To say that Leos Carax’s film, Holy Motors, is a very memorable movie to watch is quite an understatement. I found myself still reflecting on the movie minutes before I went to sleep. The movie is truly a unique one. Of course, as all European films we have watched in class, the movie was weird and confusing. Despite my confusion, I enjoyed watching the film. The movie was marvelous, vibrant, witty, different, and puzzling. Personally, there was not a dragging moment. I was always looking forward to the next role he would play every time he gets in the limousine.
I felt excited for every role that he had to play. I want to be an actor myself once I step out of college, but if to be an actor means that I’ll be subjected to terrifying roles that involve biting a production assistant’s fingers off, among others, I think I would rather not work at all. But if it means that I get to live in Paris as well and be driven around in a white limousine, then maybe I’ll think about it. All jokes aside, Monsieur Oscar had a really challenging job. He proves that to be an actor in his world, one must really have the passion and the guts for it. It must really be tiring to pretend to be someone who you are not every day of your life. I think this poses a threat to one’s identity, especially in the film, where it felt like Oscar did not have a real identity. I wasn’t able to distinguish right away whether he was playing a role or being his real self. For example, I thought that was his real identity when he picked up his daughter from the party. It turns out he was also just acting in that scene. I was also confused when he saw his lover, if they were really acting or not. Above all, I was confused by how the limousines started talking at the end of the movie.
The movie is a work of art. Even more so because many of the scenes in the movie are references to other works of art. For example, the scene wherein Carax opened a door in his bedroom which looked like a dense forest was a reference to Dante’s Inferno. Meanwhile, the scene where the limousines started talking to one another was a reference to Pixar’s Cars. The film used cinema as a metaphor for the journey of life. And it can be said that watching the movie immersed us into Carax’s movie-educated-eyes, his journey on filmmaking and using other films as inspiration (French, 2012).
Given that the movie was used as a metaphor for the journey of life made me realize that playing different roles and having different tasks to complete every single day really do reflect life. Our daily routines and the choices we make reflect our identity—our purpose. Despite the many challenges that we face, like Oscar slowly losing his passion for acting, we must always remind ourselves to keep true to our goal. We may have to play different roles, one by one, to bring us to the ultimate role that we want to play in our life. I can only imagine that Oscar is working as an actor and doing all those silly, mind-boggling, roles so that he can be the father that he wants to be and to provide for his real family.
French, P. (2012). Holy Motors – review. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/sep/30/holy-motors-philip-french-review