Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Modern Romance I:

Once
, the 2007 Indie film starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, at first seems a melancholy glimpse of morality. There is no God, no heaven, no hell, but there is indeed morality. The guy (there are no names for the two protagonists) is a street musician who sings in a quaint shopping district of Dublin, Ireland, while girl is a flower girl from Czechoslovakia. Each have fallen out of relationships: for the girl it is an unresolved marriage with a 2 year old daughter, while for the guy it's the love of his life, who has moved to London. The guy is on over-the-top vocalist who has strummed his acoustic guitar nearly to death without any great progress, and one day the flower girl comes into his life, they have lunch, and she reveals that she too is a musician, a singer and pianist. Lacking her own piano, with the permission of the owner she plays at lunch time in a music shoppe, and it is there that the two sit down for a guitar/piano and voice duet. It clicks, musically and personally. An indecent proposal is made by the man, and the woman declines forcefully, but the relationship is not completely broken.

It is here that their lives teeter on the brink of a physical affair. There is harmony, yet each one looks in the rear view mirror of their lives and loves, and speak frankly about it to the other. He meets her family and she his. They play hooky and take a motorcycle ride and walk through a park with a view of the ocean, where she tells him in Czechoslovakian that she loves him. Soon they cobble together a band and record their cooperations at significant expense. The marathon recording session draws them even nearer, and the music is really good. Even the studio technician catches the chemistry.

But. Neither girl nor guy is ready to let go of the past, and while he buys a ticket for London to try again, and her husband returns to her and her daughter, and the matter is closed. The movie moves toward a close with one last immoral suggestion from him, and this time she declines with kindness, and they part for good. There are a couple of thought-provoking final scenes after which the credits roll.

Once does not measure up to Roman Holiday, but it tells the same kind of story. Two fall in love, but cannot come together. They part in love and in peace, which is a rarity for any modern or post-modern love story. A post-modern love story inevitably has love in its sexually expressed mode, and then tragic circumstances invade to separate the lovers. Then they have memories., and the screen fades leaving us all devastated.

It is true that there is no God in either film, but morals are the smoke of God's fire. The guy and girl of Once have morals and leave each to their own loves. It is a happy ending.




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