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Groundhog Day (1993) - (Movies To See Before You Die - Comedy / Drama)

02 Feb, 2014 | Movies To See Before You Die / Comedy

The 2nd of February is celebrated as the Groundhog Day (a weather predicting festival) in south eastern Pennsylvania and the film GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) is widely included in the most appreciated and well-executed, innovative movies made in the recent decades.
Describing the event first, as per the folk tradition, it’s a day when the coming weather is predicted looking at the behavior of a Groundhog (a rodent/a large ground squirrel) emerging out of its den (hole). If it is cloudy when the groundhog is coming out then its predicted that the spring will be coming soon. But if its sunny and the rodent returns back in the hole seeing its shadow then the winter is believed to be there for at least six more weeks. The event is celebrated as a traditional holiday in the region and early morning festivals are also organized to watch the groundhog coming out making the ‘much believed’ weather predictions. The regional festival got a worldwide attention when it was used in the film with the same title GROUNDHOG DAY released in the year 1993 and the information reached the other parts of the world too through this classic venture.
Coming to the worth watching film, which is in fact much more than just an entertaining comic movie. GROUNDHOG DAY can also be described as an insightful meditation, emphasizing on a very simple lesson of life of “making a change within our self” through its enlightening as well as entertaining narration, brilliantly executed by a talented team.
The script takes you on to an unbelievable yet enjoyable fictional journey in a completely novel manner, revolving around an arrogant and egoistic TV weather reporter, Phil Connors. The reporter has been sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day and he hates doing the assignment in the same routine style every year in a repeated mode. But waking up the next morning, he surprisingly finds himself caught in a strange time loop, wherein he has to live the Groundhog day only again and again, meeting the same set of people under the similar circumstances, quite helplessly. Getting fed of living the exact day repeatedly in a silly mode, Phil tries hard to end it all several times, but fails miserably. So with no solution in mind for coming out of this irritating mess, Phil now decides to live the same day differently, analyzing the sick attitude he had towards his own life, the people and the conditions around in all the previous attempts.
Reading about the subject, you might be thinking that this seems to be a comic film showcasing all monotonous stuff coming again and again in its proceedings leading to boredom. But director Harold Ramis never lets the film fall into that expected trap and delivers one of the finest, inventive films of the recent times along with his exceptional actor Bill Murray. Despite having all seen before scenes and characters, the screenplay never makes you feel the repetitive loop and it keeps scoring constantly with many well written, delightful sequences superbly played by Murray in one of his career best performances.
Now explaining the spiritual side of the project, as I feel, there are two ways of watching such a rare attempt. One is to easily enjoy this unusual film taking it as a light comedy and then forget it after its over like many other good comic ventures seen on a fine weekend.
But the other way is to watch it like a valuable chapter of a spiritual book, giving you a hidden message about a particular method of meditation, as realized by its lead character after a while. And that hidden message is that what would we all feel, if we are also thrown in this vicious circle of living a single day again & again, waking up to the same morning news in a continuous loop.
Frankly, would that become irritating, un-nerving and even suicidal for most of us doing the same acts again & again like fools OR Would a few of us, prove to be intelligent enough to realize that this is an indication or a chance given to us to live the same day again in a more positive, lively and correct mode as desired by the Supreme Power?
On a lighter note, this also reminds me of a famous joke in which a singer keeps getting the request to sing the same song again & again from the audience quite strangely. Overwhelmed by the response, he proudly announces on the mike that he is really glad that everyone has liked the song so much. But a voice (coming from the audience) suddenly interrupts his note of thanks & says, “We have not liked your song, but we are actually waiting for you to sing it correctly every time we request you to sing it again!”
And that’s exactly what Phill Murray realizes in the film that he will have to live the same GROUNDHOG DAY again & again in a helpless continuous loop, until he gets it all right without any negativity, hatred, ego and hidden grudge for anybody around. So watching the film from that angle it can easily be considered as a story of self-realization and self-improvement which forces you to live each day of your limited years of life differently keeping the other in mind, instead of the SELF. Probably that is the reason GROUNDHOG DAY has also been quoted as ‘one of the most spiritual films’ too indicatively pointing towards the themes of witnessing, selflessness and spiritual rebirth as taught in the world of meditation.
Winning several accolades in various film festivals, the film was added to the “United Nations National Film Registry” regarded as ‘a culturally, historically or aesthetically significant film’ in the year 2006. Moreover post the release of the film in 1993, the phrase ‘Groundhog Day’ also became a commonly used expression to represent an unpleasant situation that keeps on repeating on a continuous mode. Hence if you also wish to try this meditative experiment for your own self-development and realization, then do watch this cult classic as a must and be a part of that much desired ‘Chain of Change’ at the earliest.
Directed by Harold Ramis
Written By Danny Rubin & Harold Ramis
Starring : Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott.

Tags : Groundhog Day (1993), Movies To See Before You Die Comedy Drama, Must Watch Movies List By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Worth Watching World Classics, Must See Spiritual Movies, Films With A Message, Groundhog Day Festival
02 Feb 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
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