THERE IS ANOTHER CHOICE
On the heels of the introductory reprise, the narration gets us acquainted with the protagonist of the story NEAL OLIVER. He gives charge over even small decisions in one’s life to a website, which randomly presents one of two solutions based on categories: romance/career. The system of his life axes comes to grips with a dilemma of an inculcated vision of Neal’s father, imagining his son as a successful lawyer. The voiced dramatic need to get an answer on his own life apparently is being taken shape with a red BMW and the agreed admission to a prestigious membership in a legal club. The concern is that the option was determined by Neal’s father, side by side with his mother and a girlfriend: the latter pathologically has no opinion. Like millions of other young men before him, Oliver ‘has’ to leave behind his childhood dreams of being an artist: to make way for a path that his father had tracked before him. In his vision of life, Neal is backed by his sister and unexpectedly by the character O.W. GRANT, who takes on the role of modern reincarnation of Dickens’ Christmas ghosts. The fiction protagonist Neal Oliver gets an opportunity to take a detached view over one’s life: a means to estimate the destination way ahead: the existential coordinates.
It later emerged from Neal’s insights, that every one of his girlfriends presenter a new exigency: from attentive to death and thus backing up all his initiatives to a passive Sally. It is likely that the principal character himself never invested much effort in finding a soul mate, tending to one of two behavioral models. Taking a closer look at Sally (current girlfriend), she acts as a fence-sitter upon the fact that Neal is constantly dreaming of another girl and even draws a painting. Prior to a ‘fall of a bucket’ and coming together with O.W.GRANT, Neal had no stomach to stand up to his father. He used no to offend a parent and sheltered himself from the vital need to discuss their relations and hearing the demurrer’s reasons. Somewhere between the unpleasantness of quarreling and going with the current, Neal is temporarily satisfied with variant B, without a fate or a knowing of the alternative C. One of the most evident metaphors of the ‘Interstate 60: Episodes of The Road’ draws a parallel between life and the interstates. The overwhelming majority of people prefer moving through life beside the familiar and recommended routes without paying attention to exciting alternatives once you pull off the conventional road. Great awhile, Neal Oliver used to engage one’s future with an educational fellowship on Arts instead of trying to present his work at some art competition.
A mystic RAY disillusions Neal with a simple trick with cards, thus reshaping his mindset and uptake of the outer world and which is more crucial his own life. Henceforward, the protagonist appreciates the existence of alternative ways and turns the spotlight on details and nothings around him. Followed by an ‘October 15’ writing in cookies, the one only Neal sees, he now gives credit to an alternative on one’s future and a relationship with his father. The empty boards now revealed Neal images of a beautiful girl of his dreams: the signs unwitnessed by everyone: almost everyone. A workday chatting with Ottis happened to be one of the key insights into the metaphoric pattern of the movie. In contrast to pessimistic colleagues (particularly the one, who regards his life as a place with a choice, had been made for you by someone else), OTTIS lives a mindful life with eyes open. He used to spend his life with a single woman, on a routine job and every single day of his life differs slightly from the previous or the upcoming. The point is the man has once made these choices consciously and Ottis indeed finds happiness in this routine: his own routine. He has taught himself to live day by day without caught in the middle of multiple choices. Ottis appraises the existence of the alternatives and that is why he also sees a girl on that empty board. At the same time, Oliver has built a fortress of doubts and cliches in a way that such a beautiful girl is conventionally surrounded by other men. As the story goes on, we see Lynn left alone and abandoned in a cell, waiting for Neal.
