Friday, October 2, 2015

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" (2010)

A few years ago, in between “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End” Edgar Right made the strange little movie “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” It is based on a little series of graphic novels, but the movie is an extreme example of Wright’s incredibly creative storytelling.

Some of the elements of the story are strange, out of place, and don’t contribute anything to the overall idea. For instance, Scott’s roommate is gay. It feels shoehorned in for no reason at all. However, much of the strange, surreal world being built here is so new it is hard to process at first. It is probably an important film in the way it changes the way film communicates. Canada seems like the real place in this film, but things happen there that can only happen in a video game, and no one seems to find any of it strange. It is almost like magic realism, just with a new twist for the 21 century.

In the story itself, Scott meets a girl and begins a relationship with her. However, for that relationship to work, he must fight all of her exes to the death. The message is almost too spot-on. When two people try to come together in a meaningful romantic relationship, they are always contending with their past experiences and expectations. We are in many ways just the sum of these things. And, for romance to become love, we must change. We must grow together.

Beyond that, though, the film adds another insight. For a relationship to work there must be love. We must place the other person first. We must be able to fight for them and sacrifice ourselves for what they need. But, there must also be the “self-respect” too. We need to be a fully realized individual before we can give ourselves away. Not that we need that before the relationship can begin. Often times, we first learn who we are in a life commitment to another.

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