The invention of lying.

Last night I went to see the new Ricky Gervais picture The Invention of Lying. It was funny and all and was definitely characteristic, but at times probably went into overkill mode with the truth-telling. Just because people can only tell the truth doesn’t mean they don’t know how to shut up in certain situations.

The biggest thing that hit me about this film though were the references to religion. The film is set in a world that has evolved in much the same way as our actual world (in that people have jobs and drive cars and go to restaurants), but they can only tell the truth. No one knows what a lie is or how to do it. This could obviously go down a lot of paths. Advertising is touched on (somewhat ironically given the amount of product placement in the film) politics is not.

Religion is. In a major way. No one has ever heard of religion. And in a world where people can only speak the truth, if people haven’t heard of religion then religion can’t be true. Gervais, being the world’s first lier, becomes a Moses-like deity when he invents heaven – a place where everyone goes and gets a mansion when they die. 

Towards the end he grows a beard and starts to look a bit like Jesus too. If I had the time I would post a whole lot of links to blogs that articulate this much better, but as it is, I can’t be bothered.

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