Keyword of April: “Lie”
April 1st is April fool’s day, which is a day that allows lying. April fool’s day originated from a calendar reform and people lied to tease people who were not aware of the change to the calendar. Just like lying on April fool’s day, people can use lying to have fun. Lying, however, sometimes has different meanings to people who believe what they have heard. The Sungkyun Times (SKT) will introduce two movies which feature liars and build their own worlds through their lies.
The talented Mr. Ripley, 1999
Ripley syndrome is a psychiatric symptom where a person considers the things that he or she lies about to be true, and creates their own world from these lies. The syndrome can lead to anti-social behaviors in its sufferers. The main character in this movie is Tom Ripley (played by Matt Damon) and he is a piano tuner. He had been considered insignificant, but one day, he found favor in a rich man’s eyes and the rich man asks him to take his son back to the United States. The son, Dickie (Jude Law), is in Italy and wasting his time partying and meeting girls. Tom goes to Italy and lies to Dickie that he is a Princeton alumnus. As time passes by, Tom starts to desire Dickie’s money and fancy life and he believes that the life of Dickie should be his own life. Therefore, Tom keeps lying and makes a fake world for himself. As the final goal of Tom was to seize the chance to be Dickie, Tom finally murders Dickie and pretends to be like him. In the film, Tom is asked what he can do best. In this scene, he says that he is best at “lying, faking signatures and copying others.” From this answer, it’s not hard to see that Tom is a man who cannot live without lying. He feels safe when he is in the fake world that he made. He might have lied to fill his emptiness from his miserable real life. Lies, however, finally lead to more emptiness.
Life is Beautiful, 1997
There is another liar in the movie Life is Beautiful. In the movie, the major characters are the father Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) and his son Giosue (Giorgio Cantarini). The setting of the movie is a time when the Nazis were prevailing across Europe. As Guido is Jewish, he was unable to avoid an attack by the Nazis and Guido, his son Giosue, and his wife Dora, are sent to a concentration camp. Worried that his son Giosue would feel sad about the situation, Guido decided to lie to his son that they are in a game situation and any person who gets 1000 points would get a tank. Guido lied only to try and forget about the miserable situation. To make his son concentrate more on the game, although he was being threatened by Nazi soldiers, he tried to look as happy as possible. There was a scene where Guido had a gun pointed at his back. Even though he was in the most dangerous of situations, Guido smiled to his son and told Giosue that he could get some points by having a gun pointed at him. The fake world created by Guido offered Giosue a happier and more beautiful life.
Lies can be used in both positive and negative ways. Lying like Ripley can end up in collapse. Lying, however, like Guido, can save people from a miserable reality. In real life, people are more likely to lie to people just to avoid situations that they do not want to face. This April fool’s day, however, how about lying just a little to make someone happy?
<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>