Thursday, 28 August 2014

Falling Down (5 Stars)

This is one of my favourite films. I already reviewed it last year (this is the link), so I'll just add something personal that occurred to me while watching it today. It's something that I never noticed before. The misunderstood good guy, Bill Foster, reminds me of my father, while the police detective, Martin Prendergast, has similarities with me. Or rather, it's the relationships of my father and me with our wives. My father was a good man. He had many faults, he was difficult for me to get on with, but his motives were always good. I know that he loved me and my mother, even though he was unable to tell us. Just like Bill's wife in the film, my mother was afraid that my father might hit her. But he never did. It was just the way he looked at her, she claimed. After 24 years of marriage without the least bit of violence, shouldn't she have realised he would never have hit her? No. Years after his death she repeated the same accusations. "Your father never hit me, but he could have hit me, any time".

As for the detective, he's hampered in his work by a neurotic wife. I should have drawn the connection with myself years ago. My wife called me at work every day, often asking me to go shopping for her, because she was unable to manage the house by herself. Brigitte was never happy with me, she never thought I was doing enough, and she frequently expressed how much she hated me. I would have done anything for her, but she drove me away when I needed her most. She also needed me. She suffered greatly having to bring up four young children by herself. She still blames me for leaving her. 17 years later she still doesn't realise that I loved her and wanted to stay. Right up until the last minute I would have changed my mind if she had shown signs of wanting to make a new start.

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