Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The box on the corner of Maple Leaves Rd. and Drive

I am having the worst cold I've had in years. I blame the toddlers which were visiting (yeesh, five Vs! Poooor grammar that) and brought along something. My nose looks like a fucking radish. I drool and snot like a  glacier - if I was a Sleeping Beauty, there'd be stalagmites!! But as a result Piček, who needs to get up in an hour to start work again, and yours truly cranky tucked ourselves in early and I had another one of the good storeams (story dreams.) My brain is bored with being so close to mucus, so I'm getting movies.

I call this one
The box on the corner of Maple Leaves Rd. and Drive
(It stars John Cusack first and then Ralph Fiennes later as the lead psycho and towards the end the entire cast of Criminal minds, which makes this less of a feature and one of their episodes.. Normally I don't go see movies if Cusack is in them, but this one would at least be one of his less characteristic and better performances.)

The box in question is a large mailbox. This is in a city like Baltimore, but in an open, vast area in the corner of a random park that doesn't even look particularly appealing. Just an area that hasn't been housed-in yet and has some bushed and benches. In the distance down a broad road is an indistinct but recognizable political building and behind the POV is the main post office that the mailbox belongs to. Which is odd, because of course the post office has several slots of its own.
          This is where the story starts, tho, with this view. We the audience can tell this is where the lead character, a slightly fatter, older and bleaker John Cusack in reading glasses, is watching a very nervous young man battle his own demons, confronted with that mail box, across and slightly down the street, clutching an increasingly damper from sweat and creasy envelope. The perspired young man, which does have an air of a brainiac about him, although he could have been anybody, eventually manages to push the envelope in the mail box and then hurry away as if he's done something shameful. He is followed and killed by Cusack, but we don't get to see that and it's not really important. What's important is that Cusack's character plays a friendly confused and awkward neighborly weirdo gentleman on the postman and asks for the key to the box as he's thrown in his mail before he managed to, dunno, post a stamp on it or proper address or something... Either way, we see him getting the creasy envelope, which is about as big as if holding a video cassette, and going home with it, happily. 
         It contains a science project. Not a school science project, though the poor nervous guy was in fact a student, but a genuine groundbreaking thesis - the kind a real author was too nervous and too insecure about to mention anywhere but online, but also the kind that almost changes the world, like Napster or something.
         We begin to realize what the deal is with Cusack's character: he is a bit strange and unpleasant, but everyone knows he is a benevolent genius, because everybody knows that behind the greasy sweater and odd way of looking over and sideways from his reading glasses, is a man who publishes very prominent science articles. Only we, who have seen the entire event, however, gather that all he actually does is he stays on an on-line look-out for solitary nerds and slowly manipulates them into gaining courage to mail a copy of their ideas to science papers. He tells them in a flick of a wrist way 'oh, you're from Baltimore? Oh, but this is perfect! You know where you should go? There is a place actually that is just swell for this step, my good friend, I have just the mailbox in mind!' - he knows of a mail box that has always brought him luck and thus preying on them from an ideal spot, even if he only ever just watches. Whichever way, he has been doing this for years. Being a famous physicist is to him almost as rewarding as the whole process of stealing the actual legwork.
          It's not all he does, though. He also knows the neighborhood and we see him next watching a couple (he usually does this standing on the corner of the neat marble mail office entrance, holding his own mail as if he's just gone to retreat it from his PO box.) of young drug dealers. This is a pair of punk kids with dyed black hair and piercings, which came to the big city to make money dealing good homemade stuff, but which yet have the decency to mail some cash home every once in a while. This time the envelope is thicker, though, as they grew bored with sharing their bounty with the lame folks back in the suburbs and are mailing the money the last time. We don't know whether he kills them or not, but he does repeat the 'faulty mail, may I have the key to the box key please, my good man' routine with the mailman and gets his bills money.
           The police is getting closer to him. He has killed so many people that he's drawn attention and although profilers cannot tell that it's him yet, they can definitely tell it's the mail box. The character J.J., after she has had the baby, joins the rest of the team on the field, but she tilts her head the wrong way, awkwardly, not used to the field, when entering the post office, so that Cusack's character can tell she's up to something and hurries home, now aware of the fact FBI is closing in.
           Which is a problem, because: another fox has entered a henhouse. Another man has been paying attention and has written a whole book about what he has seen or would shortly see the Cusack's character do: all the ideas he hasn't manipulated into being mailed yet, etc - with just enough of the pieces of the puzzle missing, that once the book would be out and his name on the top of the lists again, the sneaky author of the book would step forward with evidence and disclose the 'Mr. weird but friendly neighourhood published genius' as a fraud and posibly even something worse. 
           John Cusac has now been replaced by Ralph Fiennes, the ajar personal hygiene and the oversized old pale brown cardigans remaining the same. (Not sure why my brain did that, but at least Fiennes I can appreciate.) He, the lead, kills the new sleasy blackmailing author, whose sin and undoing is arrogance, and pushes his pleading routine for the box key one last time - with the FBI being so close that we almost think he's done it once too many. But no, he retrieves the fully fledged manuscript in a very thick envelope and takes it home in a hurry, then flips through it seeing "his" masterpiece, with the bits of plans and diagrams missing. Because he's killed the lonely guy who designed this whole concept - and the man was no less lonely and twisted than he is, because while gathering the thesises (O.o??), so as to not be interrupted when the scheme starts, he also disposed of the real nerdies - he goes to the last victim's home and finds all the missing pieces, putting them in place, thus perfecting the book to the point of it being a brilliant 'swan song'. He knows he is going to die by the FBI, so he mails the now fixed book with a smile, knowing perfectly well he will be remembered as a truly remarkable member of the scientific community. 

The end. 
The box that has seen it all :p