It’s all about love is the name of Danish movie by Thomas Vinterberg. It’s no surprise that some of the best movies ever are coming from the north. And is also no surprise that some of the best movies are seriously underated, and this is surely the case with It’s all about love. Because this film is all about love, it’s all about poetry also and those who don’t have an eye for poetry will fail to taste it and see how good it really is.
But never mind that. I just want to spend a few words meditating on the meaning of a metaphor used in the movie. Some may say that this movie is about the end of the world, but is actually just about the end of love. Or is it that the two, the end of the world and the end of love, are one and the same thing? This is what the movie is trying to say and this is what makes it so great.
It started snowing and everybody knows it’s not going to stop. Ever! Sean Penn is in a plane and is recording a message regarding the state of the world, although he knows that no one will ever hear it because there is no place for the plane to land. In Africa something extremely wrong is happening with the gravitation, because people have suddenly started to float. They are floating in the air like balloons being tied with ropes going up from trees, thus creating the very curious image of a strange clown.
But all this is nothing compared with the fact that people have started dropping dead in the street. The bodies are so many that no one cares anymore. They have become commonplace and no longer hinder the image of the day-to-day reality. People go around like nothing is actually happening, thinking it’s ok as long as this is not happening to me. Most strange is not the phenomenon in itself, but the fact that its cause seems to be obvious to everybody: those who die are those who have no love. Maybe they had it and they lost it. Or maybe they never had it. But that doesn’t seem to matter now: if you have no love in your life you have a pretty good chance to be the next one dropping dead in the street.
All about love takes the form of poetry because the best way to speak about love is poetry. We simply do not have words in our vocabularies that are adequate to express anything about love. This is why when we fall in love we all become poets: because the language of love is ultimately poetry.
So if people dropping dead for lack of love is a metaphor, we may wonder what would be the non-metaphorical manifestation of the same lack of love in the real world, if any. From a scientific point of view, love is something resembling closely a pathology. When it’s not a pathology of the normal behavior, love is simply the manifestation of some chemical reactions in our bodies. Either way, love under the all-knowing eye of science is literally nothing. If it is something, it is a misunderstanding that awaits enlightenment. Given that the only eye that has a right to see in our world is the eye of science, to state that, after God, love is dead, would be nothing but stating the obvious.
So Vinterberg had a point. But if people are not dropping dead in the street for lack of love, maybe he was wrong. Maybe life can go on after love’s burial as if nothing happened. Or is it that after we have lost faith in love we become ghosts wandering around without a purpose? Thus, in the real life ghosts become a literal reality corresponding to the metaphorical dead bodies in Vinterberg’s movie.
Perhaps this is the reason for the feeling we sometimes get that those around us are nothing but empty shells, ironic incarnations of ghosts. But we know this only because we ourselves are or are on the verge of becoming this carnal type of ghosts.
The end of love is worse than the end of the world, because having a world without love is worse than not having a world at all.