November 10, 2006

Stranger Than Delusion

I'd imagine that most of you by now have seen the trailers for the new film Stranger Than Fiction. It's a comedy about an IRS employee, Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), who one day begins to be plagued by the voice of a female narrator of his life as-it-happens, who comically, only he can hear. Turns out the voice is that of a novelist (Emma Thompson) who is writing a novel with the Will Ferrell character as her protagonist, and it's her plan to kill him off at the end of the book. So the movie appears to be spent with the unlucky IRS auditor trying to contact and convince the novelist NOT to kill him. Follow me?

Last night, while watching Dustin Hoffman (who's cast as a lit professor) plug the film on The Daily Show, a fun idea for a DVD bonus feature popped into my head. I haven't seen the film myself, but I can already imagine how it might play out - including the instrumental soundtrack. I'm imagining it has several comedically-paced tracks, especially while Harold is "receiving" the narration. I'm sure you can all imagine what I'm talking about.

Anyways, I think it would be an interesting exercise to see the film "re-imagined" as a tragic tale of a deeply-troubled man. We've seen this recently with re-imagined movie trailers, most-notably the trailer for The Shining, that turns it from a frightful horror of a secluded lodge that turns a husband into a pyschopathic killer, to a heartwarming father-son bonding movie. For Stranger Than Fiction, this could easily be done with a few simple measures: 1) Removal of the novelist narration, 2) a Cut-down to only the scenes involving Will Ferrell, 3) Replacement of the upbeat comic soundtrack with melancholic string music, and impactful silence for certain scenes.

I think the result would be a really revealing, perhaps even torturous-at-times film exposing the troubles of someone suffering with delusional schizophrenia. I think Will Ferrell's performance would translate well. And, most importantly, I think, in thematic contrast to the original feature, it would be quite funny. So for any DVD execs over at Sony, consider this a recommendation for the DVD release.


posted by julie at November 10, 2006 08:56 AM


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