Sunday, October 31, 2010

Song of Lunch

How do you act in front of an old friend whom you have not seen for 15 years? In the BBC 2010 adaptation of the Song of Lunch, Alan Rickman plays the narrator while Emma Thompson plays the woman who is a friend of the narrator. Together, they meet at an Italian restaurant where they used to date. This 50-minute drama is based on Christopher Reid's poem with the same title where he narrates each and every scene. I haven't had the chance to read the poem yet, so I don't have anything to say about it; rather, the drama I have to talk about. 

My interest was piqued when I saw that Rickman and Thompson were in this show together. Not because they were both in the Harry Potter films and played the best characters (particularly Rickman, who embodies Professor Snape wholly), but they are both talented actors who know exactly what they're doing in delivering their roles to the audience. So points for that, and for having these two powerful actors together onscreen again.

Looking at the drama as a whole, from an Asian drama fan or anime fan point of view, this is what we call a slice-of-life drama which means that the scenes and dialogues are relatable to real life; and because the stories feel real, the viewer feels for the characters as well. Plot-wise, a slice-of-life drama moves very slow, so this show is not for everyone who expect more action going on between the two leads, for all they do is talk, talk, and more talk. Oh, past and present emotions come up as well. 

Because this is a narrative poem, Alan Rickman's character (who we can call 'he') tells the story as he goes out to lunch with an old friend and from then on, conversations, old feelings, and memories came rushing back. We can hear his thoughts and see flashbacks every now and then, but the drama mostly revolve in his insights, opinions, feelings, and regrets. As a character, he doesn't give us a chance to see what Emma's character is thinking (who we can again call 'she'), but we can still see it in the actor herself, with her subtle glances and smiles. I'm glad Alan and Emma played these roles so the audience can see what the characters are like only from their faces (especially the eyes), tone of voice, and movements.

This drama is basically about regrets and moving on from the past. A feeling which I'm sure that most people can relate to. Almost everyone has made a lot of mistakes in their life, and looking back at them, we regret to think that we wish they would have not happened. But what we can do? The action has already been done, and we either learn from it or not, do it again or change it to a better one. That way, when we look back again at the same mistake we did, we won't regret it anymore and say to ourselves that we have learned our lesson. And wallowing on our past would lead to nowhere; for in order to move into the future, we must let go of the past.

But again, remorse is inevitable, just like what the male character said, he "found a treasure and threw it away".

No comments:

Post a Comment