Thursday, March 19, 2009

Movies I Love: Somewhere In Time

Somewhere In Time (1980)

Few movies be them new or old, have ever actually moved me, like emotionally moved me to the point I honestly feel that I am a changed person for having watched them. One of those movies is the cult followed but often forgotten or overlooked "Somewhere In Time", its mostly known to the movie world as the movie Christopher Reeves used to follow up the insane hit Superman with, and because of that, its remembered as being a complete and utter flop at the box office. But as most cult and true classics they didn't really became renounced until their coming to vhs or in some cases until dvd. Somewhere In Time always had followers, the sappy and those who love a good love story and such, but in recent years its become the favor of classic movie lovers. Though thats in part to the somewhat alike movie "The Lake House" another misunderstood but beautiful in its own way film from 2006.

Here is the basic plot of the movie quickly before I go into detail. In 1972 a playwrite named Richard Collier is at a party after a play of his opens to rave reviews, a rich old woman walks up to him, hands him a pocket watch and says "come back to me." much to his puzzlement. Move ahead 8 years, Richard by chance finds himself at a hotel called "The Grand Hotel" and becomes entranced by a strangely captivating photograph of a mysterious, beautiful young woman, with some asking around and finally a conversation with a man named Arthur Biehl, who's lived at the hotel most of his life, he discovers the woman is Elise McKenna, a famous early 20th-century stage actress. After doing more research on her, he discovers she was the woman who gave him that pocket watch in 1972, he also discovers that she died only hours after giving him that watch. This leads Richard to a local professor and down a path thats abit sci fi but also was based on an actual book released around the time the movie was written and is ment to take place.

The theory is basically this, though hypnotic suggestion, and surrounding one's self with things of a certain time period, one can effectively convince themselves they are in whatever time period they wish. Meaning if you were to lay on a bed in a room that has not changed sense say, 1960, and you were dressed and had your hair styled and everything down to the way they wore clothing and such in 1960, though a recording thats constantly repeating "you are in the year 1960, everything is at it was in the year 1960.." repeatedly, you will close your eyes and after awhile, you will apparently time travel back to that year. Yes I know the theory makes no sense at all and is basically complete crap, and never did lead to any actual claims of time travel by anyone that had the book, but, it makes for good sci fi love story plot device fodder, so just do the fireball theory and toss real world science out the window for a minute eh?

So the next bit of the movie involves Richard going around buying things that are original to the year 1912, the year and date that Elise came to The Grand Hotel, which also happens to be just about a day or so before the picture of her that hangs in the hotel. He sets about getting himself to work on this time travel business. He lays on the bed in a room which he found to have a man who's name and signature match his exactly, and after hiding his tape recorder and getting into his fresh to death 1912 gear, he gives it a try. And, as one would be led to believe in a movie of this nature, he actually does it.

From there the movie follows the love affair that Richard and Elise share, it follows them through her days acting out a play at the hotel's theater, to their time alone and how they just seem to connect, feeling as if they've known each other their whole lives and were just ment to be, its a beautiful story of love and how there is always someone out there for each of us, even if they lived before we were born, it plays alot on that conceptual idea about love as a whole, one that most don't like to read about or think about given the depressing nature of it. The movie is, as its ment to be, the ultimate story of love beats all, even time and reality. The movie comes to its bittersweet end when Richard drops a penny out of his pocket from 1980 which he was to use as his "Return ticket", the idea being looking at an object from the time you left is to bring you back to your original time period, which it does much to his and Elise's dismay. He tries and tries and tries to return but can't, you see him in 1980 in a frenzy trying to get back but can't, in 1912 you see Elise screaming and crying and whaling over his seemingly dead body, its a very heartbreaking scene.

The movie ends with Richard dying of a broken heart in the room he stayed in. He didn't eat or drink or move from that spot for a week or so, and simply just died from self induced starvation. The movie implies that the whole travel through time was all in his mind, and that somehow the power of love made it reality, given the paradox created when older Elise gives young Ricahrd the pocket watch in the begining, and thats the way most of the movie's fans love to think of it. I as well enjoy that aspect.

I know that to many Somewhere In Time might seem like a corny outlandish love story that is beyond any conceptual realm of reality and not overly well written out sci fi, but honestly, it doesn't really matter, the movie is a masterwork of grandiose and over the top love acted out beautifully by young Christoper Reeves and the insanely beautiful Jane Seymour (who still is insanely beautiful at almost 60 btw... gotta love them british milfs), and really in the end, thats all that matters, the story being told and that you can honestly feel for each character, regardless of who they are, and at the end, you feel as if you've become a better person for having watched the movie. You feel as if its true, that love can beat all, even time, space and reality, and that is just the most amazing feeling. And that is why I love the movie so much, in this era of online life and love, where we can literally be anyone we went to be or anywhere or anywhen, this movie is the kind of thing that just makes you stop and see things through a wider lense. So if you feel up for it, go ahead, give the movie a try, see what happens.

Oh and as an added bonus, because finding stills from the movie are REALLY hard to find, like almost to the point a person would shoot themselves in frustration... So I shall make up for that, with this scene, which is also very hard to find, so many home made music videos.... so little actual scenes.. the net let me down.. anyway, this is the scene in the theater, which most people say is one of the best scenes in the whole movie... so.. enjoy.... sorry that it cuts off right before the picture that hangs in the grand hotel is actually taken... stupid net people...



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