Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Upon a spider's web

The Elephant Man: Another one which is brilliant, but it's hard to find something to say that isn't trite. I suppose what I liked best was, first, the complicated moral problem: the doctors may have been giving Merrick a better life than he had at the freak-show, but it was still exploitation, and yet, was there any situation in Victorian Britain that Merrick could be in which is not exploitative (the real-life Merrick joined the freak-show voluntarily, the reason being that he couldn't get any other kind of work)? Secondly, though, was the triumph of the human spirit: faced with such a no-win situation, Merrick rises above everyone else in the story, finding good even in the people who come to sneer at him. What a hero.

Movie count for 2009: Room 101