I found myself home alone a few nights ago and I decided to watch a movie. I like watching movies by myself, especially ones that I don’t think others would be all that interested in watching. I decided on Mr. Brooks, with Kevin Costner. It’s been out for years, but I hadn’t seen it and I had heard mixed reviews. Overall I liked it. There were some things about it I didn’t like, but I was entertained enough that I did not consider it a waste of time by any means. I also tend to like films that are not just a standard plot, it’s nice when a movie is a little different and you can’t anticipate every single thing that’s going to happen. Mr. Brooks, for me, falls into this category.
The thing I liked the most was William Hurt‘s character, Marshall. Incidentally, I also thought he was the best actor in the movie. This isn’t supposed to be a review and I’m not going to give any spoilers, but Marshall is basically the alter ego of Mr. Brooks, albeit a homicidal one. What I liked was that Mr. Brooks can see Marshall, speaks with him and interacts with him, even though no one else can. At no point does Mr. Brooks question Marshall’s existence, he just accepts that Marshall is there and that is the way it is.
When the movie was over, that was the thing I was left thinking about. Everyone has a secret world inside of them, a place where no one else can go, that can never be properly explained to anyone else. There is a part of everyone that is only accessible to themselves, call it what you like. It might not be a person like Marshall, or crazy, like Marshall, but that was what Marshall represented to me, that hidden part of every person.
Do writers have more of these secret worlds, or do we just like to spend more time in them? When we write, is that what we’re trying to do? Trying to give some form to this world, trying to give it some substance, just trying to share it and get it out of ourselves? Or are we just trying to understand it? I don’t know. I think that for myself, that is what I am trying to do. I am trying to take what is in my secret world and get it out, to make some sense of it, find meaning in it. I don’t know why I need to do this, I just do. But just like Mr. Brooks and Marshall, I never question its existence, or its power.