Tuesday, August 11, 2015

That One Scene in THE FISHER KING...

Did you see this one?  A superfine movie about the interaction between Chaos and Order.  Especially, and most importantly, it's all about MAKING FRIENDS WITH CHAOS.  The story goes back to that theme again and again, in SO MANY WAYS, but let me draw your attention specifically to the scene when Jack (Jeff Bridges) first meets Parry (Robin Williams).  LET'S MAP OUT THE PROGRESSION:

>> Jack, his life in what he sees as UTTER CHAOS and RUIN, settles on a plan to put things in order at last as he thinks things over by the Hudson River.

>> Two thugs appear with baseball bats.  They, too, are planning to restore Order -- and by that they mean scaring Jack, and anyone like Jack, out of their nice neighborhood.  That's where the weapons come in.  But to Jack, they are not instruments of Order -- quite the opposite.

>> At this point, things get far MORE chaotic because Parry turns up.  You know he's an agent of Chaos because when he's not talking happily about bowel movements and navy blazers, he's firing arrows at the thugs or clubbing them with a blackjack.  But his intervention in the situation clears things up for Jack:  he's going to leave with Parry, not the two thugs. Put another way, Jack chooses Chaos.

>> Jack has absolutely no idea what he's getting into. Parry does tip him off in that first scene together: when Jack begs "Don't hurt me!" Parry -- who's apparently noticed the cinderblocks tied to Jack's ankles -- says, "Why, so you can be healthy when you jump?"  Then, to make the drunker-than-shit Jack feel better, he takes him to what seems like the lower reaches of Hell and gets him even more liquored up.  This is just the beginning of Parry's helpful intervention in Jack's life.

>> Without giving away the whole story, Parry's Chaos -- layer after layer of it, throat-punch after goofy episode, dinner date after hospital stay, hallucination after bizarre detour -- eventually restores a kind of Order in both their lives.  A kind of Order based on the right kind of Chaos.  And high time it is, too.

Man, I miss Robin Williams so much!