Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thoughts on "Latter Days."

Note:  This blog posts contains spoilers for the movie under discussion.

Yesterday, I pulled out my DVD copy of Latter Days and watched it again.  I love that movie, and it seems like every time I watch it, I notice something new.  One of the things I noticed this time was when Keith (the guy Christian brought food to) grabbed Christian's arm and said all he saw was snow.  During that scene, Keith interpreted it as snow on a blank television screen.  However, I couldn't help to think of the upcoming scene outside the Salt Lake City Airport.  After all, it was snowing in that scene (and was a key point of the dialogue) and that scene was an extremely pivotal moment in Christian's (and Aaron's) life.  I don't know if the writers intended for me to make that connection, but I found it an interesting one to make, all the same.

See?  Snow!  Keith was right!
I also noticed how good some of the non-verbal acting was, this time.  Like Aaron's mother's body language and facial expressions after Christian returns the pocket watch.  She expressed so much emotion without uttering a word in those few seconds.  Or the expression on Lila's face when Aaron mentions his "brief but disastrous affair (encounter?) with a sharp object.  She communicate that perfect sense of suddenly being sure how to respond to such a revelation.  (Of course, I also like her "he's a great tipper" explanation to the two patrons who witness Christian's and Aaron's reunion.)

Of course, there's the one part of the movie that always troubles me when I see it.  It's Christians story about being rescued in the snowstorm.  I understand the scene and I know it's not meant to imply anything untoward or encourage people to infer the worst.  However, it still troubles me and in many ways wish the writers had left it out or at least done something different (not sure exactly what) with it.

Of course, given my own religious upbringing -- which was admittedly not nearly as strict as Aaron's portrayed (or many other guys' real) experiences -- let's me identify a great deal with the movie.  I get that religious tension.  I get -- though not to the severity displayed -- the idea of "giving up so much" to be with someone you love because your family and closest community considers that love to be a sham or even demonic.  I suppose that's why I cry whenever I watch the movie.

That and it's just a total emotional roller coaster of a story with an awesome ending.

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