Coming to terms with life’s disappointments is made easier when the load is shared. At first glance Arthur (Terence Stamp) presents as the classic grumpy old man. He has nothing good to say and takes cheap shots wherever he can.
Resigned to habitual cynicism, Arthur sustains his own level of certainty, unyielding in his commitment to fight for what he knows and save face at all costs. Though challenged for life, Marion is full of life and willing to take risks, while Arthur staunchly maintains focus on his quest to protect others from making mistakes, “If you want to make a fool of yourself, that’s up to you”.
As the film unravels, so does Arthur, revealing his own brand of love and protection for his beloved wife, Marion (Vanessa Redgrave), evidenced in conversation with Marion’s choir leader Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) “I just don’t want her to get her hopes up and get let down, when you don’t get picked” (for the competitions). Arthur is duly provided with many an opportunity to learn the sentiment of Elizabeth’s response. “It’s not about winning or losing. That’s not why we’re doing it”.
This film delicately investigates the impact of our closely held beliefs on each other, providing comfort in the knowledge that when we choose from our hearts, it’s never too late to make a change for the better. Vanessa Redgrave delivers with absolute charm, all the complexities of a mother wanting the best for everyone in her life.
We all have something valuable to contribute and it is the sum of the collective that yields true beauty in life, aptly presented in a poem for Marion, written by fellow choir member, “…the thing about Marion was she gave us the strength to carry on”.
The immense power of film to drive messages of hope and healing to promote resolution was truly brought home to me in ‘Song for Marion’. That, plus the need for a box of tissues!
© Patricia Herreen 2013