Pre-Script: No spoilers ahead.
In Christopher Nolan’s brilliant period sci-fi drama* The Prestige, an old Chinese magician lives his act. It means the following: He understands that his flagship magic trick, to look surreally magical, needs a heavy personality quirk. To ensure that he can pull this quirk on stage, he lives with that quirk off-stage. Every day, through his life, he ‘lives’ his act. It’s quite a small scene, and almost irrelevant to the movie; but for some reason, it hit me that there is this guy who is willing to live an act, consciously, forever. I will not get into acts that we live unconsciously, or sporadically, or with temporal profit in mind for some limited time. This is an act that a person lives – forever. Method Living? Perhaps.
Today, I had a night long conversation with Yakshi, and as we go to a couple of people we know, he claimed that they were Method Living. It reminded me of a close friend who Method Lives. The quirk is in his voice. He’d know it if he reads this. It made the movie seem far more real, and far more hard hitting.
These quirks that Method Livers inculcate in their lives are mostly profit driven. I either want to make the world believe that I am something that I am not, or I have a far simpler commercial motive like the magician in the movie. The former is something that we are all capable of: we either don’t, or we don’t notice; or we do. The latter, though, is something that would require me to possess a degree of passion towards my profession that would transcend my life.
Speaking of passion, along with Susan Orlean’s character in Adaptation, I keep wondering if I will ever have a passion that will consume me – at least make me cut a finger or two, let alone give my life.
* – Christopher Nolan’s quote describing his movies: The term ‘genre’ eventually becomes pejorative because you’re referring to something that’s so codified and ritualised that it ceases to have the power and meaning it had when it first started.