Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shattered Glass

Writer of the political magazine The New Republic, Rolling Stone Magazine, Haper’s Bazaar and George, the film “Shattered Glass“ presented a very interesting character: Stephen Glass, a man of talent whom's story is one of misused talent.

In the film, he is portrayed as a very popular writer, known for his imaginative and captivating stories of drunken republicans, a boy hacker that managed to break the security system of a famous company, and etc; among other stories which brought him much fame and favor. However, his moments of grandeur do not last forever. All starts crumbling down when his kind editor whom he was easily manipulating gets fired and is replaced with another (his colleague Charles Lane) who begins to suspect the truth behind his stories. With fake phone connections and falsified facts, Glass manages to scurry through safe for a good while until further problems arise for him. An online magazine journalist discovers the lies behind the articles and Stephen Glass, is fired. In the end, it is revealed that twenty seven out of his forty one articles were partially or totally, artificially weaved. Amazingly, he had managed to hide their falseness for three years straight without being caught. However what’s truly amazing is the fact that this was a story that happened in real-life.

The movie is edited in a way so the present and the past, reality and illusion are mingled. It actually starts with Glass sitting on a classroom full of young students of his former high school, and advising them on how to become a star journalist like him. But then every time he mentions something he has written, the scene switches to his work place and the shows the real story. When his fabulous lies are finally uncovered, the last scene presented is one of an empty classroom. There had been no kids listening from the beginning. What Glass had been staring at the whole time had been the illusion of a glory that never came to be.

The ending left me feeling only disappointment and pity for the character. From the very start, throughout the whole movie, through the suspicions and accusations, I had hoped that miraculously it would reveal that Stephen Glass had been telling the truth all along. However, this was never so. And this was reality, literally. This feeling made me look back and think of what I had read on “The weight of Glory” and Platinga’s second chapter. No matter how much one hope for someone or something in this world to be perfect and good, this can never be. The only one who can truly fill this hope is God. If one puts one’s hope on something else, then one does it in vain, for it will merely end up in disappointment and pity. Just like glass, everything is bound to someday shatter.

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