I was watching “The Invention of Lying,” over the weekend. I thought to myself how intelligent of a movie this was. This touched on several interesting aspects of our society; most importantly the concept of religion. The movie takes place in a world without lying; everyone openly speaks the truth without barriers of any kind. The main character was a loser to his peers; until he was given the ability to lie, or “say things that aren’t.” The concepts which interested me the most is how lying affects our daily lives in many different ways; most notably our personal, work, and spiritual lives. I would like to touch on these topics and how they differ from this make-believe world compared to our society.

Personal: The characters of this film held nothing back when dealing with their fellow-man. If they thought something it came out of their mouths. In the beginning of the film the main character and lead actress met for a blind date. She was upfront about not being interested because he was short and chubby, and would not make a favorable genetic match. It was interesting how the main character responded to these insults; he showed no anger from being put down. This lack of anger seemed to be a cultural norm. I would imagine the absence of anger is a result of being born and raised with people consistently being honest. The people would be used to hearing how it really is, and would not be shocked if they heard a negative truth. Besides the lack of anger there are many different aspects of how our personal lives would be; one example would be infidelity. The people would not cheat, because they would have no option to lie about their infidelity. This would result in zero cheating. The divorce rate would drop dramatically, because you would always have honest open communication with your mate.

When he invented lying he was able to walk out of the bank with more money then what he had in his account. He was able to convince a woman who was out of his league to agree to sleep with him. He told her the world would end if they did not have sex. Throughout the movie you could see how he made people feel better about themselves by lying to them. He convinced his neighbor to not kill himself, by filling him with self-confidence. The examples are many in this film.

Work: The main character worked as a script writer for a movie company. The movies they had in this world were made based off historical facts. These movies were just narrated by someone. They did not have the concept of actors, because the actors would not be able to act. The writers at this studio could not create something based off their imagination; the concept of an imagination did not exist. In the film he was fired because the century he was assigned to was just to boring. When he discovered the ability to lie he created this completely out there script filled with lie after lie, everyone believed what he said. His ability to lie brought him unthinkable amounts of wealth.

Spirituality: The most interesting concept of this movie was the lack of any kind of religion; to me this means if no one was ever able to lie then it means it takes lying to create religion. The people believed once you died your life was over, this caused the people to greatly fear this aspect of the life cycle. The main characters mother was on her death-bed, and he was by her side comforting her. She was expressing how she was afraid to go into the unknown. He did what any good son would do; he lied. He told her a story about the man in the sky, and how when you pass away you are taken to him and live happily for eternity. This calmed and soothed his mother, so she was able to die in peace. There was a nurse who overheard what he was saying, and the story of the man in the sky spread like wildfire.

The people gathered outside his mansion demanding he relay the messages the man in the sky was saying to him. He was not prepared for this and had to quickly come up with things he was telling him. The funny part was he wrote these things on pizza boxes which looked just like the tablets Moses brought down from mountain. He went out to address the people; he described the man in the sky similar to what Christianity was. The people were relieved to know there was an afterlife. They became angry when they found out everything ever done was the doing of the man in the sky. At one point the people shouted “fuck the man in the sky,” because they found out all the bad things that happened to them were a result of the man in the sky. They became relieved when they found out all the good things which happened to them were also a result of the man in the sky. It was interesting to see how society began to change as this religious concept swept through the people.

“Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.”
Karl Marx

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”

Karl Marx

This is a clever movie; I recommend everyone see it. When you are watching the movie make sure you are studying the movie to catch everything beyond the comedy surface. I would like to hear what other things people noticed, or comment on what I brought up. The question I propose to you is this. Was the society better off without religion? Is a society of no lying better than a society with lying?

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Comments
  1. ram0singhal says:

    divine…you are a good writer….simple and sensible..

    there is neither a way to tell absolute truth nor a way to tell absolute lie also…

    love all…

  2. Soothsaber says:

    I was thinking of how the world would have come along much further technologically if there were no religion to hold back science and discoveries.

    I loved the movie, I plan to buy it but I did notice one mistake; someone had to lie to make the ad for coke about it being offered in the afterlife.

    It kept me thinking about it days later, apparently as it has you.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Soothsaber,

      The movie was great. The comedy was good, but the writer made it very clever with the invention of religion; specifically Christianity. It was interesting to see how in a world of no “lying” there was no religion. I recommend you watch the movie and pay attention to the clever messages the movie is making. I also recommend “Religilous” (prob. Spelled wrong) This movie would cause most “on the fence” Christians to abandon their faiths.

      • Soothsaber says:

        Religulous is in my netflix cue. 🙂

        I totally got the movie, noticed everything, even a mistake. lol But I will be watching it again.

  3. calvin says:

    I like that,it was very good very thoughtful hey very thoughtful

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