Arts and Entertainment

The truth about Lying

By Alex Frail
Published: February 2010

Mark Bellison lives in a world where no one can tell a lie.

This world, dominated by often surprisingly harsh truths, is changed forever when Mark develops the gene for lying.

The Invention of Lying begins very promisingly. It follows Bellison, played by funny man Ricky Gervais, as he lives out his mundane existence as a writer for the only movie corporation in the world, which makes dull and entirely true documentaries.

When Bellison invents the lie, the movie takes a humorous turn. He soon learns that the entire world is at his fingertips, for he is able to bend the will of any person.

For a time, the movie is funny, using Gervais’s dry humor to illustrate Bellison’s revelation.

Bellison uses the lie for personal gain initially, and then he turns into something of a philanthropist, giving homeless people financial aid and preventing suicides.

The movie hits a rough patch when Bellison accidentally invents “The Man in the Sky theory to comfort his dying mother. Bellison essentially creates the Bible.

From that point onward, the movie depends too heavily on the “Man in the Sky theory, every scene being shaped by Bellison’s “rules that the Man gave him (they have talks together in private).

Although the movie is generally funny, it is only so at select moments, unlike Gervais’s previous American-made film, the far funnier Ghost Town.

Initially, The Invention of Lying is not presented as a religious parody, but the second half of the movie is exactly that.

If Gervais had avoided the heavy religious jabs, the movie would not have dried up.

Even still, the movie is worth seeing. Gervais has a talent for alwaysmaking us laugh. In this case, he demonstrates some drama under his belt too.

The movie has its moments, both dull and clever, but ultimately, it comes out alive in the end, resuming where its better parts left off.

For all its flaws, it makes you smile, and that’s all that really matters.

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