Ever since I was little, I have always been amazed by tragedy in art. Unlike many of my friends whose favorite movies or songs were filled with action, fun, and excitement — I gravitated to the sad songs or the movies that ended in a sorrowful or unexpected way. This wasn’t because I was depressed or into suffering, but because I have always felt that this genre of art relates to real human emotion. I have always felt that by watching a movie where the main character dies in the end, or a movie where the couple doesn’t stay together, reflects real life more closely than some perfect, fairy-tale ending.
This might sound a bit dark but take the movie “No Country For Old Men,” for example. In this movie, the main character, Llewelyn Moss, is a man who wound up with a suitcase full of money after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After acquiring all this money, Llewelyn goes on the run, all the while knowing that a man named Anton Chigurh is after him and his money. This movie takes all kinds of twist and turns, but in the end Llewelyn is found dead and the viewer never actually sees his death. The whole movie builds up around this cat and mouse chase but the protagonist dies off screen. While this ending could be very disappointing, I loved it. I felt that it showed a more realistic ending to a story. In real life there wouldn’t necessarily be a magnificent shoot-out between the protagonist and antagonist resulting in a close victory by the protagonist. Because of this ending, it makes the movie feel much more visceral and believable.
Another one of my favorite movies, “Her,” tells the story of a lonely man who falls in love with a computer system. The movie takes place in the future and is more believable than it sounds but what I love most about the movie is its ability to show the power of good company. It is an extremely sad movie but ultimately shows that people need each other to be happy. Humans require love and this movie shows it perfectly. I don’t want to spoil this movie like I did with “No Country For Old Men” but just know that it doesn’t have a fairytale ending. It ends leaving the viewer feeling sad and empty but with a greater understanding of human emotion.
I understand that many people might not like these movies because they don’t end the way many people would want, but I love them. As depressing as this sounds, I think these movies show a more accurate view of life. Life doesn’t have a perfect endings and I think it’s important to know that. By the way, I’m not always this negative.
Thomas Carloss is a senior at Whitefish High School.