THE OPERATOR Image

THE OPERATOR

By admin | March 28, 2000

What goes around, comes around. Christianity tells us that we pay for our sins when we die, but other religions and this movie prefer not to wait that long.
Gary Wheelan (Michæl Laurence) is a great attorney and a total s**t in Dallas, Texas. He’s got the great wife, job, house, etc. but is only capable of reaching out to people with his dick. This is only an asset to Gary’s rogue’s gallery of clients.
One day doesn’t go so well for Gary. His car was shot up by the husband of the woman he screwed the night before, and he has jury selection coming up for a client up to his eyeballs in guilt. His temper running short, he unloads on an information operator who doesn’t have the number he asked for. She definitely has his number, however, and promptly uses it to break apart his life. Over the course of the next few days it appears that Gary will lose everything. The mysterious operator, who refers to herself as Shiva, informs her victim that the ensuing destruction of his world will allow him to remake himself into a better person. Morality tale ensues.
Unfortunately, it all doesn’t go down so easily. You would expect director Jon Dichter to work up a big black comedy or display a great deal of sardonic edge. Neither really happens. Despite some brief nudity and much swearing, the whole endeavor feels like some sort of half-assed Christian “Adventures in Faith” story I might have endured in Sunday school. Even with much vague new-age style sentiments, Gary eventually finds himself in a church.
As in other works of the oeuvre, the moral lesson takes importance over characterization. Even our whipping boy sports less than three dimensions. None of the characters are allowed to be more than representations and none of the “bad” people are presented as anything outside of a bunch self-serving sinners. I don’t know if it was just me, but the piety was so strong by the end, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Gary turned to the camera and asked everyone to clap their hands for Jesus.
What’s the point? The way I generally learn about human behavior is by observing HUMAN BEINGS. As adults, we need to be able to see ourselves in others, to learn from their mistakes. If the filmmakers can’t be bothered to flesh out the characters, then the film needs to be a lot more entertaining than this. If I want to be lectured about being a self-absorbed a*****e, I’ll read Chick tracts (http://www.chick.com). The insane rantings of Jack Chick suck up less time, and at least they’re funny.

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