It’s Only Words

Pontypool frustrates and clouds your view from seeing all the things you have to see, seemingly on purpose. It was a tough movie to watch at times and it made me look at Canadians as an even weirder bunch of people. But the theme of the movie is really the failure of understanding, and you can see that as you watch it as the characters of the movie are surrounded by mystery as well as the viewers.

From the opening credits we have a narration by Grant Mazzy, at first I had no idea what this godly voice was talking about, but looking at the Youtube clip now of the introduction it all makes sense. It’s actually fun with all the play on words that was being said, Pontypool, the bridge called Pont de Flac (Pont de Pool), and the woman who avoided the cat, Colette Piscine (Colette, which sounds like panty in french, and piscine which means pool, hence pantypool). We also see when the word TYPO first comes out when the title is slowly turning up, you don’t appreciate these funny little details at first since we have no idea what will happen yet, but looking back, I enjoy these simple touches. Some things that you only appreciate when you look back and really listen to it, sort of like languge, which is what is central in the movie. It seems like such a simple thing until you look back and listen well to really appreciate it.

I like how the setting of the main characters played well in the tension of the movie. Being a radio show, we have no visuals on what is happening, just accounts from the people on the scene. With all that’s happening Mazzy and his crew have no idea what is happening, and I like the touch of the BBC news team calling in the radio booth to ask what is happening. It gives a notion that what is happening is really big and what’s scary is that we have no idea what it is. There’s sort of a boy who cried wolf situation here because Mazzy often exaggerates and even crafts stories over the radio so when the news first broke out he wasn’t sure if it was real or just someone playing a prank on their radio show.

The concept is pretty unique, it’s basically a zombie infestation because of an infected language. It talks of how language has lost it’s meaning with the infected starting to act weird once they start messing up words that they say. In a deeper sense it does show how sometimes we take language for granted, as mentioned regarding the terms of endearment, they aren’t meant anymore, but just used sort of like punctuation marks. It is very relevant especially today with all these chat and text language. Honestly though I still get confused on how the main characters seem to reverse the infection by saying words mean something that isn’t actually its meaning, like kiss is kill, etc. It may be a little hazy but with a movie with so many weird happenings like the ending credits scene, it seems fit. In the end maybe we are really meant to not understand the movie to prove its point.

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