This is a challenging topic. How well do I really know myself? How can I tell the difference between the characters I see that are really like me, and those that just represent some sort of wish-fulfillment? Humility and clear thinking is required.
(Incidentally, this is #2 in a new series of 47 posts about movies, with topics selected by my friend, each given to me after the previous one is written. For more information, check out #1 here.)
Anyway, I’d like to say I’m just like Indiana Jones – adventuresome, courageous and resourceful. But I’m probably more like Marcus Brody – well-intentioned but likely to get lost in my own museum.
I’d like to say I’m like Poe Dameron from The Force Awakens – bold, skilled and laughing in the face of torture. But I’m probably more like C-3P0 – a bit pompous and full of unwanted bits of information.
I’d like to say I’m like James Bond…no, scratch that. I don’t really want to be like James Bond at all.
But after a bit of thinking I decided that I can see a bit of myself in most of the characters from my all-time favorite Japanese slapstick science fiction comedy, Summer Time Machine Blues. So that means the rest of this will only make sense to the tiny percent of the movie-watching population who have seen that film. (Incidentally, if you are not in that tiny percent, you really should be, it’s such a good movie. You can read about why here).
So, I’m a bit like Mushroom (Tamura), wandering around a bit obliviously taking pictures of things, and failing to recognize people that really I should.
And I’m a bit like Haruka, fairly nice and pleasant but every so often coming out with some really awkward comment or joke.
And I can be a bit like Niimi, not realizing that I’m causing my own problems and overreacting to stuff.
And I can be like the guy who collects things (I can’t remember his name), because sometimes I hold on to too much stuff (though I don’t steal it).
And I can see a bit of myself in Soga, feeling overwhelmed and put-upon about all the stuff that I have to do.
And sometimes I’m a little like Hose, wondering if I’m really making any sort of impact in the world, if my life really counts for anything.
But I’m also a bit like Komoto, not really understanding everything that is going on but willing to do my best to achieve the highest possible outcome.
Maybe this is why I like that movie so much.