Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas: Therapy For The Soul #burningupfriday

Embrace the quirky -1

When things get weird, the weird turn pro!

I spent this week reading and watching a bunch of quirky/crazy books and movies. Every once in a while I go through a phase when I feel an irresistible desire to get in touch with the weird. It is almost as though these books and movies call out for me. I’m taking it as some sort of a meaningful co-incidence as every-time I read something that defies the norm which is being fed into our brains by the media and society; I end up feeling more inspired, my mind more engaged and in tune with my soul’s purpose.

Over the next few weeks, I want to focus my soul therapies section on finding hidden calmness in the most odd-ball stories.

After years, I finally decided to watch Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas from start to finish. Better late than never I suppose. Over the years, I’ve only ended up catching it in bits and pieces.

Johnny Depp according to me is a phenomenal actor. He’s drenched in quirky from head to toe. Benicio del Toro on the other hand is just as fantastic. Being a popular modern classic, we all know what Hunter S Thompson was going on about when he wrote this drug-fueled dark comedy. This story doesn’t have any thoughtful lessons apart from the basic,

Lesson: Drugs are not healthy. Of-course I knew that. As someone who gets addicted to all sorts of things, the best decision in my life has been to stay the heck away from anything that has the power to alter my mental reality. On a lighter note, my imagination is far too vivid and probably more than capable to alter my consciousness, all by itself!

But, I don’t have any intentions to pass judgements on the choices people make. This blog post is about something else. What Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is, is its a masterpiece. A masterpiece that can do an awesome job in calming your anxious mind down.

I consider Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas a soul therapy because,

1. Creates Diversion

If your mind has been racing non-stop with worries, this movie will divert your attention off for 2 hours into some bizarre drug filled psychedelic world of comedy. Many movies will help you do that but I find Fear & Loathing a classic example because you don’t feel bad for the characters, despite the scenes being pretty dark. Neither are the characters down-right goofy, making you laugh out loud without stimulating your brain much, like a comedy would.

Fear & Loathing stimulates your brain, non-stop till the end and mixed with the constant delivery of humor, it makes up for a perfect combination that’ll cheer you up, yet not make you feel as though you wasted 2 precious hours of your life. The characters aren’t good or evil, they are the inbetweeners. Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro) and Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) are both oddly sensible and stupidly high at some point in the movie. Their exchange reminds you of a see-saw, an imbalance that continues throughout the movie.

2. Vivid Mental Journey

Seriously, this movie negates the need for drugs to get high, just watching it does the job. The psychedelic, bizarre journey that the director intended for us shows us two different perspectives – from inside out and outside in i.e., it shows us how the drug addicts see the world during their hallucinations and how the outsiders perceive the drug addicts. Sure the thousands of fantastical movies Hollywood has spun over the years, are capable of showcasing vivid imagery but what Fear & Loathing brings to the table is closer to reality. Magic does not exist but drugs do!

The story in itself follows a no-consequences theme but in my opinion it doesn’t glorify drugs either. If you think deeply about it, the characters are living a disturbing reality but then the movie is so much fun, I didn’t want to stress my mind over that! Different people have different definitions for a fun movie, for me a fun movie is one that relaxes my mind and takes it on a visually creative journey to the strange land where everyone speaks quirky.

(Seeing Dr. Gonzo leave)

Raoul Duke: “There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

25 quotes from Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas


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