Catch 22

July 18th, 2005

I didn't get this one at all. As far as I can tell, US bomber pilot Yossarian, flying missions in the south of Italy during WW2 is doing everything he can to be sent back home or in the least stop flying missions. Aside from that, the story has lots of repetition, linking of plot segments and so on, none of which seems particularly interesting or logical. For example, the opening scene is shown at the start, but also at the end, where the story comes full circle. I imagine one would read the novel to get a good grip on this one. It cuts from scene to scene, many of which seemingly completely unrelated.

A couple of humorous bits were thrown in as well. To start off, Yossarian's entire squadron gets killed or goes crazy sooner or later. One of the high rollers at the airbase (actually he may have just been a low rank to begin with) comes up with an idea to start trading goods instead of doing missions. So he trades the pilots' parashoots and a bunch of other stuff for whatever else he can get his hands on. He starts a company, gives all the pilots stocks in it with a promise that they'll all go home rich once the war is over. Trying to inject his dying co-pilot with morphine at one point, Yossarian is less than thrilled to find the medical cabinet has been traded for a share in the company. The business really comes alive as the trades grow in magnitude. Finally, they trade all their goods for cotton, to sell for a profit. Turns out cotton is not in demand, so they strike a deal with the Germans to sell them all the cotton, while the Americans bomb their own base. On another occasion, for some reason they get orders to bomb Ferrara, which has no strategic value whatsoever, so Yossarian makes them drop the bombs in the sea right before they get there. Because the bomb pattern turns out to be really nice, they all get medals for this.

Another pilot makes a name for himself crashing his plane into the sea time and again. Finally on the 5th occasion, he takes a raft and paddles to Sweden. 16 weeks out at sea without food apparently, that makes sense. Turns out he's been rehearsing those crashes all along. Upon hearing the story, Yossarian grabs a raft and runs out to the beach, starts paddling. The end.

Quite dull, rather pointless, annoying camera work. And they make a point out of making every scene noisy so it's hard to hear the dialogue. Anno 1970. Don't bother with it.


Oh yeah and you know what "Catch 22" means? It comes up about 4 times in similar circumstances. It means whatever you do, you can't win. The following quote explains it all. "Let me see if I've got this straight: in order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy any more and I have to keep flying." As far as philosophy goes, this circular logic is rather trivial and tedious, so I doubt I'll be using the phrase much. Wasn't even worth watching the movie to find out what it means.

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3 Responses to "Catch 22"

  1. Steve says:

    Kind of like when I was younger and needed a job to get a car but then realized that I needed a car to get a job. That sucks too.

  2. numerodix says:

    Aren't there jobs that don't require having a car? Where do you live anyway, in a big city or a small town?

  3. Erik says:

    LOL love the cynicism on this one marty