Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
August 15, 2006
STAY: Chimp says “Take it”

It seems a coincidence that the night before heading out to our Retreat on Christianity and Post-Modernism we would happen to watch a movie delving into this very theme. STAY is a classic in this genre and captures the “what is real” question amazingly well. You could say it’s just random chance, left up to the gods of Cinemail that we happened to see this movie or you might look at it as divinely inspired. Another way the universe helped to prepare our minds to reflect on the theme of nebulousness and how meaning plays a part in the arc of life. A gift of sorts. Who says there isn’t a plan.

Another way of describing STAY is psychological thriller. Better yet, “philosophical thriller” seems more descriptive. “STAY” begins with an accident and from there the thread of the movie weaves through two characters (a patient and a psychiatrist) and how their paths begin to cross in more and more complex ways. Very soon into the movie, the question of what is real and who is real makes it’s way into the viewer’s mind. What I really liked about it was, this question wasn’t cheapened by clever technique and nihilistic dialogue. It didn’t have that lazy apathetic feel that some movies of this ilk sometimes have. It’s an earnest movie fueled by a desperate search on the part Sam and Henry (the two main characters played by Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling). The cinematography is intriguing and plays a part in the meaning of the movie; it’s extremely subtle without adding confusion and it isn’t artsy for artsy-fartsy-sake. Symbolically and aesthetically “STAY” doesn’t show itself as random at all.

Overall, there is a caring mind behind this movie and while the worldview is most definitely post-modern you never get the feeling that the storyteller is coping out or opting for less meaning. You may not come away with “a morale of the story” or a consistent thread but you do end up siding with the director/writer in that there is something to care about whether you can define it or not. Despite the lack of consistency the threads do manage to connect and in no way superficially or quickly slapped together. The movie “STAY” witnesses to the fact that one person’s empty ideology is another person’s search for depth and meaning. I highly recommend it. It does well both as a story as well as an exploration of the mind.