Paterson – Of Those That We Long For and Those That We Take for Granted


I’m not that into poetry. And there were a couple of poets mentioned in the film that I never heard of before. But I really like how Paterson was presented. Every scene seemed to be full of meaning, each moment seemed to be necessary. This movie may be boring, slow-paced, or even a waste of time for others. But I guess, Paterson would just look away and chuckle on how natural and poetic those reactions were.

Meet Paterson

The movie is about the life of an ordinary bus driver in a city with the same name. A bus driver who also wants to be a poet and has a very beautiful wife. A wife who’s very artistic and great at making black and white cupcakes. A couple who has a pug that the man takes out every night for a walk. A pug who’s so jealous of it’s master’s wife that it tore the master’s secret notebook of poems to pieces.

Paterson’s daily schedule is so predictable. He wakes up between 6:10 and 6:15, eats breakfast, goes to work, and goes home. He walks the dog at night, visits his favorite bar to have a mug of beer, then goes home and sleep. That’s the process, until Sunday, when he can sleep in and spend time as he like – with his wife or taking a walk around the city.

Our main character is also peculiar. He doesn’t own any modern gadgets – no smartphones, laptops, etc. He believes life will work out even without those things. The world worked out just fine before those things were invented. But he eventually need to borrow a girl’s smartphone to report that his bus had an electrical problem and his passengers needed to be transferred to another bus.

The movie is full of scenes taken out of our ordinary, everyday life. They are normal, familiar situations. They’re nothing special. And so, these are also the moments that we likely take for granted. Until we share Paterson’s perspective at the end, “Would you rather be a fish?”

What Paterson Tells Me

Paterson’s poems may not have seen better days. But the blank notebook that he’s given at the end signified hope. That blank notebook reinforces what all humans know:

We can always start over, even after losing something very precious to us. That whenever we’re to begin, lots of possibilities lay in front of us. And no matter how bad it gets, somehow, we’ll never trade places for anything. We’d rather live our lives over, making little or big changes here and there. But we’ll never trade who we are or what we live for.

Oh, the poetry of our mundane, ordinary lives.

Most Endearing Part

The tender kisses that Paterson gives his wife every time he wakes up just shows how he’s so in love with her. Besides the passionate words in his poems, his actions truly proves the depth of his feelings for his wife. Too bad, Laura never get to hear his love poems. All through-out, we’re being shown how Paterson and Laura is perfect for each other.

Most Heartbreaking Part

Laura was trying to comfort Paterson after they found that his secret notebook of poems has been torn to pieces. Paterson told him not worry, because “They’re just words”. But to him who wanted nothing else but put words together, that must have hurt so much. It’s also the part of the film where I realized how deep the understanding goes between the couple.

Check this website if you want to read the three poems featured in the film. For the film’s casts and directors, refer to this page.

Credits to Toronto International Film Festival for the featured image.

As always, thanks for dropping by!


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