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[personal profile] beachlass
On Saturday afternoon, I promised myself that if I got a reasonable amount crossed off the chore list, I could drive into the city and watch Lawless. I think I had forgotten how much I like Prohibition era gangster movies. I definitely forgot that Tom Hardy could actually carve out a piece of my soul and build a home there.

And build a home he did, with a lyrical opening monologue, followed by a brutal brass knuckled punch. And seriously. Grunting. How can an acting delivery largley consisting of grunting and staring be so goddamn compelling and charming?

I spent an embarassing amount of the movie watching it with my hands clutched against my face - heart in my mouth every time Forrest brushes against death. I could barely refrain from begging Maggie out loud to step down off the porch, to not go into the building. And Jack. Fucking Jack. I just wanted to shake him. 

Jack is a bit of an unreliable narrator. The story is, ostensibly, his - and he narrates the beginning and end. But throughout, he is almost an anti-hero - with his greed and selfishness undermining Forrest, putting everyone around him at risk. I've seen reviews that wished we'd been given a Forrest and Maggie movie, without the split attention between their story, and Jack/Bertha's. But I think it makes for a more interesting narrative this way - or maybe I'm just a sucker for the space and lives and passions of seemingly secondary characters. 

One of the brilliant pieces that contrasts Jack and Forrest is the church scene - Bertha's father reads (probably from one of Paul's epistles, but I haven't looked it up) - a passage about the evils of actions being directed by love of the world, and worldly things. And this is Jack throughout. He is drawn to Bertha for her looks (we never see her playing mandolin again, she seems to be another trophy for Jack to acquire. Jack is horribly entitled throughout, resenting his brothers, and unwilling to work and fight the same way they do. 

Maybe because I've been living in Pauline theology in my preaching the last couple of weeks - but Paul is all about reversals and contrasts and finding virtue in the low places. And Forrest fits and fills that mode. He is violent, unyielding, communicative only on his own terms - and yet he is not chasing after riches and 'success' and objectified pleasure. He keeps sleeping on the same mattress, protects Maggie without trying to possess her, keeps wearing his shapeless cardigan, regardless of how much white lightning they move. 

Anyway, oh, my heart. I went back and saw it a second time last night. And I downloaded the soundtrack, and a copy of Wettest County in the World. In my head, it's fanfic. And I would love to write some stories from Maggie's pov.     

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beachlass

July 2014

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