Tuesday, 5 April 2016

REVIEW - EDDIE THE EAGLE (DEXTER FLETCHER)


There will always be someone better than you. No matter what the discipline, in some way, at some time, you will be at best second best. It's something I didn't even need to learn as a musician, since it was already ingrained in my character - I'd watch performers whose skill was so far ahead of mine, my gut response was to just give up altogether. But watching those performers who were content in the knowledge that there would always be someone better? Those who were happy with what they could achieve, relative only to their own expectations of themselves, who valued more what their efforts brought to them than to anyone else? They were the true inspirations to me. It's the ultimate cliche that an uplifting comedy such as Eddie the Eagle would bring to its audience a quaint little life lesson like that, but its earnestness (itself a perfect fit for this most unpretentious of protagonists) and its concurrent lack of seriousness make an already pleasing point all the more palatable. The moralising isn't condescending, which is quite the accomplishment, given that there's little as condescending as being praised for one's mediocrity. Eddie the Eagle is a modest, unpretentious production itself, however, which brings it neatly in line with the values it upholds; early scenes of Eddie's youth in working class Cheltenham steer clear of poking fun at either this character or his lifestyle, feeling made from the same social perspective. The whole film is a thumb nose at snobbish thumb-nosing, and thus all in great spirit, which gives a real boost to an otherwise fairly average enterprise. It's enormously winning, even if its main character is not. It's content to be at best second best, and in reality much lower still, and that's inspiration enough for me.