The Giant Mechanical Man

March 28, 2013

Does anyone really know what they are doing? Are those who seem to have a handle on things only kidding themselves? The Giant Mechanical Man does not try to answer this question specifically. It paints a picture of two 30 somethings who are aimless, literally wandering through life. It is hinted that their aimlessness is at least contributed to their existentialism about their meaning in the world. and yet, the sun rises and sets, indifferent to their emotional anxieties.


Thus, the characters from the on-set experience setbacks, such as a relationship ending and an eviction. We are led to empathize with their struggle, though we can’t help but feel there is a tinge of self-righteousness on the part of the giant mechanical man, as he performs his craft. He views himself as creating life with his work, an admirable and worthy pursuit. And yet, the film surrounds him with oblivious individuals who do not see past the menageries of life. They ridicule and lack a mutual understanding with his struggle.


Likewise with Janice. Her overbearing sister is simply trying help her find happiness. And yet Janice’s definition of what happiness is is different than the white-picket fence and 9-5 consumerism of her sister’s definition. Granted, Janice does not know what her happiness is yet in her life. And the film never makes any attempt to explain why both of these individuals feel the way they do about living, as in, what caused them to be so existential? Why have they not figured things out at their point in life?


We only see their serendipitous collision. Or, zoo employment is the only place where the desperate converge. Granted, on the surface they seem to be desperate, and to be struggling. Yet, again, we are not shown their internal motivations, beyond being reactionary to a fake society. and that their mutual interest in being alienated from other people creates a strong bond between them, as they converse with an aquarium exhibition.


Fortunately, this isn’t a whiny film. The characters are not self-loathing, though they are not self-examining either. The latter is what is disappointing in The Giant Mechanical Man’s efforts. The two odd persons only reconcile their existence with the declaration that you only need someone else in this world to make you valid to make life worth living. Is that a satisfactory resolution? Why did either of these persons not discover this truth beforehand? The mystery of both of their dark histories cloud the picture.


Grade: B



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