last weekend i did something i haven't done for years - went with jen to the cinema two nights in a row. decadent eh...?
on friday we saw slumdog millionaire, an uplifting romantic tale set in india of a boy on who wants to be a millionaire who answers all the questions but because he grew up in the slums is suspected of cheating. he is on the show for love not money trying to communicate with his childhood sweetheart who is caught up in slavery. the filming of india is beautiful - an array of colour, chaos and beauty. it's impossible not to be caught up in the romantic tale of the slum/underdog who risks everything for love and comes out on top and go out with a smile on your face. the bollywood style credits at the end are fun.
if you had said to me that i would see a better film the next night i would have laughed. but saturday we went to see the wrestler, a totally different kind of film but yes it was even better. i haven't been able to shake the film out of my head all week - i keep thinking about it. mickey rourke plays a wrestler 20 years after his peak. he is still on the circuit of wrestling matches but earnings are low, so low in fact that in the opening sequence he is locked out of his trailer because he is behind on the rent. his ageing body can't take the beating it used to. but somehow the need for affirmation and his 'family' of fellow wrestlers proves an irresistable draw even when he is under doctor's orders to stop. his story is mirrored by a pole dancer who is trapped in her own way in performing and affirmation but equally lonely. their paths cross and a glimmer of friendship struggles to lift itself above their combined loneliness. on her advice rourke makes contact with his estranged daughter to try and repair their broken relationship. and it all ends tragically which you kind of guess pretty early on... why's it so good? well mickey rourke is one huge factor - i so hope he gets best actor oscar for this. it's the perfect role for him. he has a broken loveable charm, character etched in his face and a deep sadness. and i think it's this deep sadness that has haunted me all week. the combination of reaching out so touchingly to his daughter and then just messing things up when they seem hopeful is heart breaking. i cried more than you probably should in a film called 'the wrestler'! the filming is brilliant too - the opening 5 minutes gripped me following rourke with barely a shot of his face and some scenes so dark you could just see light reflected on the side of his face and not much more. brave and original...
go and see both if you get the chance