Saturday, July 01, 2006

Paulie, sweet Paulie

I love Paulie. Not Paulie a guy. Not Paulie Girl beer. But the movie, Paulie.

There are times when I need a break from the world's Sturm und Drang. And Paulie is balm for the soul.

Paulie is a talking parrot who cannot fly. He really talks, really understands. He is a freak in the bird world. People understand his speech and don't believe they are hearing what they are hearing. Other birds hear his speech and do not understand it. He has one person he connects with - Marie, a child with a speech problem. He helps her. Through some sad circumstances, Marie and Paulie are separated when the family moves, and Paulie spends the next 20 years of his life trying to find her. Because he cannot fly, this is a difficult task.

When the movie catches up with him, he is in the basement of a research facility, neglected, locked in a cage, being cared for by Misha the janitor, a Russian immigrant. The janitor is played by Tony Shalhoub (of "Monk" fame.) Paulie begins speaking to Misha, who is also very lonesome, and telling his story.

The movie is the story of Paulie's adventures through the years - his loves, his dashed hopes, his losses. He has one mission, one big dream -- to connect with Marie again. But he is diverted by love and devotions that he finds on his journeying.

I am not sure why this movie gets to me so deeply every time I see it. Is it because it is about hope? About love that endures? Is it because it says "This is what love is. It does not let go. It is steadfast."? Yes, and no. I also find myself moved by the people who want to help Paulie -- people who believe in him and his dream.

This is a movie about faith, and faithfulness. About letting love change us. It is about how we need eachother to fulfill our dreams, how going it alone is just not possible.

No one is blown to bits in this movie. There are no R or X rated scenes. It is just a good film, a decent and loving film that does not err on the side of being too cloying, either.

Go ahead, watch it. Tell me what you think.


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