Stranger than Fiction explores death as one of its main themes. In the beginning of the film, Crick is leading a repetitive, seemingly meaningless life, until he hears the voice of his narrator implying his future death. It is upon hearing this that he makes it a point to seek help. After meeting Professor Hilbert led Crick to believe that his death was unavoidable, his life suddenly took on much more meaning and purpose. Rather than continue his monotonous lifestyle, Crick pursued his interests, like learning to play the guitar and pursuing a love interest. As a viewer, these changes stood out to me, and raised some interesting questions.
While Stranger than Fiction does not identify with any one particular religion, Death is a theme identified by nearly every religion. Crick’s change in lifestyle perpetuates the idea that if we know our time is limited, we will want to find our purpose in life and make our time spent on earth more meaningful. This stood out to me as a viewer, because Crick made purposeful changes in his life believing death was in his future. However, death is in everyone’s future; every day we are all a little closer to death, so why is it that everyone is not making strides to have more purposeful lives despite knowing that death is unavoidable? Furthermore, the nature of the relationship between Eiffel and Crick reflected one similar to that of the nature between God and people in Christianity. Crick’s life was predestined, written by Eiffel. While Crick may have believed that he dictated his own life and made his own conscious decisions, in reality, everything he did was already being mapped out by Eiffel as part of a picture that he was not aware of. This film is especially intriguing because it features Crick attempting to change Eiffel’s mind about killing him. This posed some internal questions to me of whether or not our lives are truly predestined, and if they are, do we have the ability to communicate with a higher power and change his mind about our destinies? Are our lives really destined if we can change them? Stranger than Fiction explores the theme of death from several different perspectives, and prodded me to think about these questions about the religious theme of death long after I had finished watching the movie.