I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Match Point

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Match Point yet, but plan to, you might want to skip this post since I’m going to be talking about the end of the movie.

I don’t know why, but I’ve sort of been on a British movie kick lately. Recently I’ve watched Emma, Shakespeare in Love, and Love Actually. And a few nights ago I watched Match Point starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers (as Chris), Emily Mortimer (as Chloe), and Scarlett Johansson (as Nola). It’s about a tennis pro named Chris who is near the end of his career. He meets a woman named Chloe, he falls in love with her, and he marries her. But shortly before he is married, he is smitten with his brother-in-law’s fiancé and he allows himself to succumb to his desire for her.

Before long, he finds himself trapped between the two women. I thought that the main message of the movie was going to be that “choices have consequences” and in Chris’ case, I thought his choices would probably lead to Chloe divorcing him. But I probably should have known better since the movie opens with a voiceover from Chris saying this:

“The man who said he’d rather be lucky than good, saw deeply into life. People are afraid to face how great a part of life is dependent on luck. It’s scarey to think so much is out of one’s control. There are moments in a match, when the ball hits the top of the net and for a split second it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you lose.”

Throughout the movie, Chris seems plagued by the fact that randomness reigns supreme. And after he gets Nola pregnant, something has to give. Either he needs to tell Chloe and end their marriage to be with Nola or he needs to end things with Nola and face the possibility that she’ll tell Chloe about their affair and the pregnancy. I was stunned when Chris loaded a shotgun and murdered a friend of Nola’s and then Nola in premeditated cold blood. He set things up to look like it was a burglary, but eventually the police come calling.

Chris tosses the jewelry he took into a river, but one piece of jewelry doesn’t quite make it—it bounces off a railing and falls back onto the sidewalk. In this case, it looks like Chris’ “luck” would cause him to lose his freedom. But somebody else picked up the ring. It turned out to be a guy who was also a murderer on the loose and the ring linked him back to Nola’s murder and Chris gets off scot free.

You’d have thought that he would have been relieved as can be. But as the movie comes to the end, Chris and his entire extended family are gathered around Chris and Chloe’s new baby boy. Chris’ brother-in-law issues a toast saying, “I don’t care if he’s great. I just hope that he’s lucky.” The camera pans away and allows us to see Chris who is bothered by that statement. It’s as if he’d been hoping that his belief in randomness had been wrong, but now that he thinks it is right, life seems to have no meaning.

I think he would have been more at peace if he would have been caught. He would have lost everything, and he would have been proven wrong regarding randomness. But he desperately wanted to believe that justice and order and meaning do exist, and getting caught would have proven (in his mind) that indeed they do.

Unfortunately, Chris was only focused on the physical realm and what he could see. He seemed to give little thought to Judgment day or any other type of judgment while here on earth. And that to me was a shame because if he had thought about and believed in such things before committing such atrocities, then he would have found that life always has meaning, and that while randomness seems to occur all around us, that such a thing doesn’t even really exist in God’s economy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...