Saturday, February 17, 2007

An Officer And A Gentleman

The year is 1982, when my parents were newlyweds, the Berlin wall was still erect, I was still far from born, and Richard Gere was still young and heartbreakingly handsome. Well, I'm a guy, but when someone of the same sex looks good, like it or not you just have to admit it.

Gere plays Zack Mayo, a troubled young man who had been raised (and often neglected) by his whore-chasing father, and decided to join the U.S. Navy in the hope of having a better future. His life was not made easy with the existence of Sergeant Foley at the barracks who had his eyes on Mayo all the damn time, and whose blood was "as red as his".

Enters Paula, a young and beautiful seductress with whom he fooled around on off-days, who fell in love with him the moment their eyes met. She knew that once they graduate, Navy guys would forget the girls they fool around with, and throw them away the way they throw their berets in the air. But Paula stayed with him to see if she would be proven wrong.

When I read the synopsis of this film, I thought it was going to be every bit as cheesy as all the other love stories. Two people meet, hate each other, one thing brings them back together, starts to fall in love, all the way to happy ending. The ingredients of all Bollywood films, with beautiful actors and great songs for aesthetic values (and to make people forget they have actually watched the same kind of film a zillion times before).

But this is not the case for "An Officer And A Gentleman". 15 minutes into the film, I knew I was wrong and I knew I was going to love it. And I did. Richard Gere was awesome as Mayo. I love his expressions. He started out slow, weak and indecisive. He ended up standing and walking tall, determined and composed, as a Navy officer should be. When he found his best friend, Sid, dead in the motel bathroom (Sid committed suicide after Lynette rejected his marriage proposal), he cried and said "you shoulda told me, you shoulda told me.." It touched me so deeply and I was really close to tears but I ended up smiling. You know, I'm that guy who laughs in the cinema when everybody else is sobbing. Not that I'm not moved, it's just that that's the most effective way to not let the sad scenes get to you.

And in the training weeks, during which time Mayo endured a hell, Sergeant Foley threatened to kick him out of the program, and he screamed "I have nowhere else to go, I have nowhere else. I have nothing." It was heartbreaking, and I could really feel his pain. See, it was that powerful.

I guess there's no harm giving away the ending, as I'm like one of the few people who haven't watched the movie until just now. When Mayo came to the paper factory, kissed Paula on the neck, lifted her up and took her away, I thought it was a little soap opera-ish, but come to think of it, it's actually the perfect, beautiful ending. I couldn't come up with a better one. And the song "Up Where We Belong" was also as beautiful. I smiled all the way until the credits stopped rolling.

The final scene is in fact, a really popular one. I remember having seen it in one episode of Friends, but I had a hard time placing it. Then, I took a shot, and got it right. It was in "The One With The Chicken Pox", where Ross showed up at the coffee house in a Navy suit and lifted Rachel up, with the music of "Up Where We Belong" playing. It's good to finally know the origin of that particular scene which now I find so friggin' funny.

Zack Mayo lifting Paula up and took her out of the shabby factory into a bright future.

Ross lifting Rachel up in Friends, but just when he was taking her out, she forgot something and Ross' back was hurting, so he had to put her down. Nice parody.

All in all, this is a truly enjoyable film and it's arguably my best film of this week (it even beats "Dead Poets Society" and "Naked Gun".)


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nong said...

dude, since you love spanish movies so much, make time to watch pan's labyrinth by mexico's guillermo del toro. seronok giler. so entertaining, and if you care to think deeper, it can be an analogy of many things. also check out cronos by the same director. mexican directors are hot!peliculas sangat

TheBigKahuna said...

haha.. sebenanye dah tgk dah pun pan's labyrinth tu.. terasa cam tgk cite Alice in the Wonderland versi gelap dan myeramkan.. tak tau la kalo skrin pc aku yg terlebih2 gelap..

aku mmg suke ngan mexican directors.. erm, pelicula tu maksudnye "filem". adekah ko sebenarnye nak cakap "caliente sangat"?

nong said...

aku tau peliculas tu maknanya filem...aku gunakan perkataan tu untuk gantikan 'pelik'.

kahkahkahuna lembab

nong said...

ko dah tengok 'the others' ke belum?

gentel caliente aku

TheBigKahuna said...


"peculiar" pun maksudnye pelik gak.. jadi baek ko gune pkataan tuh, nampak lebey elegan dan hi class

TheBigKahuna said...

isk.. the others cam x best je.. aku tak suke kebanyakan filem nicole kidman

nong said...

ye ye aje engko tau apa yg elegant dan hi class.

the others best siot! peliculas bin ajaib

TheBigKahuna said...

hmm ok aku donlod skang gak. ko tak rase ke nicole kidman tu muke cam kucing plastik. tgk blakon pon smacam je. aku suke die dalam Eyes Wide Shut je hAHAHah..

meh aku gentel caliente ko... isk lucah bin porno.

nong said...

pepek wide open tak suka lah. pretentious. ko memang suka part bogel dia jer kan.

muka kidman tu memang pelik sebab surgery kan. buatan orang. tapi dia pandai berlakon ape. 'birth', 'the hours' kan best. tp aku rasa the others is her best work so far.

jgn lupa y tu mama tambien (naik semangat normadiah engko tgk cite ni nanti, byk bogel) dan the motorcycle diaries. tp bukan mexican la director dia, spanish kot.

TheBigKahuna said...

aku memule x suke gak cite eyes wide shut tu. tp bler tgk balik, teringat kat buku da vinci code, part yang ade pasal kumpulan cult tu.. baru paham cite tu pasal ape.

aku rase y tu mama tambien tu macam bebudak je. nak bandingkan dengan amores perros, cite tu memang jauh berbeda la.. hehe.. aku suke, tp xde la rasa best gile babi..

motorcycle diaries tu cite argentina, tp pelakon die pelakon mexican, jadi accent dier dalam citer tu ade sikit kurang la plak. semacam je. tak natural.. pastu citer tu panjang abis. aku tengok sambil makan, smayang, buat hwork, main bola, pn x abis2

maberik said...

tengok Thesis. film debut Alejandro Amenabar(The Others,Mar Adentro). bogel ada, ultraviolence pun ada. boleh buat modal.

Eyes Wide Shut tak best?farkin philistine. haha

Mr. Moki said...

Aku dah tgk dah citer ni... kat astro... dah lama dah dulu... taun lepas kot... mmg sedih gak la...

fadz said...

An officer and a gentleman...eeeeeeee...Aku tak tau ngape zaman2 ni aku suka sangat kat John Carpenter, dari starman hinggalah prince of darkness

TheBigKahuna said...

zaman2 tu aku tak idup lagi. tapi 4 hari lepas aku ngan member2 tengok citer The Thing, kami sepakat kata cite tu bodoh dan tak best dan tak seram hahaha... Ape yg best nye ek Jogn Carpenter? Kalo tengok time kanak2 ye la kot..

maberik said...

shittt...gue suka banget dengan The Thing!antara filem horror feveret. very atmospheric, and gory. nak apa lagi dlm filem horror? tak kisahla kalau effect dia nampak cheesy, tapi sesuai la dgn zamannya tu.