In the Pagan community, there is a saying that words have power therefore we need to be cautious of what we say. The Universe or a Deity might grant our wish in unexpected ways. The comedy A Thousand Words offers a reminder that people often throw words around meaninglessly.
Eddie Murphy plays Jack McCall a self centered, fast talking, literary agent who will say anything to get his way. He even wants to keep his home styled like a bachelor pad despite having a wife and child. He cuts in lines and exaggerates enlightenment so he can sign the famous spiritual guru Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis from Whale Rider). A Bodhi rises up in his backyard and he discovers that for every word he says, leaves drop from the tree. Jack, being linked with the tree, will die if the tree dies.
Murphy is a great face actor and he pulls off so many laughs without even speaking. Clark Duke (who also played in Kick Ass) does a great job of playing the insecure assistant to Murphy.
The movie’s reviews, when it was released in March, were mainly negative. The writers were disappointed that Murphy didn’t have as many cocky lines as he did in other films. They also didn’t understand the more mystical aspects.
What “A Thousand Words” needs is some sort of a mystical score card to keep track of Jack’s status in the universe. The guru who wrote the book, Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis), apparently knows something about this bodhi tree, but never explains the rules. When Jack finally apparently redeems himself, it seems to be by instinct or good luck. I say “apparently” because, as heaven’s my witness, I’m not completely sure if Jack is alive, dead or reincarnated at the end of the movie. You could build a case for all three. Roger Ebert
What Mr. Ebert doesn’t understand is Sinja can’t explain exactly what Jack needs to do to reconcile the situation. In life we have to walk our own path and look inward to see what needs to be healed and this is ultimately what Jack has to do. There were plenty of misty eyed moments for me. I can see how a critic who hasn’t been in rituals or meditations where they communicate with their younger or past self wouldn’t understand those scenes in the film. The writer and director could have offered more explanation.
Don’t worry about what the critics have said about this film. Check it out and maybe you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.