Blowup is a movie that celebrates a melting pot rich in fashion, art, music, photography, and everything else that is visually beautiful but nevertheless clearly abandons the very essence of life. The movie, if you put it in a metaphor is but an empty shell, very grandiose at the outside, but doesn’t really contain substance to be considered alive. All throughout the movie everything was passive and abstract.
How do we clearly differentiate something that lives from something that is alive.
The movie narrates the life of Thomas, who sees his life as boring from his daily routine work as photographer to a sudden rising action. He sees his profession not as something that makes him content and fulfilled with his life but just for the sake of going through another worthless day to earn money. This was shown on how he interacted and talked with his models as if they’re merely just figures or subjects for his works, nothing more. There were even two models who were desperately trying to convince him to take shots of them, maybe because they’re aspiring models. Obviously he wasn’t giving them any kind of significant attention unless it was for his own personal pleasure of seeing them bare naked.
How he reacted to the long scene of a naked Vanessa Redgrave in the movie was amusing since it emphasized how he was very discontent, and when they decided to have a go with it, everything went interrupted by the propellers delivery. Another was the scene of Thomas seeing his peers making love without really having that passionate sex as to compared to what Thomas and the model Verushka were doing during a photo-shoot at the beginning of the film.
Thomas’ face, if we have noticed really tells a lot that it can actually reflect the whole mood, tone, and substance of the whole film. It’s very difficult to read and to understand, there’s a need for further reflection, analysis, and to watch it for a second, third or maybe fourth time.
His reaction to an unexpected and disturbing murder scene and his motivations are very complicated to put into context. Usually the impulse of someone witnessing a crime scene just like that is to go to the proper authorities and testify, but in his case, he wanted to take a better shot of the corpse to have a better material included in his photography book.
In addition, the propeller scene cannot be just considered as an insignificant prop to the movie but maybe it informs us something a great deal. Thomas mentioned during his conversation with his colleague Ron that he plans to go off to London since it doesn’t do him anything good thus implying that he’s not content with the way he’s living at the moment. How living in a rich, glamorous, womanizing, and very tempting lifestyle every single day of his life can be now boring to him. But as what we have realized at the end of the movie, he wasn’t really able to travel, just like how he decided to set aside the propeller in an irrelevant part of his studio. One way or another, this symbolizes Thomas actually neglecting his inner desires. How he tried to force the models to smile, even if he couldn’t make himself feel fulfilled with his life. The performance of The Yardbirds and how the eerie response of the audience to their performance, looking as if they’re dead but really enjoying the performance can show the struggles and frustrations of people who cannot express and communicate themselves well.
And when there was actually something that made Thomas very motivated and excited, which was the corpse photo, at the very end of the movie it just clearly disappeared and taken away, except for the single blurred unrecognizable photograph, like a past memory barely remembered.
The mimes ironically being a group of people that are categorized as silent, boring, and dull were the only ones that can be considered as being alive and free, as quite noticed by Thomas who was very curious on to what he was witnessing. They may be seen as the deviant in the movie, but are they really? They may see and feel things that majority of us cannot comprehend,but maybe most of us aren’t just using our full potential and capacity to imagine and understand things beyond logic? We’re too busy with what we’re doing that we set aside our full potential and aren’t able to self-transcend as human beings.
There weren’t much enough closures in the film. Not all questions were given the answers that we’re hoping to get. Basically this really gave us the feeling of being left hanging. Maybe if we saw it in the way of how people go through the process of finding answers and meaning in their in lives, how there are at some points, unresolved issues in life waiting to have a decent closure. And in how we try to communicate and express ourselves to other people by means of art, music, or film.
We can ask ourselves, are we really happy, fulfilled, and content with what we’re currently doing with our lives or are we just making a fool out of ourselves in this materialistic world, living for the sake of just living?
Photographs are captured moments left to be immortalized in a form of paper; just like our memories stored inside our brains, left to be recalled over and over again but cannot be undone anymore
And like a still life work, full of life in its essence… but they’re not really moving at all.
“I wish I had tons of money… Then I’d be free.” – Thomas