The Professor And The Madman

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

This movie was a recommended watch. I did my research nonetheless to see whether I would watch it any time soon or rather not. Based on Simon Winchester's bestseller, and starring Mel Gibson and Sean Penn in the lead roles, I was surprised to read so many unfavorable critiques. The negative comments made me actually want to view the story of James Murray and William Chester Minor even more. Murray, an autodidact, takes on the gigantic task of documenting every English word and compiling them in a dictionary. Meanwhile, Minor is a Civil War veteran suffering from mental illness. The real-life, fascinating tale narrates the bizarre friendship that brings both men together and how Minor, locked up in an asylum in Broadmoor, manages to contribute immensely to the Oxford English Dictionary. The film is made of some really beautiful shots and the concepts of synergetic collaboration, dedication, and human empathy are key to the plot.

I enjoyed watching "The Professor and The Madman" and I do recommend it. This narrative outlines the attempt to level out the cultural distinctiveness of each language by merging them into one standardized fusion. This destroys the link to what came before and annihilates the continuum of literary distinctions of each jargon. Each word has its own imprint. Eliminating words under the false premises of bad or good, moral or immoral is an absurdity in itself and reduces the richness of social sciences and human cultures. What do you think?

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Brilliant and sterling performance from Sean Penn.

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