Movie Review: Mr. Nobody


Auruba Raki


Director: Jaco Van Dormael

 

Mr. Nobody is a 2009 science-fiction drama film that depicts the several versatile ways Nemo Nobody’s life could have turned out. In his dying days in 2092, Nemo Nobody is a 118-year-old man who merits the title of the last mortal on earth as the human race has already achieved quasi-immortality. With fading remnants of memories, Nemo recounts his lifetime, focusing on three critical points of his life: At the age of nine when the choice of choosing one of his parents in their divorce is imposed on him, at the age of fifteen when he falls in love for the first time, and at the age of thirty-four as an adult. The movie has a nonlinear narrative with a convoluted plot line, as well as a multiverse orientation.

Reminiscing his experiences with the journalist interviewing him, he explains his life with his mother as much as his life with his father. He describes his life with Anna, symbolised by the red of passion and love, Elise in the blue of her crippling depression matched with his unending love for her, and Jean with the yellow of wealth and stability.

Nemo reveals that before birth, all children are aware of the numerous ways their lives will play out. However, prior to being sent to the world, the Angels of Oblivion erase that knowledge from the babies. It so happened that the Angels forgot about Nemo and hence, he is conscious of the consequences of possible choices in his life.

In the end, the dying Nemo discloses that neither his 118-year-old self nor the journalist nor the rest of the world is real. They are only figments of imagination in the nine-year-old Nemo’s head, as he is faced with the dilemmatic choice between his parents in the train station as his mother boards the train and his father looks on expectantly.

Nemo does make one final choice in the conclusion: Sit back and watch his life diverge in manifold directions only to meet at one unexpected junction before the credits roll.

 

Reviewer’s rating: 4/5

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