This weekend I watched the movie again.
This epic movie that had my roommate at varsity sobbing in the TV-room as the whole ress watched it. It was the first time any of us saw it, this crowd of guys and girls all sitting at the edge of their seats. The guys most likely because they heard there`d be bombs going off and some shooting and the girls because Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett was going to make more than an appearance.
With our hot chocolate in hand, we watched this retelling of history in typical Hollywood style. And we weren`t disappointed.
As I watched this movie again this weekend, I still wasn`t disappointed. And yes I`m a self-confessed romantic, but when it comes to movies I always opt for the grandiose science fiction slash supernatural movies with a nice twist in the plot ala Alien and Predator.
Don`t get me wrong, I am a *cough* girl, I do have my romcom moments or rather seasons because when it comes on, we girls know it never stays with just one romcom a month. We want a heavy dose plus a bag of chips until we`re sick of it, then we want Bruce Willis-like characters shooting things with witty one-liners. Or that could just be me *sheepish grin*
As a writer a movie like Pearl Harbor is a great learning opportunity. The complex dynamics between the main characters, the background of one of America`s greatest events in history…how do you tell a story that showcase this and the complexity of human relationships, without diminishing either? I really take my hat off to writers, producers and directors who can.
I was moved again by how the director got me to fall in love with the first ‘love-story’ of the two friends who were closer than brothers. Of course having seen the movie before I knew what lay ahead and it only made me more sensitive to all the little nuances that go over your head when you first see a movie (now I`m not talking about the really obvious ones that everyone gets as you`re watching it-even though there would always be that one person who keeps on asking questions *rolling eyes). In a movie, unlike a book, there isn`t a lot of time to write about all the bonding sessions the two might have had that brought them to that place of ‘intimacy’.
But the directors managed it at the start of the movie as these two little boys cheekily flies a plane, then when they land-still impressed with themselves- the ones father turns up looking a bit dodgy, grabs him by the cuff giving him a couple of slaps along the way. To the audience this doesn`t translate as a once off thing, you get the impression it`s something that usually happens especially from the dialogue as the father yells at the kid with a ‘how many times have I told yah…!’ (I`m paraphrasing here). His friend helps him by attacking the father. In that scene we learn the father was a former soldier that came back damaged from the war and took it out on his family. That the two boys spend a lot of time together, that they are very close to the point of defending each other. And finally as the little boy runs after his father-who`s defeated physically, verbally and mentally- we understand that as complicated as family relationships are, it`s hard to distance yourself from them.
In my view, that`s the first ‘love-story’ being established and one of the most important especially if you know the ending to the movie.
And it is this ‘love-story’ that had me Google-ing Faith Hill`s “There You`ll Be”. Like most, my thoughts are with the character ‘Danny’ when this song plays-his and Rafe`s relationship. It must also be the view point the song`s written from, especially if you listen to the words. It`s a tribute to a lost loved one. Then it has you thinking on all the lost loved ones in the movie, in a war…and with war being something that is still going on today-people still surrounded by it on a daily basis- you cannot help but have a knot in your throat. This was history and yet it`s still so relevant today.
Tomorrow`s Pearl Harbors being lived today.
Who will write this story? Who will produce it? What director will be able to shape it into something that depicts all facets of human life, depravity, sacrifice?
The dream for me is to be able to write something that evokes the kind of thought process, feeling and relevance that a movie like Pearl Harbor do. Of course I`m not looking for human tragedy to write about. But as a human being I know it will find me.
The beauty of being an author is to be able to work all of them out on paper. Give homage when needed. A thank you when it`s felt. And hope locked inside the pages of a book.
“In my dreams I`ll always see you soar above the sky…”
- Pearl Harbor: Seventy years ago today (bokertov.typepad.com)
- Josh Hartnett Is 35, Cheers To That! (socialitelife.com)