We went to Chicago for the 51st Chicago Film Festival, and watched quite a few films, walk around the city, eat some good food, and have some fun. One of the movies which really stands out for me is a Netherland movie called “The Surprise“. I have seen some European movies last time, their unique way of storytelling and showing humor are so different from American movies. And this one especially created a really surprising setting for audience. The camera shots are fairly good for an amateur director, the interesting thing is the story which this movie has.
The story started with a millionaire Jacob who has no emotion towards anything after his dad disappeared during a voyage when he was four. His mother has been trying so hard to change this weird emotion status for him throughout years until she died. After that, Jacob’s lawyer has been trying to persuade him to sell his family estate which Jacob certainly agreed on. Meanwhile, Jacob has been trying to find a way to end his life but unfortunately he failed several times. Then, surprisingly, he found a company provides service for people who want to end their life in the way they want to which they call it as a trip. Unsurprisingly, he signed the contract with this company, and met a lady named Anna wants to end her life in a surprising way too. Unsurprisingly, they fell in love with each other, and then figured out that the only way they can do to continue their romance is to end the contracts. And then the plot still follows the typical romantic humor movie, but still gave a surprising twist in the end.
The interesting part of this movie is that how it is so typical while there are still some unconventional surprising methods in it. One is that when Jacob figured out that he still did not receive his “surprise” after several days, he decided to call Anna to ask her for a Friday dance so that he can receive this “surprise” during his daily normal routine. After the dance, they saw a huge truck which lost its control coming down a street, they decided to face their “surprise” together by standing in the middle of street and holding hands together. Right before the truck was going to hit them, they decided to dodge and ran away from their “surprise”. That losing-control truck is definitely a surprise which I never expect the director is using this way for the first possible death scene in this comedy, and this is supposed to be the point when Jacob and Anna started to fall in love with each other though they still do not why. But throughout the whole movie, Jacob still did not know why he would give up the contract until Anna told him that she works for the company and her job is to kill Jacob so they can actually delivery the “surprise”.
In my opinion, the characters and plot itself is not that surprising, but the way these actors and actresses convey their emotions through the setting this movie has created, the love romance which people will know the ending but was filled with various surprises which we know and not know at the same time. This is really how life looks like now for me, I know there will be different surprises waiting for me in the future no matter they are good or bad. But no matter what they are, I should be more content confident about my choice. If there are changes I need to make, then let them come. Comedy always makes people think that there has to be a story with a opening and ending, characters and filled with typical jokes which every one will laugh. Comedy is life, and it should be more life-based and concerned about daily stories happening around us, it does not have a standard to be judged as bad or good jokes, if it is a joke which makes you laugh, then it is decent enough for you to enjoy it. Having a heart which does not need to prepare for surprises but be ready to accept them and find pleasure and enjoyment from them is what I take from this movie and life.
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