instead, builds his gaudy palace in front of your house? Will you be able to deal with that enormous envy swelling each and everyday you go out every morning, ride your ordinary car, going to your rather ordinary job? 

This movie is masquerading as a comedy (it has its funny moments) but as with every Levinson movie, it strikes a raw nerve. Like it may be hard to deal with success if it's your own but it may be even harder to deal with your best friend's success. The most poignant part of the movie is when rendered sleepless by so many guilty thoughts, Ben Stiller finally gets the nerve to confess how much envy has eaten his insides, of how it's been so hard for him to deal with his failure to see the potential of Jack Black's idea and somehow doomed himself to mediocrity, of how it's been so difficult for him to accept jack's success.


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