Many readers thought I was ‘dissing’ Nighy and Kuzuo. Not so!
That said? Yeah I was critical. So here is a much more poignant, pertinent, literate, textured, beautiful review. By a lady who knows her craft, in all senses.
Take it away, CARMELLA DOBSON! A review of LIVING.
I really enjoyed this film – Living . It’s a simple story about a man told he has 6-9 months to live but the emotions are far from simple, wonderfully understated and deeply moving.
Screenplay is by Ishiguro, known for his sensitive and complex piercing exposure of Britishness and perfectly matched by Nighy’s aching portrayal. Nothing hugely dramatic happens. They almost do. That is the point. But Nighy’s doomed man always wanted to be a gentleman. He remains a gentleman to the last.
The story plays with ideas of living rather than existing, the suits and hats and routines of work hint at Kafka, and Nighy toys with ideas of suicide, sexual conquests and new experiences, but doesn’t do any of them. He doesn’t quite manage to tell his son about his imminent death, he doesn’t seduce anyone. He simply lives. He carries on living as he has always lived.
And by not doing anything particularly shocking he manages to be a hero in the Joycean way, an Everyman everyday hero. He leaves behind him a small but meaningful legacy, a credible achievable legacy.
The last scenes are reminiscent of Joyce’s The Dead and the understatement of it all somehow becomes quite overwhelming like the last lines of a poem. Beautifully written, directed and acted, it stays in the conscience like a real dream of a real event. It is a quiet, polite, gentle swan song that has far more power than anything I’ve seen at the cinema for years.
Writer Bio: Carmella Dobson is a writer, activist, lawyer, mother, muse, Goddess, Queen, immortal, beloved..and brilliant. Beautiful writing from a beautiful soul. Every man, eligible and ineligible, is in love with or in pursuit of this Holy Grail of womanhood. And only the boldest, worthiest and maddest of Knights can possibly hope to endure the battle, though she is worth it, whatever the outcome..