I'm going to swim against the tide and officially declare that there is nothing on my calendar today. I am only as busy as I choose. Of course there is laundry and meals, and probably some cleaning, but no appointments or events that are set to a clock. Knowing this, I worked quite late for a Friday in the office so it was nearly seven by the time I reached home, and the rest of the family were already engrossed in a football game or hanging with friends. I took the evening for myself and grabbed a bit of supper, a Bud Light 'Rita drink, followed by two more, and hopped on Netflix.
I found a movie in the new release queue titled, Night Train to Lisbon.
The movie stars Jeremy Irons as a divorced, self described pretentious but boring school teacher, that uncharacteristically finds himself in Lisbon searching for clues and answers about the life of a writer. The movie is told in flashbacks by various people he meets, all part of the 1970's Portuguese Resistance movement. It is a mystery, a political commentary, and a lost love story all in one, set in Lisbon, a city I had no idea was so stunningly picturesque. The writer, and lead character in the flashback is the handsome and charismatic Amadeau Pradu, a doctor by training, and a dreamer in practice, out to live life to the fullest. Iron's character, Gregorius, hopes by learning more about Amadeau, he can know what it was like to be him, to know the kind of passion and zest for living he felt. I won't give away the ending, but there are a few twists. Originally a book, it is a slow, but engaging story. I plan to add to my winter reading list.
I like a movie that makes you think. While a bit over dramatic in times, the narrative Amadeau penned is a challenge to the reader, or in my case now, the viewer, to not settle for a second rate life. We have limited hours on the earth and a responsibility to make the most of those days. Some may be offended in his interpretation of the afterlife of being a never ending dullness, without excitement, and that death, is what makes truly living possible. I tend not to read too much into a fictional story, and can separate enjoying characters beliefs from my own.
Gregorius's actions intrigue me. The idea of taking hold of bits and pieces of information, and trying to solve a mystery is intriguing. I am fascinated with people and the differences in how people live their lives. I love to people watch, particularly when out of town, as I assume, that person must live so differently than me. My daughters think I am just plain nosy. Maybe I am. With everyone talking loud cell phones in public, you can't help but overhear bits and pieces of information that if you think about, help create a little story to ponder. In Night Train, Gregarious goes many steps farther and dives into the detail of the authors life. Who were his friends? What became of the various people he wrote about? Why did Amadeau feel he had to live so hard? Why have I lived such a boring and uninteresting life, and is it too late to make changes?
Who knows, the next time I end up with a second hand book, written by an unknown author in a place and time I haven't been to, maybe I'll be jumping on a plane or train too. I like the possibility.