We saw Capote last night. It was a brilliant, and brilliantly acted, meditation on the nature of the evil in each of us. [Warning: some plot revealed.] The movie centers on the similarity between, Perry, the farmhouse killer of fou,r and Capote, the brilliant, self-centered writer. As Capote expresses it [approximate quote from memory]: “It’s like Perry and I grew up in the same house, and one day he went out the back door and I went out the front.” Both men use their poor childhoods as excuses for their poor behavior as adults. Both pursue selfish goals, manipulating others in the process. Both are willing to hurt in order to get what they want. Both end up participating in killing in the attempt to stifle unbearable feelings. Neither of them can accept true responsibility for their destructiveness. Capote pretends to himself that he tried to save the one in whose killing he participated. Both men create myths to avoid confronting the full horror of what they have done. And both find that their actions, rather than ending the pain, end up destroying themselves.
As a psychoanalyst, I felt the movie vindicated our belief that the attempts to avoid feelings are a profound source of human tragedy. Unsettling, and well worth seeing.
1 comment December 18th, 2005