Written by: Norith Soth
Before we wore clothes, before we drank milk, before we shaved… we told stories. And the same stories continue to circulate and confront us.
Like a cinematic Tootsie Roll Pop, there is sometimes a hidden story inside the very movie you are watching.
Today, we shall discuss Harold Ramis’ timeless masterpiece, “Groundhog Day.”
WHAT HAPPENS: A man is stuck living the same day over and over again. Faced with the knowledge that he must repeat every action, every sickening, agonizing detail infinitesimally, he is forced to enjoy life.
“Groundhog Day” is Frederich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathurstra.”
SIMILARITIES: Bill Murray must live “Groundhog Day” whereas Nietzsche’s Overman (as in, over and over again) confronts a very scary thing called “eternal recurrence.” He must live life in the exact same way over and over and over again for eternity.
Bill and Overman must overcome this path in the exact same way, through what Nietzsche called “self-mastery,” which is done by learning every skill imaginable (music, arts, poetry, math… all the subjects that were really boring in high school). Through these means, they achieve a “higher” state and embrace life rather than loathe it.
UNIVERSALITY: This strange protagonist appears repeatedly in films like “Office Space,” “Fight Club”, “American Beauty,” “The Seventh Continent” and “Blade Runner.” He reminds you that you do not have to say the same thing, eat the same meal, watch the same TV show, talk to the same friends, pet the same animals, drives the same car, speak the same language and so on…
… You hold the keys to breaking this eternal, boring, sickening routine that is your life. And in fact, if you ever want to evolve, there’s like… no way around it.
MESSAGE: Stories are social mirrors. Their purpose is to broadcast messages we can’t admit to ourselves. So, why we need a movie to tell us our habits are actually a prison that stunts our evolutionary growth?
Because we love our habits. Because the world is dreary cold place and our habits are the slippers and bathrobe that keeps us warm and cozy. “Groundhog Day” and “Thus Spake Zarathusra” insists that the bathrobe and slippers will one day deteriorate – and the cold will be that much harder to deal with. Mooahahahahaha…