Monday, October 19, 2015

+ 1 (2013) or Happily Ever After Unto Death


+1 is a party film trapped in a time paradox. Glowing alien rocks have crashed landed in anywhere, American suburbia making powerlines glow and teenagers ratchet up their angst. In the middle of the chaotic pile sweaty-drunk teenagers, David is on a mission to save his relationship.

In a misguided attempt to surprise his beloved, David made the mistake of kissing a girl who resembled his girlfriend. When Jill walked in on this scene, seeing her boyfriend suckface with her rival, something more was unlocked than betrayal. The shock of betrayal widened her view of the relationship as a whole. David was revealed as more than just a dirt bag, he was also dead weight holding her back from achieving her potential. What that potential is, we will never know.

When David finally gets to talk to Jill about his French kiss foible, she isn’t having the conversation. Jill pushes back asking David if he even knows what he is apologizing for. There is a sense in which David knows exactly what he did wrong, he kissed a girl that was not his girlfriend. But, the point David misses is that his girlfriend has been building a case against for some time. His kissing mistake was only the tip of the gravestone. The body underneath never graduated from high school.

Jill’s gripe is that David is failing to grow, while he may be the smuck that she fell in love with, he is just that and nothing more. David oblivious to Jill’s concerns has later provided another opportunity to change her mind. But this is not the same Jill. This is the Jill from a past timeline that is minutes before this failed conversation that drove the nails into his coffin.

Thinking quickly David sees an opportunity to manipulate the situation to his favor. Quickly he knocks unconscious his past self and searches for the past Jill. In his search, he bumps into the past and future Jill’s not knowing who he is confronting. As the time paradox speeds up David chance to win the past Jill is coming to a close.

Desperately he finds present Jill and drives a knife into her gut. Securing a space for the past Jill in the present timeline. As the film ends David and Jill are happily ever after making out just before the camera checks in on the other leads in the film

Morality is securely tied to the present constructs of reality. Lacking a non-linear timeline to control for most mainstream moralities views killing as evil. Philosophers and Lawyers have justified illegalizing murder by imposing an inherent value on human life. A value that fluctuates in direct proportion to the quality of the lawyer arguing a case.

At times, maters are clear cut, the merit of an individual life is obvious, and the motive for the kill caught on tape. Other times, competing piles of hearsay duel it out in a courtroom as lawyers and lawmen try to compile enough evidence to get a jury’s buy in.

Motives gray the clarity. Murders out of insanity get our pity. The murder could not have done any better. Her mind was too warped to be responsible for the body’s behavior. Or other times the murder is proud of his kills, still insane, but using logical justifications for his actions. Other times, our sympathy is triggers for the kill of vengeance. A battered housewife finically silences her abusive husband with a flame thrower.

Thou shall not kill. The moral imperative deeply imbedded in the popular mind, yet hypocritically subconscious when society justifies the killing or kills the killer via lethal injection. Eye for an eye reigns supreme.

At base society is making up morality as it goes along. The cry of moral relativism from the right, only lightly conceals the moral relativism of their own fundamentalist foundations. Liberals may slink cowardly into moral situationalism, over empathizing with the actors in any given moral problem. But the moral conservative continually re-justifies a steadfast dedication to a central set of values even when the situation objectively changes.

Abortion is a good example. For the Pro-Lifer aborting is wrong, even if the situation, not presupposed in their moral stance changes. This is why pro-lifers can even cling to the position that even in the case of rape aborting is still wrong. And even after females have been given legal power over their own anatomy in a country that pro-livers consider a promised land, better than all others they can wrap their morality counter-intuitively over any given contradiction.

So, where does that leave us with David? He has secured his happily ever after by knocking out his double, and killing his girlfriend. And he even got away with it leaving no evidence other than David’s memory. Did David cross a line? If so which one? From what perspective inside which moral ideology do we judge?

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