I Was not too sure about the movie, it’s dvd cover resembles too many other failed movie.
But since the Nytimes people recommended it, and I think they usually get it right.
Anyway this is about the Hitchhikers. I got to say that the whole movie reeks of secular intellectualism from the beginning of the film to the end of special features (thought I have not had a look at the movie with audio commentary). And I love it!! (I have no knowledge of the original series)
Sitting thought this movie for anyone who is a bureaucrat, religious and basically anyone who is not secular intellectually enough will feel like a smack on their faces.
The original writer, the script and the production team display so much loath for bureaucrat (in a generic sense), they made them into big, fat, ugly, uncreative, inhuman, dribbling aliens wearing expansive suits who destroyed earth. According to the Hitchhikers guide they are “not evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers…without orders”. And why are they like that, because they inhabit on a planet that literally smack any one who thinks, or has any idea or imagination.
The films don’t really like the generally public either. They as a group elected a galactic president with half of a brain, who destroyed earth. And proved “that good looks and charm win over brilliance and the ability to govern." The film dislike them so much it had to kill every one on earth except a man who reads at a fancy dress party and think “all these people [at the party] are idiots” and a women who love him (a bit of self indulgence, no?). But then later, the film admits they are mostly just jealous because they don’t get party invitations.
Did I mention that Sam Rockwell who plays the galactic president said in the special feature that the president is modeled after Bill Clinton and a basket of music and movie stars?
To all my American readers who think in right and left, if you think this movie is an anti-left establishment, you are wrong. According to the film the religious right or the religious in general are mindless robots who follows a blind and sinister saintlike icon who lives in a house made of gold while its people lives less affluently. Is that a message to the pope?
All these satire, subtext and sideshows aside, Hitchhiker is about the one question that we human cannot stop thinking about_:
The answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything
More then anyone this question haunts secular intellectuals, for they do not have the luxury of God to explain their questions.
The answer Hitchhiker offer is, why bother, “the chances of finding out what’s actually going on are so absurdly remote anyway, that the only thing to do is say hang the sense of it and keep yourself busy. I’d much rather be happy than right any day.” Says one of the films character;
Why bother, when finding answers, solving problem, and doing something about something may not fix a problem that may fix it self without any attention given to it (a nod to chaos theory);
and why bother when no answer to any question is going to bring you happiness.
Hitchhiker says, enjoy life, find your true love and try to forget that happiness is nothing more than a chemical reaction in our brain and just be happy.
For me that is the difficult part, I too can’t take God as an answer and I can’t stop seeking answers to my questions, it’s my curse. If I ever have a chance to choose between being stupid and happy for now or smart and sad always, I would not know what to do… Of course that is a faults dichotomy, that sometimes seems too real.
By the way, says Hitchhiker, if you can try to learn from dolphins (my favorite creature after human) who because they are smarter than humans they know how respect “all the natural wonders that grow around you”
Maybe ultimatly the film is not speaking secular intellectualism but dissatisfied secular intellectualism turn hippy. That might explain the hippiness of title ”Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and the slogan “don’t panic“
I recommend hitchhiker for anyone who liked the philosophical side of The Matrix and I Heart Huckabee and anyone who think s/he is a secular intellectual.