Inspired off a true story that turned into a tall tale....about a man seeking redemption
The story I'm about to tell you about is unlike any that you've probably ever heard before, as it's certainly one that I never heard of before until today. An elderly man wishes to not only throw a big funeral party, where people would celebrate and honor his death...but he wants it now...while he's alive... I know some you reading this probably think that's crazy, and I'll even admit it's not a usual request a person would have. Seriously, who heard of throwing a funeral party? Especially when that person being honored isn't even six feet under yet? Regardless of how we may feel about that prospect, it's certainly not an odd one to Felix Bush (Robert Duvall), who wants to invite anyone to the funeral, who has a story to tell about him. What starts off as a huge publicity stunt by Frank Quinn (Bill Murray), to cater to Bush's every whim and absurd request; ranging from a funeral party to selling five dollar lottery tickets to see who gets Felix's house and five acres of land, when he's dead. As I said before, this is hardly a normal request. Then again...neither is Felix. Hence, how the tall tale begins.
However, even though at first, it was intentioned that everyone who knew a story about Felix was invited to come to his funeral. As it turns out, they were actually there to hear a different story they never heard before.....his... For you see, over the years there have been many lies and rumors spread about Felix, as being a mean old coot that's been known for various violent acts. When in reality, he's not a violent person. He never was. He was a hermit trapped in isolation, due to a guilty conscience. A man that has kept a secret that has torn him up inside for forty years, and all he wants is to be able to tell his story. Now, I won't tell you what that particular incident was, but I will say this. Who are we to judge him? Am I saying what he did was harmless? Certainly not, but we all make mistakes. As Rev. Charlie Jackson (Bill Cobbs) said so eloquently:
"People always like to believe that right and wrong are often miles and miles apart, and easily distinguishable. However, in reality, it's never that easy to distinguish, as there's a lot of gray areas in life. Where the difference between right and wrong can be very be hard to tell, as they're often meshed into each other."
Thus, is the story of "Get Low." It's not just a comedy about a man wanting throw his own funeral party while he's alive, it's about a man seeking redemption. Seeking redemption from a terrible mistake he's made, and has been punishing himself by living in isolation ever since. Now, all he wants is for his story to finally be told so when he dies for real, he won't have to die with the terrible secret of the mistake he's made. In the end, isn't that what we all want in life? To die not carrying our mistakes to the grave, as people spread false rumors about any of us. Plus, who cares if he made a mistake? It doesn't make him a bad person. To air is human and in the end, the important thing about making mistakes is that one must learn to forgive even themselves. That's the moral of the story of "Get Low." Sure, it's not anywhere near as commercially popular as other comedies like "The Other Guys", but it doesn't have to be. No, this story is so interesting and complex, within it's own simplicity, that it immediately grabs the viewer's attention from start to finish. Truly, one of the best comedies of the year if you ask me.
Alas, lets not forget about the actors either, as Bill Murray does a great job pulling off the typical opportunistic funeral home owner. Who sees this as more of a financial opportunity than a chance to help a elderly man fulfill a dying wish. While Robert Duvall plays the serious yet "don't mess with me or I'll shoot you" type attitude like it's nobody's business. You put those two characters together within a small town atmosphere that's reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting, along with a great story, then you have yourself one helluva a movie.
As I said before, "Get Low" isn't your typical comedy, but it's definitely one the best out there as far as I'm concerned. Earning a solid three and a half out of four. "Get Low" fails to disappoint it's viewers, as it entices it's audience from the beginning, and all the way to the surprise ending that will have audiences gasping.