Wow, what a movie! No, Magnolia is actually more than a movie; it’s a unique movie experience that is teeming with originality. Excellent storytelling, peculiar technical style, perfect soundtrack, and top-notch acting from everyone—what more could one want? I have never seen a movie quite like this one.
At 3 hours and 15 minutes it is longer than most movies, but its length was not a problem for me; the movie did not feel like it was that long. All parallel stories that are told in the movie are equally interesting, and that is no doubt at least partly due to the movie’s length: each storyline gets sufficient time to unfold and make the viewer care about what happens.
One strong scene in the movie is where Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall) comes to his daughter Claudia’s (Melora Walters) apartment to tell her some really bad news, and all she does upon hearing what he has to say is to scream at him to get out. Another powerful scene is where the characters sing along to a certain song that is being played. The prologue is very interesting, and the surprising thing that happens toward the end of the movie only serves to improve the movie, not make it worse—at least that is my opinion.
Magnolia left me with a feeling I cannot quite identify. This movie gave me a gut feeling that what I was watching was something exceptional, and that is a feeling I don’t get very often. This movie is admittedly not to everyone’s taste, but those who enjoy this kind of movie are likely to be completely swept away by it when it hits them with full force.