Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ghost Writer: last scene -- illusion vs reality?

Akazukin: And then 5 years later, PSL can even touch Sam Yu, a ghost. If he can't even touch her when Siu Tsui's granddad was around, why can he touch her now? I know, I know, I know that the purpose of letting Sam Yu possessing Siu Tsui's body is to make Siu Tsui realise that the feelings PSL have for Sam Yu is of different kind, but I can't help but to find the inconsistency making it seems like it is just a ploy to differentiate the triangle relationship (which I will talk about later), a very forced ploy at that….. Another inconsistency - okay, Siu Tsui vomitted the ball that worth her 500 years of training. Somewhere in the beginning, it was said that she took 500 years to make herself being able to turn into a human form. Why is that when PSL got old, she was already able to turn into human form? However it is, PSL wouldn't be 500 years old right? The oldest he is would be like 70 years old. So once again, I can't help notice the inconsistency.

Tamaya: 5 years later, seeing Sum Yu’s ghost is all in PSL’s head. Like how young children often have this invisible best friend that no one can see but themselves. Likewise, like how old people chat to their dead spouse and loved ones. They can see them in their mind. PSL has been living a recluse life separated from humanity and totally removed from the real world. The real world does not exist for him any more. He is a hermit who has withdrawn into his own mind, which has now become his whole world. More than that, he lives through his stories; they are more alive to him than real people. He sees what he wants to see, and touches what he wants to touch; therefore mind over matter, he can see Sum Yu as well as Siu Tsui. They all live in harmony because that’s how he imagines them to be. If he lives in our modern world, he will probably be put in a mental asylum with his dog for companionship, penning his stories, muttering to himself and to the air living an uneventful life in a vacuum world with his his imagination and 'belief'. His perception, imagination and writing have become his salvation. Some of the classic writers could pen such stirring stories is precisely because sometimes their characters and stories were very real to them and their worlds were real to them too. So doesn’t matter how many years later or earlier, PSL feels their solid presence, hears their voices for they are real to him, though it is all in his mind. 

Akazukin: I guess if you interpret like that, it makes sense. So it's just illusion? That's so sad though. I'd rather incarnate if I were him then, but of course TVB can't do that because PSL has to live to write his books.

But seriously, why would PSL be better off living with a ghost wife and a fox rather than reincarnating and have a new chance to be a human and marry normal human? It's just because PSL has to continue to live to match the history. And Sam Yu, by not reincarnating does it mean that she can never reincarnate again? Then by the time PSL reincarnates next, what's going to happen to her? And didn't they say that Sam Yu and PSL would have to reincarnate or their spirit would evaporate? How come Sam Yu then can refuse to reincarnate but her spirit won't evaporate? If they can do that, wouldn't they just want to live as a pair of ghosts, as that means both of them can refuse to reincarnate?

Tamaya : It's just because PSL has to continue to live to match the history. Yep, PSL can’t die because he has to stay behind to write his stories.  One can look at it this way too - life itself is precious, not to be taken and discarded wantonly. And reincarnation does not mean you’ll be reborn together into the same lifetime; your intertwined karma in this lifetime might not carry into the next lifetime. Moreover, who knows it might be many lifetimes before both of them be reborn into the same lifetime, much less as lovers. Also, the reincarnation process will completely wipe out the memories of a previous life. Every ghost must drink a cup of this "memory purging water" after crossing over the bridge.

Akazukin:  I understand that. But there are also a lot of pairs that still get together after reincarnation (in TVB series). Since they have faith that they will continue to have fate next lifetime, why not? PSL even said that he will remember her, whether he is boasting or it's his determination, he seems to be confident enough.

Tamaya: They can live as ghosts forever, but from what I gather, homeless and roving ghosts live an irredeemable existence not to mention pitiful and wretched, the worse that can happen to a soul – a Chinese version of been stuck in everlasting purgatory, suffering without respite, and worse without ever reaching nirvana, the ultimate goal of all Buddhists.

