August 04, 2007

"Bourne" observations *SPOILERS!*

I'm still reeling from last night's perfectly cinematic, ultimately satisfying, three-part conclusion of the Jason Bourne series. Definitely the best of the three. I really wish I had had time to re-watch the previous two before taking in the finale, but I knew it would all come back to me once it began - kind of like a new Harry Potter book after 2 years of waiting for the next installment.

As the credit rolled, several pieces of the story began to connect in my mind, and I found myself dually impressed by the surprisingly intelligent and meaningful moral of the story. For those of you who have followed the Bourne series, and have already read the books - you should have more detailed commentary on my amateur observations. So please feel free to add in the comments section. As you are about to find, I am strangely affected obsessed with this story.

In the ten minutes of the first movie, Jason Bourne emerges from mysterious waters and finds that he has no idea who he is. He also has no idea where he is, and yet, is forced to save himself from some unknown enemy, for some unknown reason, while he simultaneously connects the dots of his own identity.

In the beginning, this seemed to simply be a thrilling plot that would keep its viewers on the edge until the last moments. And it was. But why do we care so much about this guy - who we didn't even know - who didn't even know himself? Why do we relate so deeply with him on such a subconscious level? He could have been his own enemy for all we knew - the antagonist of the story for all he knew. And in a way, he ended up being just that. And yet, we pulled for him - all the way through.

Throughout the series, Bourne visits a myriad of countries, and makes a plethora of mysterious phone calls from unidentified cells to his enemies. Outsmarting the agencies that made him the dangerous Frankenstein he had apparently become and using the heightened reflexes and illegal ninja moves against the very organization that had trained him, he journeyed through the mystery of his identity, and killed a lot of people along the way.

In the end, we learn that Jason was his own worst enemy. He learned he had volunteered to become a slave to the secret agencies of the federal government. He had literally sold his identity and adopted a new one. One that he wasn't so sure he wanted anymore. And as he made his final leap towards freedom, he returned to the waters from whence he came, born a new man and into a new life.

So here's my breakdown: we love Jason Bourne because we ARE Jason Bourne. We come into the world not knowing who we are, and constantly searching for our unique identity. Along the way we learn what is important to us, and sometimes what was once important to us, shows itself to be a lie, and we must figure out how to make it right. Ultimately, however, we tend to be our own worst enemy. The choices we make lead us down paths in which we are too easily lost. We volunteer ourselves to a cause that subconsciously we hope will save us from ourselves. And sometimes we find we made the wrong choices. But there is always hope. If we search for the truth, we can use it to escape from our wrong turns.

Coolest unexpected observation: I love the symbolism of water and rebirth here.

Second place: the almost-cheesy play on words of his name.

Oh, and yah - The Bourne Ultimatum had one of the best fight scenes EVER. I'll spare you the play-by-play here. You'll know it when you see it.

Ok, gonna go read the books now. 'Scuse me.


At 12:19 PM, Blogger Ellyn said...

We, the Sergio 4, saw it last night! It was AWESOME!!! After "the" fight seen you mentioned the audience--a.k.a. packed house--began to applaud and cheer! One guy even rose out of his seat!

I, too, made the connection that you made and that Matt Damon is truely a hotty! I also came out wanting Nikki's hair! So this movie touched me on all my various levels deep and superficial!

so all in all I was having a fantastic time esp. since I also had just bought new shoes and were wearing them! New shoes, great movie with hot guy, movie that touches all emotions--a.k.a. ONE GREAT Evening!

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous john h said...

I have a much simpler explanation of why I loved this movie so much: It's damn good. They used the hand-held jittery camera just enough to give you the feeling of desperation/tension/uncertainty and unreeled the plot brilliantly.

I went expecting good, and got great. Thumbs up to the great cast..obviously the wonderful Damon, but also to the cool Joan Allen, the dark David Straithorn, and the always cuter-than-a-buttonANDbrilliant, Julia Stiles.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Sid said...

It was a great movie and a great conclusion to the Bourne trilogy. I think another aspect of why we like Bourne is because, even though he doesn't really know who he is, he still has a sense of what's right and wrong. He was trained to be a killer but he doesn't want to be kill unless there's no other way. There was that one scene after the car chase where he could've taken out the guy that was trying to kill him, but he didn't. He let him go. He was trained to be a certain way but realizes that that's not who he is.

Also, that was a great fight scene.

Also, also, nobody puts Beowulf in the corner.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Emily said...

sweet! that's going to be my new quote on my page.

thanks Sid.

and good luck with those dolphins.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger holly said...

Ooooh, that's deep, Em. While I was definitely moved by his story, I mainly just dug the fight scenes and the dry cell phone wit. And Pam Landry slipping that code location into the conversation. And Julia Stiles's hair.

NOW I have to go watch the whole bloomin' trilogy again...thanks :).


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