Sunday, May 16, 2010

Movie with Abe: Looking for Eric

Looking for Eric
Directed by Ken Loach
Released May 14, 2010

“Looking for Eric” is the story of one man in search of inspiration. Eric Bishop (Steve Evets) is a middle-aged postman bored with his life and approaching problematic times, and the only way he can seem to rectify his situation is to listen to the spiritual guidance provided by real-life footballer (in America, soccer player) Eric Cantona. Through his love of soccer and the imagined help of his favorite player, the elder Eric hopes to reinvigorate his ailing life and help guide both himself and his family back on the right path.

This is a very British film, featuring old Englishmen who sit in a bar for hours a day arguing about which soccer team is best. Fortunately, the cast here is thoroughly entertaining. One of the most memorable lines is one of Eric’s mates’ threats that he plans to put up an incriminating video on BlueTube. But the best part is that they don’t care if they aren’t up to date with current technology and other happenings. The disconnect from modern society that these men posses makes them all the more endearing, as they seek to preserve ideals of tranquility in an age full of young hotheads, drugs, and violence. Eric also has to contend with those kinds of problems at home when he learns that one of his adopted sons has gotten himself in over his head with a very dangerous man.

In that regard, “Looking from Eric” is able to flow from comical troubles in Eric’s life to deathly serious ones, portraying a range of conflicts that are not entirely indistinguishable from each other. The film excels in its comedic portrayal of Eric’s follies but also manages to succeed in showcasing the dramatic events in Eric’s life. Ultimately, however, the focus of the film and the star of the show is Eric Cantona. First seen running triumphantly down a soccer field in the midst of a thrilling game, he quickly becomes established as an extremely intuitive and philosophical mentor for Eric Bishop. Having Cantona portray himself is a wickedly brilliant idea, and the often incomprehensible Frenchman is hilarious in all of the guidance he gives the other Eric. The interaction of the two and the way in which Eric Bishop looks to Eric Cantona with such admiration and devotion makes this a heartwarming journey filled with plenty of comedy and drama that culminates in a thoroughly satisfying character transformation.


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