Our End of the World

Magnolia was very different than the other movies we watched this semester. Every single movie before this one either revolved around the world ending or a life after the world ended. However, with Magnolia, there is no planet heading towards Earth nor has trash filled Earth leaving it as a wasteland. The movie focuses on different characters, each somehow connected to another. In each person’s life, each of them is going through the end of their world so to speak. The host Jimmy is facing actual death due to him having cancer, Stanley, a child genius, not only misses a question but later erupts, shattering people’s image of him, and Linda dealing with her dying husband and the reality that she may not inherit his money, which considering she married him for his money makes this her end of the world.

In class, we discussed what the world ending means, and how the movies portrayed it. I find the thought of the films not necessarily being about the world ending but instead about how people react to it ending interesting. The other films had the world ending on a bigger scale with much bigger consequences. However, Magnolia is on a smaller scale, for Earth is not ending but each character’s world. The film still raises the question of how people react when their world is ending. Do they keep their loved ones a little closer? Do they try and find a way to continue living? Do they lash out? Each person reacts a little different. Relating to the topic in class today, does watching these films and seeing how people react affect the way we will react to the world ending?


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