movie/play by Tom Stoppard
which must be watched/read several times before understanding
dawns, since it's not clear until the very end what's really going on.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are characters from "Hamlet" who, in this movie, are allowed to explore their own existence as fictional characters. They begin their life one morning being summoned to Hamlet's castle, but have no memory of any life before that morning. There's also the fact that every time they toss a coin in the air, it comes up heads, clear evidence that somehow "reality" isn't operating as usual around them. Yet neither one of these facts bothers them too much.
They meet the Player, step onto his stage, and find themselves transported to Hamlet's castle faster than you can say "Scene 2". Shakespeare's story unfolds around them and they find themselves falling right into the old English dialect when they're interacting with other characters, then right back into modern English once they're alone again. The Player performs the story of "Hamlet" before their eyes, but they don't recognize themselves in it. And all this time they never know for sure which of them has which name, because Shakespeare always treats them as a duo and never distinguishes between them.
Ultimately, of course, they die. Hanged by the King of England, thanks to a forged letter from Hamlet, because that is their purpose in life -- or rather, purpose in the story. The Player understands it, because he is a performer and exists to act out the play rather than as a part of it. He often tries to explain it to them (albeit rather cryptically), but it's impossible for them to understand. They are part of what's happening; they can't see the greater purpose of the play. One is smart, the other stupid, but neither one comes out at the end with a better understanding of what's happening to them.
It's a hilarious work of absurdist existentialism, because Rosencrantz and Guildenstern may as well be any two of us. We go through life not knowing what our role is, our purpose in existing, and the harder we look the more we're forced to give up and let things happen around us. And in the end we're just part of a greater story, one which we couldn't fully grasp even if someone explained it to us right to our faces.