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The Invention of Lying – Review

invention_of_lyingThe Invention of Lying is a movie starring ‘The Office’ (British version) fame Rick Gervais with Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey, Louis C.K. and other casts. It is directed and produced by Rick Gervais as well.

Rick Gervais plays the lead as a screenwriter for a production company. He lives in this town where everyone speaks the truth. The word ‘Lie’ doesn’t exist in this part of the town. More often than not, the truth they say may sound harsh but the residents cannot resist themselves from uttering the truth. That is how it has been. One day, Rick gets sacked and his landlord throws him out. He goes to the bank to withdraw his bank balance. It so happens that his balance is 300 dollars and he needs 800 dollars for his rent. The system at the bank is down and the money teller asks him for his name and bank balance. For some unknown reason, he utters 800 dollars. At this point the system is back and shows 300 dollars under his name. However, the teller assumes the system to be experiencing a malfunction and hands him his cash. One has to remember that this town lives on hard core honesty from one to another.

Rick understands he said something that is not true. He is not aware that what he might have done could be termed a lie. From then on, changes occur around him. He realizes that this new “art” that he has gained is actually rather beneficial. He goes to the casino and wins his way through just by lying. When his actual recount of a historical event gets rejected at his production company, he starts writing fictional accounts and submitting them as actual events and they get televised.

This movie is a satire covering Lying, God, People, Religion and other aspects of life in a comical way. Religion and God was implied for the most part of the movie. For instance, just because Rick lied to his mother on her deathbed about the after-life being an immensely gratifying place compared to his mother’s imagination of a world of nothingness, raises him to a position of a messiah. And when he has crowds of people waiting to hear him say about the things of after-life, he writes down 10 simple rules for the people to hear. (He made up the rules but I am not too sure if this can be considered lying since there weren’t any afterlife material to start with. Let’s call it creativity on his part.) Well this can be loosely related to the Ten Commandments and God at this juncture is referred to as the “man in the sky”. A signboard is depicted outside this white building which resembles the Catholic Church without the cross. And the board reads “A silent place to remember the man in the sky”.

His lying continues till he can’t really lie to his lady-love, Jennifer Garner. When he explains that he had been lying about the ‘man in the sky’, the ten rules, etc. She fails to comprehend the whole concept of saying something that does not exist. Why he said what he said, what happened after a period of full fledged lying and how the people surrounding him respond to his lie makes up the rest of the movie.

Some audiences may find it hard to digest or much worse can even be offended by the comedy displayed in the movie. Take it with a pinch of salt; it’s just a movie after all. I found it extremely funny though. I ain’t lying.

0 22 March, 2010 Movies March 22, 2010

About the author

Born in Singapore and currently pursuing Medicine in China, Usha Amudhan has to her credit Indie Rhythms series in GingerChai. She also dabbles with various other genres of writing. Follow @ushaonthego

View all articles by Usha Amudan

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