Holy Motors

The film, Holy Motors, was directed by Denis Levant as he emerges us into the life of Oscar, an old man, sometimes man, sometimes woman, sometimes old, sometimes young. We see the life of Mr. Oscar in a day as he switches from appointment to appointment, each with a distinct and different agenda, and with a different identity as well. We see him turn into a murderer, beggar, father, musician and a lunatic. 

What qualifies as a good actor? A true actor usually immerses himself into his or her character and can properly emanate their identity. We see how Oscar knew how to work with his audience. We encounter that theater quote that says “the show must go on” and indeed, it did for Oscar whether anyone is there to participate in it or not. He was ready to kill a person or even act like a lunatic in public. We always go back to the question of whether what he is doing is real or not. After he was murdered, it was normal for us to think that it is clearly the end of the film, he is dead. But it is not what happens, then again, what is reality in their film?

One of the things we encounter in the film is how the line what is real and what is not real start to fade. Whatever we encounter in the film, whether it is a murder or a scandal, they do not always make sense, but they do not have to. The film is quite passive in its portrayal of scenes and characters that the mind of an individual is at a loss. Was that really his child? Did he actually die? Was that man killed? Or, were they all actors playing a part in one huge scene? Question upon question seem to boggle in our heads wondering if we should believe what we see. The quote “seeing is believing” becomes confusing because each appoint becomes as bazaar and absurd as the previous one. 

As Mr. Oscar attends each appointment, he commits to an obligation, a promise that his “boss” is asking him to fulfill. For each identity he emerges in, for each role he has to play, he starts to lose his own identity, his own self. He becomes another person, and another, and another. We keep going back to the question of what is real and what is not real, and this can be intertwined with Mr. Oscars sense of identity. Like his performances, everything is merely just an act. Nothing seems to be real. Nothing seems to be true. As unreal as Mr. Oscar’s own identity. It was a conflict that he kept going back to in the film, which is what gave him such a sad life. We saw how in the ending, he really did not have anyone to come home to. In that world, in that reality, he was merely a cog in someone’s greater scene, just acting on whatever is asked of him

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