My Dinner With Andre

Discussion in 'Movies' started by LostBegonia, May 18, 2023.

  1. #1 LostBegonia, May 18, 2023
    Last edited: May 18, 2023
    I watched this movie last night while high and it was an interesting experience. I had seen it once before, over a decade ago with a friend who I often had similarly deep conversations with. It was an experience then too. I recommend it high or sober, either way is interesting. Some parts of it left me with an inexplicable feeling of dread. I foolishly thought that wouldn't happen this time, that I have matured too much for it to still affect me in that way, but it did. I was terrified to move until it was daylight again. I don't know why this movie has that effect on me.

    The movie is unusual but relatable, a very simple and relatable premise, Wallace goes to dinner with someone he hasn't seen in a long time and they have a long, philosophical conversation which goes to some unexpected places. There were parts that felt to me quite bizarre and out of nowhere. Andre talks about people reasoning with insects and making a compromise to keep the insects from destroying their crops. I was like what is he on and where can I get some. The first half of the film is mostly Andre telling stories of very bizarre experiences he had abroad. It gets you thinking about how other cultures may come at things from perspectives you never considered.

    Andre is seemingly a bit depressed about how society is, with everyone seemingly in some kind of trance, asleep and unaware of what's real. He is every emotional about the idea of being able to live through writing but not live in reality. It occurred to me partway through that maybe all these stories he tells about his experiences are made up. He is living vicariously through making up stories. I don't think I want to make that my head canon, it is just an interesting alternate interpretation of the film. I think at least some of his stories are true because something definitely happened to change Andre's perspective on life since he last saw Wallace. Something has changed Andre, for better or for worse.

    The previous time I saw the film, I viewed Andre as enlightened and teaching Wallace how to open his mind for the better. But now I see more complexity. Not I see it as ambiguous whether Andre is someone we want to be like, or whether his enlightening experiences and thoughts have actually made him cynical and depressed. Who is better off? A man like Andre who believes he is enlightened and awake to reality, or a man like Wallace who views himself as content with just living simply and not thinking too hard? Is the ideal somewhere in between? I get the sense both men envy each other to some extent but hide it by defending their own lifestyles. Andre shows Wallace a perspective that is new to him and Wallace sort of pushes it away and defensively argues that he is fine living in the matrix and not waking up.

    Speaking of thee Matrix, I always felt that that movie makes a point opposite of its intent. You're supposed to think it is better to be awake to reality than living lie but thee reality portrayed is so damn glum, weren't people better off in the Matrix? applied to My Dinner With Andre, it raises the question, is Wallace better off metaphorically staying in the matrix or taking the blue pill offered by Andre and seeing how life really is?

    Wallace is very defensive about being just fine the way he is and how people don't need to go see Everest to be awake and aware of the world. What is so different about Everest anyway? Why isn't a trip to the cigar store seen as enlightening? People like Andre can sometimes seem insufferable. I have an aunt who gets on my case about how I wouldn't survive if society suddenly collapsed. I wouldn't but I probably won't need to, can't the Andres of the world leave me in peace? Why must they pressure me to go see Everest and tell see I'm missing out on life? My life is fine. But I think the reason people like Andre annoy people like me and Wallace is because some part of us thinks they are right and we're just too lazy to act on it. How content is Wallace with life vs how much is he being defensive because he agrees with Andre but is too lazy to go see Everest? (Everest is a metaphor by the way, for out of the box experiences, I don't think they are saying Everest is literally the path to enlightenment, just experiences like going to see Everest). I think it is a bit of both.

    But is Andre the more awake one? Is he the happier one? Is it better to be awake or asleep? and which man is awake and which one is asleep? Maybe Wallace is actually the more enlightened one finding beauty in everyday life while Andre is is the ignorant one chasing a high by going outside the norm and self-righteously looking down on those who live normally?

    I think both men have some hypocrisy in them. At one point they both complain at length about how everybody is acting a part and not being real, how people laugh while discussing serious things. Then there is a scene later on where I felt they were both doing the same thing they complain about others doing. They go off on a slight tangent about types of goats and share a little laugh about a mundane topic as an aside from a deep conversation about society. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it came off as doing exactly what they were complaining about others doing.

    All in all, very interesting film about two different types of men contemplating complicated topics. I highly recommend it.
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