The art of leaving out

Recently, I watched Liar Liar again after about a decade or so. I saw a different movie this time.

Earlier, I remembered it being funny movie with some cheesy portions thrown in. I rated it about 6 or 7 on 10 because there were parts of it that were melodramatic and imperfect. I remembered deciding that it wasn’t worth another watch.

This time, I saw how it was an allegory. It shows us how living one day differently from the patterns of our normal behaviour could be so valuable. I could see how sublime an actor Jim Carrey was – how he could simultaneously tap into his natural quirky and animated self, while portraying his character to the fullest essence.

What I ignored this time was the cheesy portions – the part where he chases down an aeroplane or wins an impossible court case. The parts that I would have referred to 10 years ago as imperfections. Now, I recognize that those portions are meant to appeal to other sections of the audience. I recognize that they for me to leave out, rather than dilute my experience.

This lesson is not specific to movies alone. In any experience, it pays to discern between the part that is meant for engagement, and the part that is meant to be ignored.

Because the portions we leave out liberate us to enjoy the portions we engage with to the fullest.

2 thoughts on “The art of leaving out

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