Monday, October 31, 2005

This Movie Is Gay*


The Sea Inside. Yeah, right.

I watched what is meant to be a great movie last night: The Sea Inside, by a Spanish director called Amenojebamon or something. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film last year, AND the equivalent Golden Globe. so, i thought, it should be pretty good, right?

Wrong. The story (based on real life events) concerns a quadriplegic guy in Spain, who campaigned for thirty years for the right to assisted suicide. Intriguingly, the director chose to re-enact the story on ice, employing top figure skaters from eastern Europe. I made that last sentence up, but frankly such a version of this tediously gay* story would have been an improvement on this mawkish, self-indulgent, rampantly sentimental pile of Hispanic pap. I never thought I'd reach the end of a film about a terribly afflicted cripple, yearning for death, with the thought: for fuck's sake you stupid spaz, just drink the poison.

This cynical mindset was not helped by a scene earlier in the film when a Catalonian lawyer with a neurodegenerative disease (this film is full of laughs) falls down the stairs. It was obviously meant to be a hugely powerful moment of sombre despair, but when the lawyer took her multiple sclerotic tumble onto the floor, my fiance and I started sniggering, which turned into helpless laughter, barely suppressed throughout the rest of the film.

I contrast this film about suicide with another, far superior film I saw recently: Downfall, about the last days in Hitler's bunker. Frankly, I had more sympathy with the Wehrmacht generals and Nazi leaders who topped themselves during the Battle of Berlin than with the Spanish wheelchair dude; at least the Nazis showed some guts.

This may be an unusual reaction.

*Note to homosexuals reading my blog. Please do not add comments complaining about my use of the word 'gay' to mean sadly naff and drearily tedious. You stole the word in the first place - you can hardly complain if someone else then does the same. No?

**Note to everyone else. I'm in quite a vituperative mood this morning.

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