kitkat asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 1 decade ago

What does the raining of frogs mean in the movie Magnolia?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    "Raining Frogs" has ranked among commonly disputed phenomenon for some time. Some believe it to be nothing more than urban myth. Others report actual scientific evidence depicting its plausibility due to heavy winds and other meteorological means. Either way, this dual interpretation is sort of "the point" behind its inclusion in the film, because it can mean multiple things to multiple people, depending on how they choose to look at it. <br />

    Many attentive viewers have noted that the "raining of frogs" in the third act of the film bears religious connotation, which is referenced several times throughout the film. This is mostly done through the repeated appearances of the numbers 8 and 2 culminating the use of "Exodus 8:2" on an advertisement poster at a bus stop (during the scene in which John C. Reilly's character, Jim Kurring, is driving down Magnolia Blvd. and finds William H. Macy's Quiz Kid Donnie Smith breaking and entering just prior to the rain of frogs sequence). The passage referenced reads: "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs."<br />

    Despite the biblical implication above, and the address of coincidental yet scientifically feasible phenomena via Stanley Berry and the opening narration by Ricky Jay, the inclusion of the frogs in this sequence seems to stem more from the thematic devices within the film, calling into question strange phenomena and urban myths laced with coincidence, and equating them to struggles of a personal nature. Each character in the film wrestles with "letting go" of personal and emotional baggage in differing circumstances, and the frogs raining down seems to indicate both a collective release in many cases (as in Frank T.J. Mackey’s final emotions regarding his dying father Earl Partridge, and in turn Earl's subsequent release into death), and an awakening sign to others (the Gator Family, and Quiz Kid Donnie Smith).<br />

    All of the characters are affected in some personal and emotion fashion via this shared experience, and each one interprets it differently. The inclusion of biblical and scientific support (specifically the work of Charles Fort, whom Stanley Berry is seen reading in the library at one point in the film) is meant to offer up evidence of both sides of the belief spectrum leaving the characters, and us viewers, to glean from the experience and interpret it for ourselves.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I've actually written a post about this. Here a just a small portion of it:

    "Clearly, there are a variety of ways in which one could choose to interpret the frogs in Magnolia. And yet, I do tend to favor a rather simple understanding of them probably because I’m simple, but we’ll ignore that for now. Above all, I think the frogs are the film’s most memorable declaration of the fact that you simply can’t predict the future. Magnolia is an ode to the unpredictable. For the most part, life doesn’t turn out the way Anderson’s characters planned. Similarly, none of the weather forecasts in the film predict a downpour of frogs. Thus, the frogs come as a slap in the face (or, perhaps, a harsh dose of reality) for those foolish enough to claim that they know what the future holds. In that way, they are a sort of summary of the entire film."

  • Marie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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    If you re-watch the opening sequence of Magnolia, with all the stories about fate being all twisty, there are many hidden references to Exodus 8:2, which describes the frog plague of Egypt.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    raining frogs movie magnolia

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  • 1 decade ago

    Cigarettes and red vines web site has a fantastic resource to this as well:<br />

    "pta on frogs and the bible:<br />

    "It truly came from a slightly gimmicky and exciting place. I'd read about rains of frogs in the works of Charles Fort (His 'Book of the Damned' is the genesis for the rain of frogs), who was a turn of the century writer who wrote mainly about odd phenomena. So I just started writing it in to the script. It wasn't until after I got through with the writing that I began to discover what it might mean, which is this: you get to a point in your life, and **** is happening, and everything's out of your control, and suddenly, a rain of frogs just makes sense. You're staring at a doctor who is telling you something is wrong, and while we know what it is, we have no way of fixing it. And you just go: 'So what you're telling me, basically, is that it's raining frogs from the sky.' I'm not someone who's ever had a special fascination with UFO's or supernatural phenomena or anything but I guess I just found myself at a point in my life where I was going through some shitty stuff, and I was ready for some sort of weird religious experience, or as close as I could get to one. So then I began to decipher things about frogs and history things like this notion that as far back as the Romans, people have been able to judge the health of a society by the health of its frogs: the health of a frog, the vibe of a frog, the texture of the frog, its looks, how much wetness is on it, everything. The frogs are a barometer for who we are as a people. We're polluting ourselves, we're killing ourselves, and the frogs are telling us so, because they're all getting sick and deformed. And I didn't even know it was in the bible until Henry Gibson gave me a copy of it, bookmarked to the appropriate frog passage.<br />

    "an excerpt from exodus:<br />

    "1 AND the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.<br />

    "2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs.<br />

    "it became a pasttime on set for paul and the crew of magnolia to hide as many references to the numbers 8 and 2 as they could in shots. if you found one that we don't have here, please contact us or simply revel in your advanced knowledge."<br />

    Best,<br />

    `k

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