Magnolia

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What the hell was up with the frogs?

3 Comments

It was something biblical, I seem to remember hearing at the time it came out. I didn't really much care, as I don't think that movie warrented the attention it got. P.T. Anderson's other films, by and large, do.

According to a bumper on IFC before the movie, Anderson didn't know the biblical reference (Exodus 8:2) until Henry Gibson told him-- at which point, he inserted a bunch of references to 8 and 2 into the film. Why? No idea. Because it's cute? Just like having a magnolia in almost every scene.

There are films that warrant a 3+ hour running time. This was not one of them.

Anderson's admitted role model is Robert Altman who frequently uses out-of-the-blue endings to his films (an assassination attempt in Nashville, an earthquake in Short Cuts). In retrospect, you can sometimes see some foreshadowing ... Exodus 8:2 is "But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs".

It's also just a loose, shaggy-dog kind of story telling. Whatever is, is. Viewers either go with the flow or they don't. Going into it with that attitude, I love watching Magnolia.

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