Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A book, a movie and a sunset

I just got home from seeing the movie Never Let Me Go.
I read the book a while ago, and I remembered writing a review of it on my visual bookshelf (on Facebook, of course). So, I went to reread my review and I couldn't help but notice that it was written almost two years ago to the day.  It was one of those movies that got you to thinking about your own life... and now I am left thinking about how different my life was only two years ago, and getting all introspective and junk.

My book review:
Never Let Me Go  by Kazuo Ishiguro  

I agree that Ishiguro's writing is a bit like eating a mango. At first, it's tough to get used to the texture and flavor (being a bit exotic)... but by the end, you're licking your lips and looking for more.In other words, the prose grows on you.
Spoiler alert: As for the clones themselves, I was a bit surprised and disappointed that they were all so obedient and docile. I kept expecting one of them to suggest escaping from their doomed life path by finding and killing a "possible". Or just alluding to any kind of rebellion (other than showing creativity to prove true love). The fact that they never even responded harshly to Madame and Miss Emily disappointed me, and it seemed to show that the cruel ladies were right, in a way, that the kids were less than human (or more than human, depending on how you look at it).
All in all, I did enjoy the book, finding it just a bit disturbing... yet I'm not sure that I would recommend it to most readers.
Most readers prefer apples to mangoes.

The movie was compelling, but I wonder how lost I'd been in the theater, if I had not read the book.  Movies made from elaborately detailed, well-crafted stories tend to suffer in editing, when pivotal poignant moments are left out to pare down the movie to a watchable time.   There were a few missing pieces that bothered me... and if you read the book, then saw the movie; I urge you to contact me for some healthy banter. (I'm not holding my breath, since nobody reads my blog anyway, and I'm just writing to myself... and perhaps Julie, who reads Vampire stories, Chris Moore and young adult fiction). Nuff said.

Strangely, this scene from the poster never made it into the film

After the movie ended, I left the theater and got on my scooter to head home.  It was just before sunset, and I was in a pensive mood, so I decided to stop by the park, to watch the sunset over the ocean.  Kamaole Park has a vast grassy area above the beach and I can pull my scooter right up off the road.  I propped up my bike and sat facing the ocean, noticing as usual that the tourist migration thickens right before sunset, as the masses head towards the beach.  There were several clusters of people strewn about the grass, celebrating in their own ways.  Some had bottles of wine, others were playing music and one strange group had a few dozen pinwheels stuck in the grass surrounding them.  The wind was steady and the pinwheels glistened in the setting sun creating a strobe-like effect almost effective enough to send me into a seizure.  I leaned back against my basket, which is behind my seat, covered in bungee cords.  As I got comfortable, I dropped deeper into thought, assessing my life and reflecting upon my current state of affairs.
The movie dealt with death, in a way that made the lead characters feel like they never had enough time to live.  Conversely, I feel like I have ample time, yet I somehow forget to make the effort to live "fully", content to cruise by, floating downstream with the current.

This is what the sunset looks like from the top of the park

From out of the setting sun, across the grass,  four older ladies appeared, all dressed in colorful Hawaiian sarongs.  They walked, two by two, jabbering away, right toward me.  A few feet in front of me, between the gravel of the roadside and the grass of the park, sits a long low wooden fence.  The ladies decided, for some reason, to sit right in front of me, even though the whole fence was open and ran the entire length of the park.  Never once did they even look at me, or notice how comfortable I was watching the sunset, kicked back on my bike.  They sat on the fence and took their slippers off and began to rub their feet with Kleenex, all the while talking about someone's niece. I felt invisible, and I suddenly noticed an overwhelming smell of Vicks Vaporub.
I started my scooter up and drove away, deciding to forgo sharing the sunset with the quintet.  As I made the turn on Keonikai, heading up the hill into my neighborhood, I watched the sun set in my mirror.  By the time I made it to my street, there was already a pink glow in the sky.  I parked the scooter and let myself into my cottage, where the smell of yesterday's microwave popcorn hit me as I walked through the door, reminding me, once again of the movie.

1 comment:

Cul-de-sac-ed said...

I'm not sure if I should be offended by your snarky comment. I'll choose not to be.

I have not read the book but I will put the movie in my Netflix queue because I like Carey Mulligan. I guess you'll have to wait several months for some witty banter.

I think your sunset watching experience may parallel heavier life issues. Don't let other people block your view (goals). If you do, you just might end up watching life like go by through a rearview mirror.

I don't know if that makes sense. I tend to be less philosophical when sober.