things fall down. people look up. and when it rains, it pours.
paul thomas anderson is a true artist in filmmaking. his work is so organic, so intricate. but the thing that fascinates me more is he can make something so dark, and so depressing into something absolutely breathtaking and profound. magnolia is a perfect example of this.
magnolia takes a close and personal look into nine different character's trials in the course of 24 hours, ending in one random, biblical-like event. these characters are all somehow connected whether it be by blood, or by going through a similar trial. two characters, by the name of earl partridge and jimmy gator, are stricken with cancer and have a whole list of regrets from the past. frank and claudia have both been severely wronged by the characters with terminal cancer in the past and are dealing with it in self destructive ways. linda, earl's wife, is a complete mess ever since she found out that he is dying of cancer. phil parma, earl's nurse, tries to reconnect earl with his son frank so that he can apologize for leaving frank and his mother. stanley spector, a young boy who is quite intelligent, is taken advantage of by his greedy father who forces him to be on a tv quiz show to get money. donnie smith, a former quiz show contestant in the sixties, is dealing with the fact that his age is effecting his brilliant mind and his once bright future. and finally, jim kurring is a talkative, compassionate cop who is having some troubles with his job. he crosses paths with claudia and falls in love with her.
during the first hour of this film i had absolutely no idea where p.t. anderson was going with this. the beginning starts with these anecdotes of random things happening to people. then the story completely changes to these nine characters going through trials. but then the ending happened and it all makes sense. throughout all these character's stories and trials, a totally random, totally out-of-the-blue shower of these massive frogs fall from the sky. and through this event, they all become unified by this one thought: that they need to "wise up" and look past their problems because they are all part of something bigger. that there is more to life than just focusing on your own problems.
and if thou refuse to let them go, behold, i will smite all thy borders with frogs.