Thank the technological wonders for an anonymous friend has downloaded the entire version of Lost and Delirious for I had the opportunity to view it for the 36th time today. For those very few that have not heard me gush about this movie you either do not know me very well, or simply are not aware that it is my favourite movie.
For those of you who have not seen it, the story is as follows. Mary Bradford (Mischa Barton) is a shy, naive, freshman newcomer to a fancy girls boarding school where she strikes up a friendship with her two senior roommates, the overachieving Tori Moller (Jessica Paré), and the voraciously poetry reading, unapologetic, closeted lesbian Paulie Oster (Piper Perabo). As Mary tries to adjust to her new surroundings, with some guidance from the local groundskeeper Joe Menzies (Graham Greene), she soon learns that Paulie and Tori are lovers. When Tori, under pressure from her classmates, wants to break it off with Paulie, she resorts to extreme measures to win Tori back.
Yes, yes, yes, it is a movie with a tasteful lesbian sex scene, and a couple of moments where the two female lead characters make out. To me however, this is beside the point. The movie is about love and all its purity, a true love that knows no bounds, no matter what the obstacles and circumstances are. For as Paulie says, she is mine and I am hers…
It is for this reason I empathise with Paulie so much. She has to fight social conventions and attitudes that go against her, with all her heart, her soul and every fibre of her being. I have been there too, and I know what that feels like.
There is a point in the movie where the characters are reading Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. The passage reads:
I shall make me a willow cabin at your gate and call upon my soul within the house; Write loyal cantons of contemned love and sing them loud even in the dead of night; Halloo your name to the reverberate hills and make the babbling gossip of the air cry out your name
At this point the characters do not know what this means. At which point Paulie says its about love and cries out:
You've all got your heads up your assholes because love is. It just is and nothing you can say can make it go away because it is the point of why we are here, it is the highest point and once you are up there, looking down on everyone else, you're there forever. Because if you move, right, you fall. You fall.
To me, this is the essence of why the movie is so powerful. We all reach the highest highs, and then sink down to the lowest lows in our never ending quest for love. Put simply as the movie does, love can be a very painful experience. We can, should and all could, relate to this movie at some point in our lives, or if you’re like me, at multiple times in our lives.
There is a reason this movie quotes Shakespeare so much and it is because only he can encapsulate the meaning of love more vividly than this movie. Towards the end of the movie there is a prophetic quote from Macbeth:
Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts unsex me here; and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood, stop up the access and passage to remorse that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose. Come to my woman's breast and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers wherever in your sightless substance you wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night, and apll thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark to cry: 'Hold, hold!
A few years ago when I told someone that Lost and Delirious is my favourite movie, I was laughed at. I now realise that to them love is, or at least has become, an outmoded, tired, social construct. It is a pity that people hide behind the titillation of this movie and underestimate the power of the movie's message. For all its melodrama and frolicking, it fills me up with the strongest emotions. I reach a point when I see this movie and I break down and cry because I know that I have not yet achieved the love that I truly desire.
I will never love anyone the way that I love you. Never. You know that, and I know that, and I will die knowing that, ok? But it just can never... it just can never, ever, forever be. Do you understand? It just can never, ever, forever be.
If someone ever says that to me, I will truly know that I have been loved.