After the incredibly confusing Magnolia film, one thing in particular stood out to me, which is the use of Biblical undertones. Immediately when it began raining frogs, after taking the time to process what had just happened, I remembered the plagues that God sent to the Egyptians to let his people go. I had to look up the exact Bible passage but found that it was Exodus 8:2. I then did some research and realized all of the times that Magnolia in fact uses those exact numbers. There are about twenty different moments in this film where those numbers are used and you would never notice unless you went back after knowing and watching the film once again. The most obvious of these being a sign that specifically said “Exodus 8:2. right before the frogs came raining down.
The exact Exodus passage states “If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your country with frogs.” There are many different things that “them” can be referring to such as the characters’ pasts, grudges and anger, or even if we’re staying Biblical..their sins. In these eight characters, there is infidelity, addiction, stealing, etc. While I think that sins is a arguable option, I believe that it is referring to the characters’ pasts. Throughout this course, we looked to the future and how that affects us in the present. However, in this film, we are forced to look in our past and see how that can affect our future.
Earl’s past involving infidelity led to his rocky relationship with his son and with his wife. He never had the chance to correct his relationship with his son before he passed and that will forever affect Frank. Jimmy possibly molested his daughter which very well could have led her to becoming addicted to cocaine which will affect her for the rest of her life. Are our pasts solely OUR pasts or can they be as twisted with other people as the character map in this film?