The 3

I thought Aaron’s comment in class today was interesting about the possibility that Donald Kaufman is a fabrication of Charlie Kaufman’s mind. After leaving the screening on Wednesday night, I was talking with Charly Dube about the film, and I literally said the same thing. I did not know that Donald really existed until Charlie, and the agent who wants to do the nasty in the caboose, referenced Donald’s physical presence as a talented writer. Before this conversation at the end of the second act, I found Donald’s presence on camera to be ghostly, and akwardly captured. This can be seen from the begining of the film, when Charlie returns home depressed for the first time. As he ascends the stairs, his brother comes into the frame lying on his back in the middle of the hallway. This position reminded me of the Chesire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, just hanging around and picking the protagonists mind until it was time to disappear. I find that Donald is presented often on camera in a surprising manner. In one shot, Charlie walks over to his bed and collapses becasue of his lack of ideas and energy. Then the camera jumps to a shot of the doorway and Donald starts speaking. There are no sounds of footsteps, or even a knock to acknowledge his arrival, he is just there as if he popped out of nowhere. I believe there is another scene where Donald does almost the exact type of entry in the house (maybe bedroom) as well. Maybe this is me looking for something more after our veiwings of The Sixth Sense, Memento, and The Prestige, but for some reason it made sense. Donald represented everything that Charlie was not. Donald had a hot girlfriend, he had confidence, and most importantly, he was writing an exciting and successful script; a script which Charlie heavily influenced. To me, this all resembles a fabrication of Charlie’s mind; his better half which he wanted so desperatly to embody. If he could realistically envision having sex with the women of his fantasies, why could he not envision a better half all the time? I realize the scenes at the party and in the kitchen stick out, but for me, those were Charlie’s dreams of what really happened not how it really happened. After all, he is a writer, and does live through his thoughts to create screenplays. In applying this to the ideas of an implied author, I will use the life of Charlie Kaufman to further explain why Donald is not animate. 

Knowing that Charlie Kaufman never did have a twin brother, I believe the he becomes more closely linked with the text if Donald does not exist. Not only does Charlie create the main plot for Donald in his screenplay The 3, but he does so as he was writing Donald thoughts in real life as well. Is it so hard to imagine that maybe Charlie wrote The 3 some other time in the film, or that it does not even exist, he just imagines the agent praising Donald’s script so he can further torture himself through his nuerotic tendencies. Personally, I do not find this notion that out of the ordinary, especially given the “dramatic” ending of Adaptation; is it real or fake. Also, this idea of Donald being an imagined character does not neccesarily change the conclusion we reached in class today of the three narrators. Similar to the real life process of Charlie Kaufman, Donald’s perspective motivated the film just as much as Charlie and Susan Orlean’s book the Orchid Thief. Without Donald in the film, the dramatic ending would not exist and Charlie would never learn the right way to look at love. Eventually, allowing Charlie to free himself from his demons and kiss the girl he loves. Without Donald, Charlie does not grow in the film, whether he is a real character or imagined. 

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