Movie: Night, Mother
Director: John Patrick Lowrie
” Believe me there is no such thing as great suffering, great regret, great memory….everything is forgotten, even a great love. That’s what’s sad about life, and also what’s wonderful about it. There is only a way of looking at things, a way that comes to you every once in a while. That’s why it’s good to have had love in your life, after all, to have had an unhappy passion- it gives you an alibi for the vague despairs we all suffer from.”
~Albert Camus, A Happy Death
The true nature of despair eludes man’s ability of linguistic descriptions. It is more visceral and therefore more fatal. ‘Night, Mother’ is a tale of despair told in a way that never obliterates the human potential of loving a fellow human being. A conversation where a daughter and her mother are seen discussing certain incidents/events about their lives, smiling at their mutual fortune and their regrets, stories of hope and futility that eventually turns into a struggle of light against darkness, of affection against indifference, of a tender embrace against relentless snares. The outcome in ‘Night, Mother’ turns secondary as the message indicates that we must initially recognize the otherwise invisible light around us and eventually look at the world from a multifold perspective, understand the world as light does, turn resistance into a process of conscious endurance.
The various tableaux-like shots were impeccably placed, shot, and visualized. They appeared as representations of their (mother and daughter) collective streams of consciousness appearing like the ‘innumerable atoms’ of Virginia Woolf. The music (background) has been dexterously designed and used. The performances of Sheila Houlahan, Ellen McLain were commendable. Their relationship appeared as real as possible. Their expressions were adroit and the way they delivered their dialogues was exceptional. The screenplay has been well devised with a carefully constructed structure with just the right balance between levity and seriousness in an otherwise somber movie. Their jokes are funny, their smiles are real and their sense of nostalgia is recognizable.
The message in the movie serves as an indicator of how people consciously look past the issue of mental health. During the lockdown, the definition of loneliness for many transcended the limited dimension of books. For many words like agony and solitude found newer definitions urging mankind once again to come together and fight the unknown darkness of tomorrow hand in hand.
The message is loud and clear, something each and every individual must feel and turn into a collective message of unanimous glee.
” I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ~ Sylvia Plath