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Feb 26, 2018

A Ghost Story

There is the cycle of life as Mafusa had revealed in his hard knocks school sermon to his son in the famed Disney entertainer, The Lion King and then there is the cycle of after-life, a rather long and lonely affair as revealed in the film A Ghost Story written and directed by David Lowery.
It is a slow gliding film, almost a eulogy to ghosts whose physical form in the movie is appropriated from the home-made cheese cloth and ping pong ball figures hung on trees on Halloween. Several times while watching the movie, despite being a fan of eulogies and poetry in general, I fell prey to the convenience of the fast forward button.

No, don’t misunderstand, it is a good movie, worth watching and well made on a shoe-string budget. Writing, editing and direction have stepped in to make up for the dollar deficit. All that lack of action and lifelessness you can only expect from Casey Affleck has been realized in the lead role which puts these specific traits of Affleck to good use. Rooney Mara has an exceptionally powerful scene with a vegan chocolate pie. There are no other actors worth mentioning other than a couple of bed sheets.

It is a haunting movie in a literal as well as in a figurative sense. I couldn’t fall asleep after finishing the movie. Not because I started hallucinating imaginary shapes in the dark of my bedroom or kept getting startled by creaky settling noises our floor boards love making after midnight (in other news English is a funny language 😉) but because the movie essentially gave me the message, “You think life sucks, eh? Wait till you get a dose of after-life.” Such a downer. I have been an ardent researcher and reader of Sam Parnia, the Scole Experiment, Raymond Moody and the like. David Lowery has single-handedly snuffed out the romance of after-life from my mind.

As an easterner (from eastern hemisphere) by birth, the cycle of after-life is not an alien concept to me. What kept me awake at night after ‘A Ghost Story” is the absence of an escape door, which all the Eastern philosophies comfortingly provide us – whether it is moksha in Hinduism or nirvana in Buddhism. That one phone call to your lawyer in the sky, where is it David Lowery?