Friday, May 26, 2017

Manglehorn: A Review and Self-Realization (updated, 11/11/17)

If you know me, you'll know that I LOVE Al Pacino.  Scarface is my top, favorite film of all time (a nora "fun fact," I'm actually related to the guy killed with the chainsaw.  He's my blood paternal grandmother's cousin's kid). ANYWAY, sea of love, the devil's advocate, panic in needle park, and so on, Pacino, is, hands down, my absolute favorite male actor.  I think I kind of look like him too, especially when he played Jack Kevorkian (I'm debating posting an actual pic), and my kids concur.  Suffice to say, this is why I picked up the Manglehorn DVD when I came across it in Ollie's, a bargin bin shop.  I had never heard of it, but figured, PACINO, and holly hunter, how bad could it be?  How bad?  Let me tell you, it is one of his best films. 

Pacino plays a character named Angelo Manglehorn, which in actuality, you don't even find out his first name until just about the end of the film, but it's important.  Now, I had watched it several times before even concluding what I am about to share.  I initially couldn't stop watching it because of the soundtrack.  I found myself having to hear the beat, rhythm of this one song, Candy Walls by Tr/st (or Trust) over and over.

Here's what I concluded; the viewer can see Manglehorn is actually a good guy, though torn, with God and his slight refuting of, coming up often.  The premise of the film is that he is longing for an old love he sent away, Clara.  He pines for her, writing to her daily, for the letters to only return back to him.  And this has gone on for decades, definitely since his own son, who we see is now a grown man in his mid 30's, was a child.   Manglehorn is clearly a man of deep regret, yet, brutally honest.  Actually, now that I think of it, maybe that's how he came to realize his own regret of throwing away his "true love."  You know, because sometimes it's easier to lie to yourself, than to live within the truth, albeit unhealthy ( a scene with his son, later in the film proves this - either getting honest with yourself and the choices you've made, or lie to yourself). However, not all is bad about Manglehorn as other characters within the film, are often sharing their stories of Manglehorn doing odd, yet beautiful, miraculous things such as curing animals.

Here's what I took from it, like I said, after several times viewing; Manglehorn = mangled horn.  What do angels have often when depicted?  Horn instruments.   He IS angry, not really at the world, more at himself for throwing away his love.  He seems grumpy, angry, yet when it comes to animals and kids, his love clearly shines through.  Also, aforementioned, others who know him as a grumpy, angry, remorseful man, also know, acknowledge and discuss his healing, miraculous side.  No one ever seems to forget those moments, rather they seem to dismiss his negative behaviors.

It was this, the stories of his healings, which then made me realize, manglehorn, is an angel (a synonym for all of us, no?).  He is an angel who is also flawed, deeply, but an angel all the same.  It is when we, the viewer are finally cued into how it was he who kept Clara "at arms length," when he rereads what is clearly, his most important treasure; a letter from Clara.  In this we finally find out his name is, Angelo, aka Angel.

Manglehorn, I feel is all of us.  We all have that angelic, inherent "magic," if you will, though cloud it with pain, remorse, GUILT, all negative energies, and then get mad at God for our own actions.  For me, I know, not a day goes by that I don't pine away for my love that I shoved away "at arm's length," too, though I don't blame God for it, but myself.  I talk myself out of this remorse by telling myself how important it was for me to give birth to my own children, something I probably wouldn't have done had I not gone and left my love.  Not that I don't wake up the next day, or even the next moment after, pining for him.  Just like Manglehorn, it never goes away, from my mind or heart.

Watching Manglehorn made me realize how similar I am to his character, in the remorse, guilt department. The pining away for someone who will never come back, yet, hoping and praying that he will.  Not that I don't love my husband, but we have a "different" relationship.  A typical, and solid love/hate relationship.  A perfect description of our relationship would be that he pains me, angers me yet, if we play Cranium, he can figure out what I am going to draw from a single line (true story).  So, he does "get me," or at least, definitely a part of me -which is better than none.  My lost love, he got me all the way.  However, I am beginning to think, maybe that Yin and Yang is a necessity (the love/hate).  And because there is not a single negative thing I can or could say about my lost love, and I don't think anyone else could either (maybe his association with van jones, LOL...I kid), then I was the negative.   So, it would have never worked.  Non lo so.  What I do know, though I'm hesitant to do, is like Manglehorn, I should probably forget it (my love), for real, and maybe, just maybe, I will get some more of my "magic," back from releasing it (remorse, guilt).  The message is; it's our own negative thoughts, energies holding us back (exactly like Father Arsenie Boca's message too).

I hope I conveyed as I intended.  If you can, definitely check out the film.  I honestly didn't give anything away, and you may not even see it as I had!

Have a good one, and blessings of Christ to all of you.

UPDATE

I could have even added this within the week I wrote this, but honestly forgot.

After decades of thinking, longing, for this person, my "lost love," daily, as soon as I wrote this, I seemed to have purged those feelings from me, immediately and completely!

It just goes to show, letting your truth out, 100%, is the best release ever.  It's why I am so pro-talking therapy.

Have a good one!

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