An appeal from the board, a grain of adventurousness, and curiosity lead Neal to floor 13 and a mystic work-giver with an open alternative on how to spend days prior to an important decision of October 15. Amid a warehouse (a revolt toward father) and a law school, Neals settles for C, as one of Lynn’s board states: THERE IS ANOTHER CHOICE. With that said, even before the adventures on Interstate 60, the very mindset of the principal character shifts toward the finding of alternative ways of doing things, no anxiety of possible failure, an openness for something new, consideration of details, and an ability to appraise the positives, even while leaving a bit of blood on the job offer. From that point in time, Neal Oliver is open for a turnoff from the interstate, though an employee of a transport company metaphorically tries to persuade Neal, that there is no alternative way and no other choice. Based on the wisdom of Ottis, the routine itself is beyond something ‘bad’ in a case, you have made your own choice and Neal craves to do his own ones. Neal’s previous ‘ways’ of living are not to be unmasked as ‘crooked’: the point is that he has to try to implement the vision he has and his heart and intuition direct. Although the ‘Interstate 60’ movie postulates the idea of the inevitability of events by guessing Neal’s word in advance (a dialogue with Ray), his choice is indeed a key to the whole story.
In a wider sense, ‘Interstate 60’ presents an alternative way, the one that the overwhelming majority of people are not ready to take owing to a myriad of uncertainties on the way. It must be said that the coming of Neal Oliver 2.0 version would not be fully accomplished through much of the story and the reconsideration of another metaphor: a ball, which answers questions. In the first instance, the very existence of the outer factor, which exonerates Neal from responsibility, would unlikely to teach the protagonist to take one’s decisions, even such abrupt ones. The climax would come with a scene, when Neal throws out the ball, reposing trust to his own mind and the gained experience. Over and above, people and places within the ‘Interstate 60’ explicitly (albeit clumsily and in fairy manner) direct Neal toward the idea of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’. At the same time, the ‘WARM’ AND ‘COOL’ boards give the cue of taken direction: a visit to Benton would happen to be a useful takeaway for Neal, though a temporary cause to distance himself from Lynn.
One would think, it’s not so challenging to abandon the law career on the heels of a visit to Morlaw city, (mor law: rotten law), a place to distort the law and truth with hyper-active lawyers chasing you on the streets to be hired. In a similar vein, it’s not much of a leap to sense the danger of drugs, once you visit Banton. Then again, the good part of the metaphoric means is out in the open of each of these scenes: the choice. The lawmakers of Morlaw fuel the corrupted system incapable of leaving the place: they build their lives on the basis of the distorted laws, which had been adopted by someone else. The young generation of Banton would rather choose the ‘EUPHORIA’ drugs than the responsibility for one’s life and a need to make decisions, and to strain after something. In their push for this passiveness in taking one’s life, the aversion is so strong, that the young men would spend the rest of their lives cleaning the streets of those, who let them not make a choice.
Beyond controversy, the ‘Interstate 60’ alleviates Neal from challenging some choices: freedom from smoking next to a man, who is dying of lung cancer; a moderate eating hot on the trail of a man with a ‘black hole’ in his stomach; distinctness in relations next to a girl, who has made her life a challenge to find the ‘ideal partner’. In the case of LAURA, Neal prefers another way, an alternative not to associate himself with the rubble, rather be the only one man, who rejects Laura’s pattern of behavior. The movie itself keeps on as a hyperbole on the modern consumer society and derives benefit from Neal’s deeds as the alternative, even if in minor things. In this respect, Mr. Cody’s mission to stand against the lie would later animate Neal’s dialogue with his father.
Oliver senior actually happy with his life choice and his life: his self-made routine. The point is that the father does not give consideration to the passion and wishes of his son, all while making a choice with firmness for them both. The parent downplays Neal’s talent as an artist, yet he is ready to pay thirty thousand dollars for an artless piece of painting. In contrast to Neal, Oliver senior finds little value in art and his acquisition is based on someone else’s recommendations and a desire to own another status symbol. The story faces Neal with another extremity: a pattern of the future where the protagonist is so devastated with his existential thoughts to kill his own father, later crushing himself to death in a car accident. Though any piece of this exaggerated reality could be a dream or a parallel reality, Neal rolls his red BMW down the hill to later give keys back to his father, thus breaking the vicious circle.
