Thursday, 29 December 2016
For those of us who are addicted to fast-paced action in our movies, PATERSON will probably be painful to watch. It is very slow. It consists of a week of the main character, called Paterson (played by Adam Driver) getting out of bed at the same time every morning, eating the same breakfast, walking to work past the same landmarks, and driving the same bus route called Paterson. Each day is repetitive except that, each day, slight variations occur, or small things of beauty are observed, or different people get on the bus, or slightly varied conversations occur at the local pub each night. But each of these small, daily variations, the little signs of beauty bursting unexpectedly from the mundane — all of these little things, Paterson records in his poetry that he writes in a secret notebook.
Yes, PATERSON feels slow and tedious, but that is just the point. Most of us lead lives that are mundane, repetitive, and, at times, tedious. The question is: do we notice the beauty that is hiding amongst the mundane? Do we affirm the creativity of our office workers that we interact with each day? Do we find the poetry in the simple things? Do we realise that, beneath our habits and rituals, is a world of simple beauty that brings meaning into our lives? If you can slow down, relax, and reflectively watch PATERSON without yearning for the sensational, then you will enjoy this movie. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of days now. It’s made me notice the magpies singing on my walks in the morning; the freshly mown grass of the council worker riding his motorised lawn mower; the diversity of dogs and their owners as they wander through the park; the twittering of birds in the trees; the creativity of my children; the richness of knowing my colleagues at work.
While PATERSON is slow and feels long — if you reflect on it and are mindful of what it is showing you, despite its flaws — the flaws we all share — you will notice its poetic beauty and, hopefully, start seeing those same things in your own life.