Set in Edwardian England where upper lips are always stiff and men from the Colonies are not entirely to be trusted, Fisk Senior has little time or affection for his son, but when the pair visit an eccentric Indian, they start a strange journey that eventually allows the old man to find his heart.
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Each Thursday, a man approaching middle age calls upon his father, aged, caustic, nihilistic, and emotionally distant, perhaps from the loss of a son in the Boer War and his wife soon after. On this day, the son suggests they attend a visiting guru's lecture on the transmigration of souls. There they chat with a vicar and a soldier of fortune; dinner follows. Over glasses of Hungarian Tokay, the vicar, Dean Spanley, tells a story of friendship, freedom, and reincarnation. In what earthly way could this tale connect father and son? Written by
Peter O'Toole said the use of comedy to explore the relationship between a father and son was part of what attracted him to the film. He remarked: "All of us had difficult familial relationships. I think it's a film for all of us who understand the relationship between a father and son. It's been interesting watching various members of the crew looking at the monitors during scenes. They come up to me then and say "I had the same thing with my father." See more »
Now, there is a lecture by one Swami Nala Prash. About the transmigration of souls.
Poppycock! Think if we had souls they wouldn't get in touch? 'course they would! Think your mother wouldn't be on to me about that garden? 'course she would!
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To mis-quote Tokaji's description - film of kings and king of films
Like a fine wine this film moves its way around the palette. Roles are superbly under-played; silence replaces explosion, wry smile for laughter, lingering looks without raised eyebrows. This is a play of manners, a perfectly pitched study in to the calm veil that shields all from underlying raw emotions.
What's it about? Well it has men, women, dogs and wine; it is set in Edwardian England, and if having watched it you think its about man's best friend, then please avoid having children, let your genes stop with you.
To me Dean Spanley was like one of those magic eye pictures; where you may stare for a long time before the mind relaxes and lets you realise what you are looking at - and in this case it is a real work of art.
Be warned this is a deceptively powerful story - take tissues.
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