Flashbacks (of many kinds)
Posted by Oli on Tuesday 22nd April, 2008
Last night I sat at my computer, whiling away the time until K had finished in the bathroom before heading to bed and I started reading back through my old blogs. I had to moderate a spam message which had attached itself to a posting in mid-December, which lead me right back into the heart of the post-transplant ups-and-downs and I felt a sudden urge to go back to the start and read all through the Transplant from the day of the call.
I’ve read bits and pieces of K’s postings from while I was on the ward and, of course, all of the messages that were left for me while I was going through it. It’s still weird, though, reading back through such thorough descriptions of all the various events which went on, particularly in the first couple of weeks, which are still pretty much a blur to me, although reading the blogs I realise I actually haven’t forgotten as much as I thought I had.
That first month seems a world away from where I sit here, but Sunday marked the 5 month point since I had my op – it’s amazing how quickly the world moves.
Today has been K’s day – she finally finished her college course, which I rather unhelpfully got in the way of before Christmas – handing in her dissertation and doing a presentation to her main tutor. He has told her that she’s already passed with the highest grade possible (Level 3) without even having handed her dissertation in and that her presentation was the best and most professional he’s ever received for a student.
Now, we all know that K is wonderful, amazing, intelligent and a whole load of other incredibly positive adjectives as well, but it often passes her by completely. Having someone who actually matters (as opposed to… you know… me) tell it to her, and to have a piece of paper telling her it’s true, seems to have made the world of difference as for at least a few hours today, she actually believed it herself.
After picking her up from her presentation, all bouncing, bubbly and beautiful, we headed to the flicks to catch Flashbacks of a Fool, the new Daniel Craig film. No one can say that since being passed the mantel of Bond that Craig’s left himself open to type-casting. He’s working incredibly hard to make sure that all the time he’s contracted as Bond, he’s not letting his career slide, turning in some great performances in smaller, more independent fair like this. And he is excellent in it, let me assure you. There’s a scene towards the end of the film where he confronts/approaches/meets Claire Forlani’s character (something of a blast from his past) in a graveyard and his eyes are simply mesmerizing.
The film itself is a cleverly-structured deconstruction of the life of a Hollywood mega-star for whom bad news forces him to remember a time he’s spent a lifetime trying to escape from. What could be scene as a somewhat hokey narrative device become an interesting and plausible plot device by being plastered across the film’s title. Knowing you’re going to be dealing with flashbacks restrains you from dismissing them as is so common in modern movie-making. What’s more, they’re actually accomplished in a much more deft and sensible manner than many films who aren’t so up-front about their usage.
The cast is uniformly excellent, with a couple of exceptions who don’t really need mentioning as the don’t really spoil the film. The flashback sequence is perhaps a little on the slow side, perhaps a touch too long, but it’s impact is undeniable and the Daniel Craig bookends so riveting and absorbing you forgive the sluggishness of the middle portion.
It’s undoubtedly one to check out, although it’s not the most happy, uplifting film in the world. Precise and carefully, considerately put together, but heart-warming it is not. Check it out, if you don’t mind taking a tissue or two.