Queen Victoria, The Coward, and The Kite Runner
It is a long weekend here in Canada, today being Victoria Day. That means we get an extra day off from work (and school). Which is really nice because I’ve been working extra hard these past six months or so.
And just a little trivia for you. Did you know that Canadians originally celebrated Victoria Day on May 24th? That was Queen Victoria’s actual birthday. I learned this when I was studying for my Citizenship exam about twelve years ago. And I remember the date because that is also my birthday. 🙂 But now, we celebrate Victoria Day every third Monday of May, giving us a long weekend.
How does niceheart spend a long weekend, you might ask? Well, I slept in a little bit this morning. I was going to get up at 8:00 am so I could do some closet organizing, but I wasn’t able to get out of bed until an hour later. 😉 Yesterday, my family and I went to the malls, which were a bit crowded for a Sunday in my opinion. But of course, it’s the long weekend. And I rented two movies from Rogers Video for some “me” time. 🙂
The first one has a very long title and it is a very long movie, 160 minutes. That’s two hours and forty minutes. I have to watch it in two sittings. It’s called The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The title basically tells you what the story is all about. I only wanted to watch it, no, not because of Brad Pitt, but because he was here in Winnipeg for one day to shoot a few scenes. Okay, I think that every time I mention Brad in my posts, I say that I am not a fan. But I realize now that I’ve seen quite a few of his movies. Does that make me a fan? Okay, here’s a confession. I was turned off by what happened to him and Jen Aniston. Because I liked Jen. I was a fan of Friends. But now I can see that he’s happy with Angie. And I guess, I am turned on seeing how he is a responsible family man now.
Well, anyway, I didn’t go out there on Princess Street that cold fall morning when they transformed it into a Western settting. I recognized the Pantages Theatre in the movie because I was once there when I watched my oldest son sing with his class during a music festival when he was still in grade school. I think I’ve also been to the Burton Cummings Theatre once when it was still an Odeon Cinema. These two theatres were used for the stage recreation of Jesse James’ murder.
I’ve always wondered why Robert Ford was given the title Coward. At first I thought it was because he was meek or weak. In the beginning of the movie, he was portrayed as an insecure man. And after watching the ending, I think he was labeled a coward because he betrayed who people thought was his friend, the same one who gave him food, bed and shelter. And because he shot him from behind. Does that make one a coward? And that day when he was murdered, I think Jesse knew what was happening. But why did he take off his gun belt? And when he saw Robert’s reflection from the dusty picture frame hanging on the wall, his gun pointing at him, why didn’t he duck or something? I guess he has accepted his fate at that point.
I hope I don’t sound twisted by saying this, but I feel bad for Robert. The people and the government wanted Jesse James dead and when Robert finally killed him, Jesse got all the recognition as the famous outlaw. But when Robert was murdered, he got nothing. As the narrator said at the ending of the movie: “There would be no eulogies for Bob (Robert), no photographs of his body would be sold in sundries stores, no people would crowd the streets in the rain to see his funeral cortege, no biographies would be written about him, no children named after him, no one would ever pay twenty-five cents to stand in the rooms he grew up in.”
The other movie I rented is The Kite Runner. I like the story. I haven’t read the book, although, I thought of buying it yesterday when we were at Chapters book store. But I ended up buying Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons instead. You see, I won $21.00 from a 50/50 draw at work and I wanted to spend it on a book. The Kite Runner is $21.99. If you add the 5 % GST, it will come up to $23.08 and Angels and Demons is only $12.99, $13.64 including the taxes. But it wasn’t only the price that I considered. For me, it’s different when you already read the book and you want to see how it’s played out in the big screen. But if I haven’t read the book yet, and I was going to watch the movie, why buy the book? But now after watching The Kite Runner, I think I’m going to buy the book anyway. I’ve read on the internet that the novel wasn’t portrayed in the movie as graphically as it was in the book.
Well, anyway, The Kite Runner is a story about two boys, Amir and Hassan, two good friends in Afghanistan, but after witnessing his friend being assaulted by an older boy, a bully, Amir did nothing to defend Hassan. The scene was done so discreetly in the film that I was having second thoughts as to whether Hassan was beaten or actually raped. The event caused a falling apart between the two friends and it haunted Amir through his adult life. But when he received that phone call from Afghanistan from his old friend, Rahim Kahn, when he was already an adult living in America, “Now there is a way to be good again…,” he found a way to redeem himself.
Amir’s betrayal of his friend sort of reminds me of a certain incident that happened in my childhood. It’s not as big as what happened to Amir and Hassan. But I had this good friend in my childhood, you could call us best of friends. We would always go to each others houses, hang out and play. Paper dolls were the craze back then. We would pass by this store where they sell these paper dolls and other novelty items. We had our eye on one of the paperdoll booklets and we decided to save up our allowances, put our money in together and buy the paperdoll booklet together. I received a better allowance than she did and saved up my share a lot quicker that she did. When I thought that we had enough, even though I put in more money, I told her that we should buy it already. And so we did. We played with the paperdoll and its clothes and shared its ownership. But I don’t know why I became greedy one day. I told her I’d pay her back her share that she contributed and I wanted to keep the paperdoll for myself. I can’t remember now how she reacted or if I ever redeemed myself for doing that. But we stayed the best of friends for as long as I stayed in that town.
Here’s an interesting quote from the movie: “There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft… When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”