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Invention of Lying - Its Not Funny, But Its Somehow Still Good
The Invention of Lying (DVD)
Member Name: Shellshocker
The Invention of Lying (DVD)
Advantages: Good Story & Feel Good Concept
Disadvantages: Not Funny Like Advertised
Straight away I'd like to say that Ricky Gervais isn't my favourite comedian on the planet, in fact I found his humour quite dull and tasteless from the very few things I've seen him do. I found The Office quite boring and I haven't heard any positive reviews for any of his work in the past few months. So after avoiding this films for a good few months since its release on DVD, I jumped up the courage to watch it, just to see if this is at all funny as a friend of mine said it was. Unlike I originally thought (I thought I'd hate it), I got quite mixed feeling about this film, not from the comedy aspect (which was as I presumed dull and boring), but from the story aspect of the film.
The story happens in a different reality where everyone has to speak the truth and nobody can physically lie and they always speak their mind, this has resulted in people being very narrow minded and not taking account for people's feelings and personalities but looks, which everything seems to revolve around. Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) is an unsuccessful writer for a film company called Lecture Films as since no one can lie fiction doesn't exist hence films are basically lectures of past events. Mark Bellison not being successful with his given topic is fired from his job and because of this is on the verge of being evicted from his apartment because his can't pay the $800 for the rent. When he goes to the bank to take out his last $300 he has an epiphany that he could say he has $800 in the bank rather than $300 and the cashier believes him.
With his new discovered power Mark begins take advantage which results in him making up the concept of Religion and this backfires on him slightly.
Opinion on Story
Although I quite like the whole concept of people not being able to lie and suddenly 1 individual realises that they can as it is the perfect set up for an awesome movie, I have one major problem with this movie is the fact that not being able to lie has somehow spread to constantly speaking your mind, which is kind of stupid as I imagine that in a society without lies, people would suddenly speak their mind, also the fact that everyone has suddenly become ignorant of any emotional bonds and get married for because they are a 'genetic match' seems kind slightly of topic. However the fact that the character realises that he can do bad with his 'power' but decides to help people rather than take advantage makes this a somewhat of a 'feel good' film. I also like the somewhat controversial part of the story where the 'religion' concept is invented by Mark Bellison and the "Man in the Sky" controls everyone and they will get a mansion in the sky if their good and the whole idea backfires because of the many holes in the rules Mark had written.
Overall I like the whole concept of the story and quite enjoyed the second part of the film where the story was developed, however the whole thesis on lying was slightly stretched out.
On the point of this film being a comedy, I did find some moments funny, mainly the parts where a person was speaking their mind and the reaction of the other was to simply ignore it other respond normally to the abuse, among 1 or 2 other situations, however on the whole comedy scale, this film falls weak.
The acting in this film is believable to say the best. Rick Gervais seems to keep his personality within the character slightly making it hard to really believe it's a different person at the beginning, however as the character becomes quite loose after he discovers lying I think Ricky really pulls of the character. Jennifer Garner who played Anna McDoogles, who was Marks love interest, also did a good job of playing the emotionally clueless Anna, who was I secretly seem to hate during this film, so if that was the initial intention (I think it was) Jennifer Garner really pulled it off.
You do see some appearances from other popular actors like Jonah Hill who did an awesome job being the depressed elevator company.
On an overall sense I feel that the acting was good, but not great, but it was great to see Jonah Hill in the film as although he had a very small part, he seems to add a little something to his role which made it a little bit more entertaining.
Although I expected this film to be quite dull simply because Ricky Gervais wrote the story as well as directed and produced it and well I never really liked Ricky Gervais comedy style and what can you expect from a film which was pretty much made single handily by him, but I am happy to say that I didn't hate it and quite enjoyed it, but rather for the interesting and quite deep story rather than the dry comedy. In essence this film made me think about how religion is portrayed in sociality and I really liked the controversial set of how the film basically says Religion is a lie made to make people feel better and live by the rules, which I found brave and intelligent.
Overall this is a good movie, great story but not funny like its advertised, so if you looking for a laugh I wouldn't recommend it unless you a big fan of Ricky Gervais' comedy.
Summary: When you event the most revolutionary thing in the world, how do you take advantage?