Friday, 21 December 2012

Movie: Last Chance Harvey

One of my great loves is cinema. My favourite movie genre is drama. epic dramas, period dramas, decade dramas, ethnocultural dramas, animated dramas, sci-fi dramas, romantic dramas; the list is almost endless and it's always just drama in the end! A good movie is almost as stimulating and entertaining as a good book. Watching them is one of the best ways of escaping into, learning about and just simply experiencing the existence of other people. People one may never get to meet, in places and in circumstances one may never get to experience, and ultimately acquiring knowledge one may or may not get to use, but nonetheless growing by learning.

Today, I watched the movie Last Chance Harvey, on BBC iplayer. It is a romantic drama about a middle-aged American composer, who goes to London to attend his estranged daughter's wedding. While in London, he bumps into a lovely British woman, then fate, chance and destiny begin a little dramatic tango!

It's interesting to find how much I felt connected to both of the central characters of the movie. The man, Harvey (Dustin Hoffman), is a brilliant music composer who has settled into a modest career as a jingles composer and as he has gotten older, his work has become come and more under-appreciated in favour of that of his younger colleagues who are not necessarily as brilliant. He is disconnected from his daughter, ex-wife (who has remarried) and friends of the family. He has become the outsider who does not fit in with the glamorous and successful American expatriate community in London and worst of all, his ex-wife's husband has taken his place as father to his own daughter.

The female central character, Kate (Emma Thompson), is a forty-something year old  single woman who's life revolves around her job at the airport, providing customer services and taking surveys at the airport; her lonely/reclusive  mother and her writing class. She seems to have all but given up on the drama of dating when Harvey appears.

I'm not going to narrate the entire plot because firstly, I'm lousy at narration and secondly, the movie is a worthwhile watch and I have provided a link at the bottom of this post. The drama in the story is mainly emotional. It's about being assertive and getting what is rightfully yours. It's about making the decision to walk away from people and situations where one feels under-appreciated. It's also about letting yourself take a chance at love because everyone deserves the happiness and inspiration that can come from a partner.

What I took from this dramatization:

1. Stand up for yourself when it matters most. You might ruffle a few feathers, but you will gain the respect you deserve.

2. Analyse yourself and how you interact with your family. People are often the bad guys they appear because they are simply responding to us. Checking yourself gives you the opportunity to be humble, redress past faults and salvage relationships with family.

3. Let yourself be inspired positively and make a positive effort when a chance at happiness presents itself.

Here is a link to the movie. I hope someone else enjoys it as much as I did. If not, at least it will be a good afternoon distraction. The acting is brilliant, btw!

Last Chance Harvey

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