Thursday, 20 November 2008

Drama Queen

I'd heard of the classic film The Winslow Boy, but had never seen it. I was put off in case the story of a boy accused of stealing a postal order was too upsetting - I know, I am such a wimp. I read the script last night, however, and I really enjoyed it. Terence Rattigan wrote the play in 1946 but it is set just before the First World War. The themes are of truth, justice, family and sacrifice. The characters are all memorable, and most of them are admirable in their own way. One poignant scene comes when the older son says he has joined the Territorial Army because he knows there is "a bit of a scrap" coming up and he doesn't want to miss it. Of course from our vantage point we know just how horrific his "scrap" will be. The play was based on the real-life case of George Archer-Shee; when you realise that George did go on to die at the First Battle of Ypres in 1914, Rattigan's foreshadowing of the fate of Dickie in the play becomes even more resonant.

I went to the completely opposite extreme of drama when I then watched the film Bad Santa! The easily-offended, or even the not-so-easily offended may wish to avoid this film, plumbing as it does the depths of bad taste. The redeeming factor is that much of the film is completely hilarious. Also Billy Bob Thornton is strangely attractive in this role ... just don't watch this with your granny (not least for some of the scenes involving Granny in the film). Here is a link to a review of the film on the IMDB website.