Seem to me, Sum Yu did go for reincarnation. Just before day breaks, she leaves her present lifetime for reincarnation. That’s why, like her sister before her, bathed in the amber light she slowly floats upwards; the scene is totally reminiscent of Sum Yin's. Sum Yu says her tearful farewell: “I need to go now, take care.” 

Akazukin:  That's true. But you gain something, lose something. It's all about weighting which one is the lesser of the two evils. If they love each other so much, I believe they would feel that being together overcome those sufferings, just like how some couple decided to stay together even if they have to forgo riches and live in poverty. As for reaching nirvana, I think it's their least concern now because you can't have romantic relationship or feelings to reach nirvana, can you?

Tamaya: Well, PSL had wanted to live as ghost couple but the scriptwriters would not let him, because he still has unfinished business to do as a mortal.

I guess like why a mother will do everything in her power to keep her child alive, even at the expense of her own. Sum Yu loves PSL so much she would have him live. Life is precious! Forgoing riches --- honestly comparing that to living as roving ghosts never to be reborn for eternity? I like the idea of beautiful butterflies than desperate roving ghost couples for eternity. 

Akazukin: Well, he was more interested with the idea of reincarnation. He is confident that he will remember, bluffing or not. 
Well, I don't know how bad is it to be roving ghosts. But being poverty is bad enough to me, albeit to some people it's not so bad. So, I guess it's a matter of scale.

Yes, life is precious and sometimes I wonder why. No one know what happens after life anyway.

Tamaya: A detail: while the ladies slowly float upwards on their 7th day, Gou Jit is immediately and abruptly plucked from the ground by the light – Did the horse-head, cow-head demon guards take him to hell for his reckoning?

Akazukin: I noticed that too, but I interpreted it as him being summoned immediately because he didn't die without peace. He was not murdered by someone else, while Sam Yu, Sam Yin, and PSL were. From previous TVB series, it always seems like people that were murdered by someone else have this vengeful heart in them that they can stay until their murderer was found and punished.

Tamaya:  Have you ever watched the movie "Ghost" by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze?
I still sort of remember the black, smoky shadows grabbing the new ghosts who did bad stuff when alive.
You're right in that unfinished business keep the ghosts earthbound, but people who did bad stuff are immediately snatched by these black shadows. Or it could be that they can leave without care to reincarnation. 

Akazukin: Yes, I watched Ghost so long ago I can barely remember it. But now that you remind me, I think I remember the black smoke that took baddie as compared to the white light that took the good people. I don't know if it's the same case with PSL though, Sunny's spirit seems to be taken by the same yellow light that took Sam Yin and Sam Yu.

Moreover, the way this series took away ghosts is a bit different from some HK series. Last time, ghosts were taken away by the black and white long tongue spirit to go to hell for judgment and reincarnation (if eligible). Heavenly light only took spirit that becomes a fairy or god. But in this series, the heavenly light took the ghosts away for reincarnation.

Akazukin: And what's wrong with Sunny having to stand so long with the sword sticking on her chest. I know he has kungfu base and is strong, but still, it takes away the realism as he doesn't seem to be in pain while he should. Or maybe he wasn't in pain, but it is kind of distracting me to feel for him.

Tamaya: Haha! You should be used to seeing a dying person taking his time dying and spouting his regrets. After all, this is a fantasy series.

Akazukin: Haha... yes, but usually they will at least be sitting on the ground or lying on their deathbed, which are sort of fine with me. But Sunny gave the vibes that he was too strong and felt not much pain when he was standing and delivering his lines.

Bwear: I had to laugh when Ko Chit kept on talking with the sword stabbed in his chest. Especially when he said: I have to go on road now, and then immediately lowers his head and dies without falling down on the ground, but instead, still manages to retain his kneeling position until the end of the whole scene with Siu Tsui turning into a fox again, embraced in the arms of PSL. He looks like a statue.

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