Movie question: "Magnolia" what's up with the frogs?

I rented and watched Magnolia this weekend. I never understood where all of the frogs came from. All of the other freak accidents that were described at the beginning of the movie were explained and reasonable. I must have missed the explanation about the frogs. Any insight?

Well, according to Cecil, it is possible.

And according to the director, it was supposed to be funny.

I think it was a deus ex machina that was the only possible way out of the situations the characters had gotten themselves in.

But I’m sure that your thread title is a massive spoiler, for a great movie. Could you please email a mod and get it changed, as soon as possible? I’d hate to have known about the frogs before I saw the film.

There are a few possible explanations.

First, you may recall that, at the start of the film, Anderson chronicles all sorts of eerie events and coincidences (some, of course, are merely urban legends). These coincidences set the tone for the movie: we’re reminded that this is a strange world, in which all kinds of strange things happen, which make us wonder if there’s a higher, magical power at work… if weird coincidences may be more than coincidences.

People who frequent these boards, or who read Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, are probably familiar with other such legends, in which fish, frogs or tadpoles have fallen to the ground inside raindrops, (Again, such stories may just be urban legends.) So, at the end of the movie, the flood of frogs may be just an expanded, exaggereated version of the old legends.

You may ALSO recall that, in the book of Exodus, one of God’s miraculous signs was the plague of frogs.

So… my interpretation is, the rain of frogs was supposed to be a sign that God (or whatever higher power Anderson believes in) is present, and that all kinds of seemingly weird coincidences are part of His plan. And maybe, just maybe, God was taking pity on the poor, hapless, good-hearted cop and decided to cut him a break, by giving him back his lost gun.

Personally, I loved “Magnolia,” but there were parts of it I found silly and exasperating. The rain of frogs was DEFINITELY one of those parts.

From what I’ve heard (and this has no cite and is something I read a LONG time ago), during the taping of the game show with William H. Macy, someone holds up a sign that has the number of the bible verse containing the plague of frogs. Hopefully someone else has more concrete info on this.

I don’t remember seeing the sign when I saw the movie, but I also wasn’t looking for it, either.

They put the frogs in because they needed to have at least one entertaining thing in the movie. Still, I want my three hours of life back.

Okay, I read something about this in Variety. It also has to do with the title “Magnolia” which has nothing to do with the movie.

There was a belief system called “megnolya”(spelling could be off). Anyway, it held that you can tell the health of a nation by examining the health of their cows or FROGS.

From the director/author himself:

There’s a whole lot more at Anderson’s site. He talks about all the Genesis references there too.

I loved this movie. Unlike Boogie Nights, which was still good but a bit long (IMHO), those three hours just flew by.

Just realized that wasn’t actually Paul Thomas Anderson’s website, just a really devoted fan. I don’t want to misrepresent my source.

I offered my opinion on the frogs in this previous thread.

Yes, and God gets the gun from the little boy who raps at the beginning of the movie and is the last person seen holding the gun before it falls out of the sky. Consider:

  1. He solves the case for the cop and tries to tell him but the cop can’t understand him/won’t listen

  2. He saves the suicidal woman’s life by calling 911

  3. Quiz Kid Donny Smith says in the bar that “NO, it is NOT dangerous to confuse children with angels!”

And in the little rapping kid’s case, this is especially true…

There is a missing scene that explains a little more about the kid and about how the gun comes back.

And, if you look closely at some of the street signs and neon lights during the ambulance ride and the cross-cut to Rose Gator driving to Claudia’s place, the biblical reference for the rain of frogs crops up a couple of times there.

I loved the frogs. While it would be a huge spoiler, I can’t help but wish that one of the “weather forecast” title cards throughout the film had a forecast of “87% chance of frogs.”

That’s probably just my sense of humour, though.

I always took the frogs as being a reminder that not everything is coincidence; “This, please God, cannot be that.” Put it this way: every character in the movie is connected, if not directly then at one or two removes, to everyone else; all these events are inter-related, and that would require coincidence of astounding magnitude. Those coincidences keep on happening. Nobody gets that lucky at dice ergo someone must be directing things. Every now and then something really unlikely may just come along to redefine our understanding of what ‘weird’ and ‘coincidence’ really mean.

Not necessarily my personal worldview, just my interpretation of the film.