Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Murder by Numbers, Murder by Boredom?

Murder By Numbers. Put it in the DVD player and realised, as the opening pre-credit scenes rolled, that we’d seen it before. Pshah!! I am a twit.

But the fact that I remembered it as soon as it started playing speaks volumes. My memory is so rubbish that I’m often to be heard saying, at the end of a film, ‘haven’t we seen that before?’ The Bassist and the Ultimate Frisbee Freak find it hilarious that neither I nor the Other Half are reliable in our memory of films we’ve seen. For instance:
‘You know that film – the one with Will Ferrell as a racing driver?‘
‘No, never seen it. You must have seen it at Dad’s.’
‘No, we saw it with you.’
‘No, you can’t have done. I’ve never seen a film where Will Ferrell is a racing driver.’
Other half is appealed to by both sides and confirms that the boys are right, we have seen it. But, when the plot is described to me I have no memory – not even a little tiny snippet – of ever having seen this film. When something finally rings the tiniest of tiny bells I ask a question, only to be told, with slightly irritated disbelief, that ‘No, Mum, you’re thinking of Cars!’
Cars is an animated movie. For little children.
Oh dear.

Anyway, Murder by Numbers. The point is that I did remember pretty much everything about this film because it was so good. I’ll confess now that I will watch anything with Sandra Bullock in it because I think she’s brilliant. And yes, that does include the Miss Congeniality films. But only once.

The main thrust of Murder by Numbers is that two bored, intelligent but amoral teenagers commit The Perfect Murder. It is then Sandra Bullock’s job as homicide detective to nab them for it.

But the underlying psychology of this is never explored. Why do they do it? Yes, they’re bored and it’s a challenge, but that’s not enough surely?
Is it really just as simple as that old saying ‘The Devil makes work for idle hands to do’? The boys are portrayed as having indulgent but emotionally uninvolved parents. So, blame the parents?
Does that mean that the Bassist and the Ultimate Frisbee Freak be inclined to go round offing people if they weren’t busy respectively trying to learn everything that Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers has ever done and attempting to get in to the GB Junior UF team? (This latter ambition currently sees the UFF getting up at 6.30 every morning to go for a run. If I did that my body would go on strike. But he’s young I suppose… And a morning person by nature.)

I somehow can’t imagine them being so bored and unchallenged that they would take to plotting perfect crimes. But what do I know?
I’m only their mother.


Julie said...

...Just to say in passing that I was similarly surprised and impressed by Stephen Kings 'tell it like it is' On writing; have since re-read it a couple of times; and yes, also have a memory like a sieve - I must have been concentrating on something else at the time...

All the best

Alis said...

Julie - thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment - much appreciated. And so good to know i'm not the only one with all those little holes in my memory...