Intersecting storylines is a popular concept, which might get chaotic if not executed meticulously. Tarantino is known for this concept. But PTA creates this perfectly in Magnolia. A totalling of eight stories run together, often overlapping into one another. Each of them is a character study and changes in their behaviour with unfolding events. Eight stories and ten main characters, all squeezed in a three hour timeline. Yes, it can get chaotic. But beautifully though, it doesn’t. That’s the beauty, and each and every emotion intended to be conveyed is conveyed. This is unlike other PTA films, where the emotion gets diluted in the long timeline. This was the issue with There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights. But here the long runtime does justice to the story. This was one of his films that smoothly conveyed messages and feelings even through symbology.
The main emotions and human nature that flows in these stories, independently, are desperation, regret, remorse, alter ego and personality issues. These are obvious emotions that float though the screen. People might not like the lack of explanation of certain suggested events. But it’s how it goes. Just take in the stories. What would have been good is a well explained ending, not for every person, but at least for the characters who had an interesting build up and we would like to know what happened to them. Like the quiz master and that smart kid ( not the grown up one ).
Overall, this film didn’t fall flat like others by PTA. In his films, the emotions are too vague, except in few scenes which are absolutely genius and brilliant directing. But as a whole, the films don’t have a big impact. Even though people love it and call them masterpieces. The impact of the film lies only in a couple of scenes ( which as i said are brilliant ). Back to Magnolia, this is one of the best PTA film till now, according to me, my favourite too.