Saturday, May 26, 2012

Zach Helm's Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Starring Dustin Hoffman

     You might shake your head or skip this blogpost the very moment you read the following statement, but know that I mean it with my entire heart. I hope you'll continue reading to understand why that is.

My favorite movie is Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007).

     Dustin Hoffman plays Mr. Edward Magorium, the owner of the magical toy store rightfully named Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I'm not a huge fan of the movie because of the magic. It's not the witty lines, the family-friendliness or even the character I identify most with, Natalie Portman's Molly Mahoney. It's Mr. Magorium.

Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman)
   I identify most with Molly Mahoney because she also plays piano. The song she knew best as a child is still, today, the only song she can perform. She feels stuck - or unable to go further with her talent, skills, etc. in life. She believes more in others than herself. She has a very difficult time saying goodbye. I share all of this with Mahoney so that when Mr. Magorium is there for her, it feels like he's speaking to me too. 

Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman)
   Mr. Magorium is 243 years old and preparing to "depart." He explains that a light bulb dies, but he...shall depart. A beautiful way to look at a sad situation. He plans to give the toy store to Mahoney upon his departure, but Mahoney simply can't take the responsibility because she doesn't believe in herself. Mr. Magorium spends a good amount of time encouraging Mahoney and Eric (a shy, hat-collecting boy who struggles making friends but helps out at the store). He tries to impart wisdom and encouragement to them both so they will believe in themselves and embrace the bravery he knows they need in life's journey.

   I cry when Mr. Magorium departs. My heart pours from my tear ducts and I can't help but feel sad. When Mr. Magorium is saying his farewell to Mahoney, he explains:

"When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He's written "He dies." That's all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is "He dies." It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with "He dies." And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it's only natural to be sad, but not because of the words "He dies." but because of the life we saw prior to the words. 

I've lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I'm only asking that you turn the page, continue reading... and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest 'He died.'"

   His final line to Mahoney is, "Your life is an occasion. Rise to it." By this point, I'm an emotional wreck. I've watched this movie a thousand times, and it was just recently I finally figured out why it is that I can't accept the departure of Mr. Magorium or any of my loved ones in real life. I can't imagine a world without my loved ones in it - the world is the magical place it is because they're here, now, with me. I can't make up for their absence and can't recreate the magic they've blessed the world with. The idea of them no longer living life with me is overwhelming and I'm not ready to accept it. I'm not sure if I ever will be, but I know I will always turn to this movie in difficult times to find a spark of encouragement, a light of hope and a few rays of sunshine to part my dark clouds.

"We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, joy and bravery."
-Mr. Edward Magorium (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium)

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