Monday, July 3, 2017
Groundhog Day- I'm a god
A scene that sums up the movie's thesis and the direction the story is going. These scenes, if you are listening to the prophetic words of Robert McKee, should come somewhere in the middle of the movie. So it comes as no surprise, the placement of this scene is squarely in the middle and acts both as a launching point for everything else that happens and as a summation of everything that has happened thus far.
Though they never show how long Phil Conners has been living the same day over and over and over again in the town of Punxatawny, no other scene better paints the length of time he has been there than this one. His enyclopedic knowledge of the residents- bringing attention to a young couple in a bit that will have an awesome payoff later on- to the knowledge of when a specific event will happen.
In the span of less than four minutes, performance, dialogue and writing manage to instill laughs, wonderment and tears. It's slapstick comedy, science fiction and drama.
More importantly, this scene happens after Phil has reached the lowest point as a character. Living through the same day over and over seems like hell, especially for one who is so self-centered and as smug as Phil is. So he turns to the one person who he thinks can help him: Rita. Yet it happens with the self consciousness of knowing that, in the process of living in a loop, that she will forget everything he just told her and the process will start all over again. This unlocks the third act of the movie. The act of redemption for Phil Conners. It harks back to the best of Frank Capra. A parable that shows the enormity of time.
That's all for now. I must get a move on if I'm going to stay ahead of the weather.