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The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon has been living in Mexico for two years, working as a tourist guide for a cut-rate travel agency. Shannon lost his church and was defrocked after taking liberties with one of his parishioners. He's now accompanying a group of middle-aged ladies from Texas whose leader, Judith Fellowes, is keeping a close eye on her teenage ward, Charlotte Goodall, who definitely has an interest in the former priest. After Charlotte and Shannon spend the night together, Fellowes is out to have him fired and to keep her from communicating with his employer, Shannon strands them at a remote hotel run by his good friend Maxine Faulk. It's the arrival of Hannah Jelkes and her elderly grandfather that has the greatest impact however. Her approach to life and love forces Shannon to deal with his demons and re-evaluate his life. Written by
First, you must understand the nature of Night of the Iguana. The story centers on Shannon (Burton), a life-long preacher caught in a philosophical crisis. His humanity clashes with his theology and leaves havoc in its wake. Removed from his position in a quiet Texas community after an affair with an underage girl, he takes a job in Puerto Vallarta as the tour guide for a rickety bus full of pious old women and one manipulative nymph (Lyon). Shannon is tortured by the girl's advances and finally gives in--only to be found out by her bullish chaperone. To save his job, Shannon hijacks the bus and takes the ladies to a remote motel high on the mountain, run by his ex-flame, Maxine (Gardner). Max is a bawdy, hard-drinking, hard-loving gal, not too keen on the new arrivals. She harbors an unrequited love for Shannon, however, so relents. Within moments of the troop's arrival, two stragglers also enter: Hannah (Kerr) is a penniless watercolor painter who, with her aged grandfather, Nonno--a supposedly renowned oral poet--travels from place to place selling their wares. They wearily hike up the mountain and plead for board, offering to paint or recite poetry to earn their keep.
As the characters struggle with their passions, their pride, and their self-definition, egos break and walls come down, exposing the underbelly of the human situation. They grapple with the questions and desires that plague us all. Who am I? Do my actions define me or do my thoughts? Why am I here? The answers come in ten-fold, and in a poignant moment, Kerr reveals our purpose on Earth: To connect with each other. To help each other through each day. To meet, to see, hear, and feel, and share what we have experienced. This is the meaning of life. Totall riveting. Especially if you travel to Puerto Vallarta and put these questions to the test.
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