Ok so this evening I'd arranged to go to the cinema with some friends to see Sideways. This is a film I've been intrigued by since I saw the trailer in Canada in October. However it turned out that Sideways wasshowingtoo late so my friends bought tickets for Closer which I had,in fact already seen. Oops!
Now there are many films that I have watched several times. There are few I have seen more than once at the cinema (notably Bruce Almighty - first time as youthworker work, second time as mate, third time with guy I liked as the only alternative to Piglet the big movie) but Closer is not one I would have planned to see twice.
Not only does it contain an extremely GRAPHIC internet sex scene which is pretty embarrassing to watch WITH anyone but it depicts four unempathetic characters whose lives are not to be envied or emulated.
Watching the film a second time round I was able to reflect more deeply on their lives and the complete emptiness of their reltionships because of a lack of true love and forgiveness. The four characters all talk of love and forgiveness but it is lacking in TRUTH. They focus on telling the TRUTH as opposed to lying about their transgressions yet their honesty is BRUTAL and hurtful.
Jude Law's character is compelled to demand the truth even though it destroys his relationships. Yet most distressingly, although he is flawed, Dan is kinder and gentler than Clive Owen's character and still it is Dan who loses the girl (more times than I can count!) and loses his hope.
The world of Closer was like another world to me. I felt the people in it lived according to different rules and, I suppose they did. For me Christianity is so cnetral to my life that I sometimes assume that spirituality is at the centre of the lives of ALL people.
Seeing the film a second time reminded me that there is a whole world of people out there for whom that film would have resonated. People who, like Julia Roberts' character, have such a low opinion of themselves that they do not think they ought to have happiness and fulfillment.
Christians really are "in the world but not of the world". We are called to "shine as points of light" in what is for so many a dark world. If we look at the world through the eyes of Christ we see as Campolo said, "that their anger is hurt."