I Heart Huckabees
‘Know thyself,’ said Socrates, Greek philosopher. His argument was we must know ‘thyself’ in order to be wise. As people grow up, they want to find out about themselves.
Students, for example, think critically about what they want to become because adults say the thought of money equals happiness is wrong. Dr. Carl G. Jung states that, “one must get in touch with the Shadow and Anima/Animus before one can truly get in touch with Self. ” The film, I love Huckabees, shows examples of existentialism and the process of finding one’s true self.
Albert, Tom, and Brad were successful in dismantling and getting down to their true selves because they accept their shadow, polarize with others, and realize their persona. Albert Markovski is the protagonist who is the director of coalition called ‘Open Spaces. ’ He initially seeks the existential detectives, The Jaffes, to question the coincidental incidents with Steven. Through the process of dismantling with the Jaffes, Albert shows signs of his shadows such as jealousy, denial, and over-reaction.
One’s shadow can be easily seen from a third-person point of view such as friends. Albert’s shadow is clearly shown when Bernard uses the body bag method. Jealousy, which is a sign of desire of love, is visualized in the image where Dawn says, “Stop looking at me. ” Albert’s denial and over-reaction is clearly shown when Brad, Albert’s shadow, first visits the Jaffes with an objective of getting Albert fired. With unsatisfactory results from the Jaffes, Albert follows Tom and meets Catherine, student of Jaffes.
Catherine identifies that Albert’s reasoning for feeling embarrassed for sadness is derived from his mother. Catherine says, “You were orphaned by indifference. ” After realizing his true self, liar, he accepts and follows Catherine’s philosophy. However, he realizes that the Jaffes philosophy and Catherine’s philosophy are polarizing ideas. Through those ideas, he accepts his shadows; when he derives that him and Brad are the same and desire for love through experiencing sex with Catherine.
Catherine also teaches the feeling of ‘pure being’ which is being in a state of empty thought. There are many claims and theories that emptying one’s mind can get close to one’s spiritual self such as Anima/Animus. Albert loves the feeling of ‘pure being’ state, but there is not enough information to explain if this progress is finding his spiritual self. Tom Corn is a fire fighter who is obsessed with petroleum. Due to his obsession, his wife leaves him along with his daughter. He also meets both philosophers but he mainly focuses in Catherine’s philosophy of nihilism.
His success in dismantling was from the event where he saves Dawn in the burning house and falls in love with her. This attraction is because they are two opposite extremes. For instance, Tom is an aggressive type of person whereas Dawn is very positive type of person. Tom and Dawn show their successful dismantling when Dawn breaks up with Brad. It proves that Tom and Dawn trust each other which are derived from their honesty. Their relationship also shows Tom’s acceptance towards his desire for love in which he denies with rage when he sees Albert and Catherine having sex together.
Although Tom needs improvement on finding his true self, his relationship with Dawn is the perfect condition which requires trust, honesty, and commitment, to help each other identify their shadow. Unlike Albert and Tom, Brad Stand is less successful in finding his true self. He only cares about other people’s opinions or rather, the society’s standard. He meets the Jaffes and does not take them seriously at all and in fact uses them to get Albert fired. His dismantling is successful when Vivian brings the recording of him repeatedly telling the story about the chicken salad and Shania.
The Jaffes point out that Brad is doing this just to keep him cheerful. Brad refuses and states that he will stop telling the story. He does manage to not say the story when the corporate board of directors asks to tell the story but instead, ends up vomiting. Another significant event for Brad is when Albert burns down Brad’s house. Brad starts to question his existence just like Albert has. Although this event is nothing like his shadow, it is significant because for a person who barricades behind their mask, questioning one’s existence is a successful start.
He accepts the fact that he needs help from someone when he mentions, “Yeah, okay, I’m caught up in that shit” inside the elevator with Albert. Albert suggests him to meet Catherine. Hence, Brad heads to the right direction to finding his true self. Through all the insane events that identified one’s shadow, polarization, and persona, Albert, Tom, and Brad dashes through to their true selves. Although Brad had hard time finding the starting line, Albert comes to help by burning off Brad’s mask that was blinding him. ‘Life is like a long marathon, you can’t stop, but to keep going. ’