Wolf, with Jack Nicholson, directed by Mike Nichols
9 out of 10
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
I loved this film.
Jack Nicholson is in top form and for this viewer, he not only renders the idea of the Wolf, but does so with Magic.
It can be a fabulous experience to watch someone transform himself into a being that can smell, feel so much better.
Again, one can watch this Wolf in a key, as a symbol of wild, perhaps real life that represents not a fantasy, but:
- An Awakening
The plot in itself, with the running over with a car, in the snowy forests of an animal that bites the driver is not the most important thing.
- The Transformation
Jack Nicholson is absolutely superb as, in the first place the normal, sophisticated, intellectual Will Randall.
But the “real horror show”- to use Alex’s expression from A Clockwork Orange- starts when Randall becomes…
This is when the man starts what looks to me like a positive psychology intense course, with emphasis on
- Carpe diem
The scene from the publishing house where Will Randall works will stay in my mind, with his Awakening or maybe
- Redemption is the better world
He starts smelling and feeling with intensity, at the surface because he is an animal now, with senses that are many times better than human ones.
Apparently, superficially for me, because I choose to see this as a metaphor and a process that we can all undertake.
Indeed, should try because this is where our happiness rests, in Awakening and enjoying the moments, smelling the roses.
We generally act as Will Randall before becoming Wolf, navigating through life without noticing its “Many Splendored Things”.
Of course, I deliberately exaggerate and with an honest, objective lens I would just insist on the horror side of the film.
Only that is of little interest to the under signed and I think the paramount message is that we need to become Wolves.
Not with all the trappings of course, without going through parks to kill prey, humans if need be and attack with the teeth.
To continue this line of thought I would refer to a psychology classic, the masterpiece by the genius Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi- Flow
The author writes in it about peak experiences, being in the zone and how to achieve levels of maximum happiness.
In my view, a good lesson in that sense is Wolf and the way he is able to concentrate and live moments with maximum intensity.
As for the rest, Wolf meets Laura Alden, portrayed by the resplendent Michelle Pfeiffer and this becomes a romantic horror show.
But in the love between woman and this strange centaur-like creature, which is half man and half wolf, the latter part becoming active at night, what is striking is the same vigor, passion that is animalic, intense.
Jack Nicholson shows an evident pleasure in combining his usual detachment, Zen attitude with the passion, ferocity of Wolf.
The actor is extraordinary, effervescent and a great pleasure to watch.