What really matters is with Neal’s successes as an artist, Oliver senior now has a bulk of chances to give hand to his son in framing his future. It may be so, the man would become the first investor of Neal’s Oliver art gallery and the next birthday celebration would be held with a completely new emotional climate and gifts. Mister Cody, who lingers out one’s life, sets an example on how to change your attitude to life utterly: to act in a way you had never had responsibility and guts before. There is no telling what little things could inspire us: the museum of the fraud art fuels Neal with an enthusiasm to keep painting and focus on it instead of wasting life in a law school. At the same time, an inspiration for dreams and banners won’t get in the way to deny Lynn’s comic behavior. In this strange way, he would test the girl of his dreams, who in fact has her own opinion on relations.
IT GETS GREATER
As the ‘Interstate 60’ movie originates from an urban legend, it is Neal’s desire to find out an answer on one’s life that initiates a cascade of events and small changes: all to transform his view of life. The protagonist dreams of being an artist, yet he is not ready to make this choice. In all fairness, he is submitted for a scholarship grant in Arts, yet he initially psychs himself for failure and does not open envelopes on the basis of their weight. If we shape Neal’s journey along with the story in a structure, a mere of three stages are to be determined: PERTURBATION – JOURNEY – REFRESHMENT. Another Ottis’ wisdom directs the audience to follow one’s dreams, even the child-like with no self-projected shame. Ambiguity with one’s life path and the non-fulfillment of the desires (to become an artist, to be free of external opinion) leads Neal to a PERTURBATION. A JOURNEY, full of unexplored and insecurities, serves as a way to break the deadlock. It caters as a means to find the answers rather than to analyze the already experienced verities.
O.W. GRANT makes a joke of the fact that Christopher Columbus had no confidence in having a fair wind in his journey to find an alternative way to India. Five centuries prior to the story of the movie, the well-appraised sailor came to believe in the existence of another way and forwarded himself and his crew toward the unknown. Neal Oliver had long restricted himself from the pain of the unknown as his parents’ reaction to the being or absence of a tie within a family dinner. He was self-frightened with a thought on entering the law school as well as by the uncertainties on the faith of an artist. By signing a ‘blood contract’ with a stranger called Ray, Neal for the first time in a long period sets a definite pronounced goal. “Danver’ city with a mysterious spelling, a blind spot on the maps, would become Neal’s guiding light, a direction for putting efforts and later a place to meet with a number of extraordinary people. LIFE IS A JOURNEY. The well-known motivational wording in no manner better projects the journey across Interstate 60, with ‘THE RAINBOW CLUB’ as the final point rather than a goal in itself.
At the very outset of one’s journey, Neal Oliver is full of doubts and fears: he feels dismayed toward the absence of answers at the moment. As if it wasn’t enough, the narration is being intrigued by a ‘killer’ somewhere on the road. This obscure playing card equals all our basic rueful feelings, which used to take us aback prior to some deed. The factor, which conventionally constrains the ability to make the first step: the very step to initiate the intimate journey of a thousand miles. WE LEARN BY DOING, WE ACHIEVE BY PURSUING. After all, Neal ventures to take this way and he now moves toward a new self-voiced goal. The bottom line of the whole journey is that the key character has no chance to know every detail beforehand. It would be also pointless not to pay attention to the alternatives by following the conventional direction. All Neal has now is a present moment: a journey forward step by step with taking consideration and a belief that all is possible.
It later emerged for Neal, that Interstate 60 as life itself always has something exciting in a pocket of events and chances. Putting in other words, the openings and capabilities constantly wait around the corner for those who care about the details and living in the present with sincere admiration of the process itself. All while the humanity pushing themselves toward new frontiers (as Mr. Cody says) and Laura toward the unfulfilled, Neal fascinates himself with little things, accidental fellow travelers, openings, and the gained experience. O.W. Grant’s words that IT GETS GREATER broadly reminds us that life gets greater as we move through it with effort and a bit of faith. A comic first seconds next to Lynn reminds us that there are no perfect people and circumstances. The very parcel to Robin Fields (GRANT’s pseudonym) assumes value with the stories behind its delivery by Neal Oliver. Our life experience is always better than some material possessions.
I’m very thankful for this article, keep writing!