HUGHES: Nicolas Cage is the true National Treasure
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According to the first noble truth of Buddhist philosophy, life is suffering.
This suffering emanates from our human ignorance about our impermanent existences and the chaotic world that existence inhabits. We look to a litany of vices to cope with the psychological trauma caused by this, but many of us never come to terms with our internal struggles.
I will argue here that the solution to our suffering has been right in front of us this whole time and we never realized it.
Nicolas Cage, born Nicolas Kim Coppola, is known for his bug-eyed manic absurdity, and while many might say he embodies chaos, I believe him to be the solution to cosmic entropy.
Cage transcends time, space, genre and skill, he exists outside of easy characterization. While he is often mocked for his odd nature and bizarre acting techniques, Cage’s redeeming qualities far outweigh his off-putting ones.
Never has there been an actor more dedicated to expanding his acting prowess. Not all of his movies have been blockbuster hits, but for every “The Wicker Man” there’s a “Leaving Las Vegas,” for which Cage won an Oscar.
But don’t think of Cage only as an actor. His medium is film, but like a painter or a musician, he is an artist above all else. And, like many artists before him, in order to practice his craft, he has had to abandon decorum. What makes Cage so powerful is his enigmatic nature. He leaves us always questioning: Can anyone really know Nicolas Cage?
Cage is dedicated to revealing the world’s truths. He has suffered public scrutiny, bankruptcy and internet fame, but remains a transfixing presence regardless of these personal struggles. In fact, it is because of these struggles that Cage is able to capture attention at all. He is perhaps the only human of our time to achieve ultimate enlightenment and has chosen to selflessly commit his life to leading others down this path through his work in film.
In order to better understand Cage, I have ordered his movies chronologically by when the film’s story is set, and have committed myself to watch one movie a week until I’m done. My hope is that at the end of this list, I will find “National Treasure 3: The True National Treasure.”
This film takes place in the year 2075 and places Cage again in pursuit of a hidden national treasure, but this time, Cage finds he was the treasure all along. In the final scene of the movie, he sheds his human facade and takes the form of a radiating light. This light expands like a star becoming a supernova. At the moment of Cage’s transformation, the president of the United States receives a phone call informing him that world peace has been achieved. The screen goes black and the credits roll. Every credit goes to Nicolas Cage.