Monday, February 25, 2008
National Treasure - The book of dickheads
So the Oscars came and went, and amid the genuine success of Glen 'I once spilt a bottle of champagne all over National Disgrace in Whelans' Hansard, I was drawn inevitably to the subject of National Disgrace, the movie. I have sat on the screenplay for a long time, due in part to my lack of furniture, but also to a fetish for feeling paper on my arse. Described by those who read it as equal parts Rain Man, Chariots of Fire and Emanuele 17- The tale of the erotic paraplegic, I have been urged to put my pain to celluloid for so long that I'm thinking it might be time to brush up on my Oscar speech.
The story writes itself. The tale of an early thirties Lothario, in reflective mood as he awakes early one Monday morning, tied up in Caroline Morahans basement. Fearing his days numbered, he seeks redemption through re-imagining his memories. Scene by scene, it's an almost facsimile of the many tales of the man who was once described as the 'Pele of Hockey'. Clint Eastwoond, playing Papa Disgrace and Halle Berry as Mama Disgrace, feature heavily in the formative years, as the young Disgrace is seen warding off GAA recruiters, local paedophiles and pimples. Disgraces two sisters, ably played by the Culkin brothers, make an appearance in the shocking 'beat our little brother with a hoover' scene, an episode which will plague the mature Disgrace for the rest of his life. The man behind the Fake, Mr Fakey McFake's appearance in 1983 as 'the cunt who was playing with my fisher price garage when I came home from school one day' is played by the ever versatile Cate Blanchett, and later, in more recent times, by Prince.
Disgraces teen years, a whirlwind of upheavals, leaving certs and covert masturbation, forms the backbone of the movie, as the audience are given front row seats on the birth of a hero. The puberty period is an abstract scene, courtesy of Michel Gondry and will simply consist of a cat licking a block of cheese for 14 minutes. As I cannot remember most of my 20's, this time is briefly touched upon with tender images of the people who shared this difficult time. I won't name names, due largely to respect but also to an ongoing Gardai investigation but there
was a certain half Spanish lady who was a wonderful influence to Disgrace and a former Pizza Hut employee who I'll never understand.
The main action scenes centre around the period 2001-2007. Choreographed by the guys behind riverdance and Jean Claude Van Damme, the maturing disgrace bounces from emotional car crash to humourous car crash with the swagger of a corpse in a riptide. The most recent Mrs Disgrace, portrayed on screen by a computer generated half mix of Bridget Bardot and Pee Wee Herman, takes over the narration at this stage and waxes lyrical about the person she simply knew as 'a Disgrace'.. At this stage, this confusing, but enthralling mix of musical, comedy and snuff, reaches it's apex. Dressed only in Pajama bottoms, and holding a tennis racquet National Disgrace somehow finds himself in the basement of a Ms Morahan and he suddenly realises he's had enough..
And that's where Woody Allen takes over