A film rich on the veranda of the flashback method of film script, Fred Schepisi the writer of same seems to serve a clever curve ball at the balcony of every scenario. The element of mystery, strangely orbits around the axis of an England precipice. Michael Caine (Jack Dodds) at home during an undercurrent of genteel & warm English countryside city & then some later farm visuals, as a matter of course though he confronts a friend whose ashes must under the prior wishes of Dodds go on a trip in a car and find some viable transportation, all of his favorite elder buddies onboard. One of them who frowned upon the luck of Jack Dodds & he propounds of himself as a lucky numbers winner – Eventually gives in to the sport, and for a brief time, a bitter sweet and brief love affair between the wife of Dodds & his own best male friend had gone on. The two visit the touched love child, whom Dodds & his beloved sweetheart and now wife bore years ago, who banished to a life of a mental institute, all of her life. By the shock of her own father, the girl, June, who depicted at the elder age of the couple by the age of 50, has still never really healed from the autistic condition. Amy Dodds (Helen Mirren), her natural mother (of June) shows her such love, and reminds her daughter who only stares blankly ahead as she plays with stuffed animals that she does love her daughter so – Cups the chin of June upon her palm and communicates her expression of her love for the young woman. June is representative of the consummate reflection of the perfect love between the man and his wife of many years.
Ashes to ashes, the thesis of the ashes form one thought. He wonders what scatter means. Only Fred Schepisi (the writer of the film script) used his God given talent to make the delivery of an honored dead man proper. Despite one of the buddies of the dead man continually using everything from lavatory time to lunch & a hungry belly to stop at each pub he spies along the road – Once the men meander out past the farm where the man & his wife first conceived the daughter, while taking a break from hop shearing, the desired journey to the monument of both World Wars I. & II. shows flashbacks of how the young couple formed a relationship together while courting there. The tomb of the Unknown (English) Soldiers appears on the horizon of the still green pasture where a very young and innocent boy & his beloved once frolicked and played. Despite the young love, the thing they felt for each other was real love. Based on the book by Graham Swift, the author won The Booker Prize for the novel this movie is about, while the film won Best Ensemble Performance.
At the doorway of Tucker & Sons Funeral Directors, “He’s not just in a box, is he?” Asks his friend complete with British accent, and the English version of the American Ed Asner. Scotch, the symbolic chutney Scottish drink of the day at the pub of departure, the men speak of stories each of them shared with the powder in a square, oblong box. Amy, the elder widow of the deceased who spent a lifetime on the edge of love for the man, described as patronizing toward him all of her life, climbs atop, and then to the very top of a double-decker (London bus which boasts two-stories). A film steeped, only Earl Grey himself may had dubbed more of a sense of the abolition of the rapture of the choice of the date of departure and the rhythm of the just departed as timely. Something fresh, at first unveiled, tender men whose by now upper class stature after years of struggling small shop & factory style, a few of them emerge as business men, the distinction about destiny made at the height of the social singing portion of pub time, the men all break out in a chorus of Blue Bayou, usually best sung by female American pop-singer, Linda Rondstadt, but actually written by Roy Orbison:
Saving nickels, saving dimes, working ’till the sun don’t shine.
Looking forward to happier times on Blue Bayou.
I’m going back some day come what may to Blue Bayou,
Where you sleep all day and the catfish play on Blue Bayou.
The maddening crowd calls the men out though, and soon they are ready to complete the journey. Lennie (David Hemmings) and Vic Tucker (Tom Courtenay) make a comment about life which must be watched and heard more than spoken. It is 1939 and as the flash dream of film style story-telling began, the tale wraps around and back to daughter June, and her now 50th birthday. The slow and emotional bathing of film stillness expunges upon the philosophy of life once made by her father. That only minutes ago, he had no thought of life or anything. And now news of the death of one of the men, a film which gifts the observer more by watching. At a park bench, his wife chats to his best friend about her husband could not accept his own daughter.