James Caan Elf is an enigmatic topic to explore. The 2003 film Elf represented James Caan’s soul. Indeed, it’s tough for an optimist to sail across a gritty, materialistic world. In fact, this tough reality is what makes Elf a compelling experience to soak yourself in. You will love exploring Life and the World holding the hands of an innocent, doe-eyed North Pole resident as he wanders through the hostile streets of New York City. Indeed, his innocence serves as a perfect contrast for the lack of sympathy that one finds in NYC.
Walter (James Caan) makes remarks about his long-lost son… remarks that are derogatory or mocking in an implicit way. In fact, he is repelled by Buddy’s differences. Walter shows no interest in learning about Buddy’s elfish lifestyle. Thus, he highly disapproves of Buddy. However, the old man finally comes around and his singing redeems the true spirit of Christmas. Will Ferrell’s adorable character shores fragments of Christmas against the ruins. His vibes eventually win over Walter. Indeed, Walter’s journey of psychological and emotional growth across the film is truly inspiring. What can be more sweet than experiencing a cold-hearted city dweller warm up to a family on Christmas?
The title is simple, short and crisp. It also borders on whimsicality. All in all, it just perfectly reproduces the spirit of the film. Moreover, it is the kind of title that an adult responds to with skepticism. An adult questions it. However, a child embraces it. Indeed, the simplicity of the title is deceptive. The film tosses at you questions like what makes a family, how must one respond to life-changing news, can we remove the mask of pride and lay our soul bare…
It also flings at you a serious question: what will a father sacrifice for his son? Thus, Elf makes you think. Above all, it makes you feel. You answer the questions in terms of feelings rather than in terms of thoughts. Indeed, Elf is a modern classic in the light of the fact that it strips naked the heart of a child that we somewhere lost in the task of living. Thus, the film shows how much of Life is lost in the task of Living. Isn’t that painful and funny … ? Indeed, the film explores the simplicity that we brim with when we are children,but later lose sight of.
Rebirth of the child with Elf…
It’s the sweetest ecstasy and the most harmonious madness to experience Will Ferrell in Elf. He travels all the way back to the Child present in the Unconscious of Everyman and incarnates the Eternal Childhood lurking in the nadir of our soul. It’s Christmas. Christmas bathes us in a feeling of nostalgia. And with Will Ferrell we re-connect to our inner child. It’s so sensitive and personal. At the same time it is universal. We salvage the lost simplicity and integrity in a world that is shattering, in a time that is out of joint. Thus, the film promises that there is an achor, that there is an elf, that all love is not lost in labour…
Buddy is the misfit. As all sensitive, childlike adults are. He is an unaccommodated man. He invokes binaries and belongs to the magical in-between. What is he? A human? An elf? An adult? A child? Where does he really belong? To the North Pole? To New York? Just like a child, he compels us to let boundaries collapse,just to reach out to him. Why is reaching out to him so important? To save ourselves. To save our souls from the corrosive touches of materialism.
Also read: Heather Matarazzo Being Deeply Human: Her Universal Personal Journey