The title of the movie gives away the subtext of the movie. You will not get this life again. So, what the heck are you going to do about it this time around?
The movie is about three lads who had been very good friends … before life got in the way. Years ago, when they were younger, they had promised each other that they would go on a road trip where they would each choose an adventure and the others would have to try it, whether they like it not. Now years later they are all nearing thirty and one of them is about to take the big plunge. The trip has already been postponed a number of times. It is now or never.
The trip does not get off to the best of starts. It is clear that there are back stories and you are left wondering about what happened. It is clear that something happened that changed their relationship forever. They have all found success in their own ways. Yet, they all have a palpable sense of imprisonment in their own lives. Life and passage of time unwittingly enmeshed the three lads in a complicated web of grudges, betrayal and let downs. As time elapsed and they moved away from each other and followed their own distinct paths and the complications from their past seemed behind them. Yet, it impinged them.
To each other, they represent both their younger free spirits and all the complications of growing old and discovering the petty crimes of lust and passion. In betraying each other, they have unwittingly betrayed themselves. Slowly, as the trip proceeds, the stories unfurl as they find their way through Spain.
What is amazing is that the movie remains fun through all this. Beautiful landscapes, hummable tunes and great lines. The movie is able to involve the viewer intimately with the dilemma the three protagonist face, without burdening the viewer. A shared past, emotional attachments, expectations, betrayals and the lot delivered in a upbeat way.
The movie has an uncanny ability to get under the skin of people and nudge them to examine their own half-full half-empty lives. I have not yet met anyone who has not been affected by the movie. It is impossible not to reflect on our fragile existence and impending mortality. If life is ephemeral, why do we hold grudges and feel slighted by people we care so deeply about. It is like we are caught in this never ending sumo like emotional tussle with people we care most about and relationships are nothing more than futile oxymoronic expression. The movie does ask but does not answer the age old question of life. What the movie will certainly do is make you look at your life again and inspire you to live it in a spirited and zestful way.
The movie ends on a spectacular sequence. At one level, the sequence conveys the subtext of the movie and alludes to the way we live our lives. But, beyond that, it also leaves you full of energy and on a emotional high, empowering you to radically examine the way you have been living your life and hack into it to reconfigure the destination coordinates. Go!!! Paint it Red!!!