Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Notting Hill – the movie

I just completed watching Notting Hill for the nth time on one of the movie channels that does repeats regularly, and, naturally I had to write about it.

It’s hard not to like the film, and having seen this so many times I think its one of the few films that can give one so much pleasure and relaxation as it did when you saw it the first time.

Everyone from the characters, the lines, the situations, the music, the visuals, and of course the locales were just bang on.  And the actors, each one from the concierge at the Ritz (who gets kissed by the Jap) to the lead players Hugh and Julia, were just pitch perfect.

And here’s the thing about simple films, especially simple lines and situations – they are the hardest to make. But here the effort shows in such lovely clarity, you just absolutely love the final product.

Aldomovar says about his films, that there’s always one pivotal scene or maybe a couple which form the core of the film and he toils over them, driving the players crazy, rehearsing, re-rehearsing and reshooting till that one comes out perfect. 

Its similar for Notting Hill, and in this case it’s of course the one when Julia walks back to him to give him the original Chagall painting, and the more I see it you notice the editing, the places where they might have stopped and spliced, and re-arranged some – but it still holds out so perfectly – especially Julia’s dialogues were absolutely the best delivered by her as yet.

This film has to make it to my faves – with plenty of others.  One of my friends had earlier asked me how can I re-read a book or watch a film all over again.  And the plain and simple response really was, wouldn’t you like to meet your friends again?

My favourite line from the movie (OK one of them) which stands out is ‘Happiness is not Happiness, without a violin playing goat’.  God bless Chagall – I hope he discovered Happiness, and also realised how much happiness he’s passed on to the rest of the world with that lovely painting….

This is really like re-discovering that good friend all over again. You watch the movie, the jokes are still fresh and bring about a smile – you almost say ‘Hi' when you see some of the loved characters come on screen, from Spike to Hugh’s sister. And like the mastercard says – having your friend give you an unexpected pleasant surprise – its Just priceless!!

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