Last night, Rich and I enjoyed watching to flicks from Netflix. The main attraction was “The Wrestler” with Mickey Roake. I can see why he was nominated for an Academy Award. His acting is superb, especially in the scenes where he’s trying to fit into society and not the artificiality of the ring.
My favorite few minutes was his working the deli counter at a super market. He realizes that he has the aptitude to become more than a gladiator, paid to entertain the masses with blood, theatrics, and physical pain. I had to turn away when he participated in a horrific match where props – barb wire, staples, broken glass, bug spray, and furniture – become the third, and most barbaric and unpredictable combatant.
The ending left me ambivalent. I recognized that the character was a gentle and caring soul, but too far gone to do anything other than accept the adulation of the audience, even if it meant his ultimate demise.
Following a quick break for coffee and See’s chocolates, Rich popped in another movie – Taking Chance – and commented that he didn’t think it would be very good. Then premise of the story is simple. Chance Phelps, a 20-year old Private First Class Marine, is killed in combat in Iraq. His body is flown to Dover Air Force base. Lieutenant Colonel (LTCol) Michael Strobl volunteers to escort the body back to the Chance’s family in Dubois, Wyoming. During the trip, LtCol Strobl writes a diary about the trip.
With the permission of the family, he turns his diary entries into an article, which in turn became the movie “Taking Chance.”
The movie is straightforward, taking no political side. It is a fact-based, brutal, heart-breaking, and the type of movie that can stick with you for the rest of your life. I cried through the entire movie. Even as I write this article, my eyes are watering.
EVERYONE, especially hawkish Republicans, should see “Taking Chance.” No other movie, in my opinion, comes to chiseling away extraneous happenings and forcing you to experience the agony of war, the despair and grief of losing a child, spouse, relative, friend, or acquaintance.