Sunday, 9 March 2014

The World's End - Unfulfilled Promise?


I don't know about you, but I like my comedy straight up. I like a bit of swearing, Homer Simpson getting hit in the balls...you know, simple. I'm a simple man. A product of the 70's. Promised much in the nineties...many of us were.

Which is where the movie comes in. I don't often blog about movies, but it kind of hit the spot with me. Unfulfilled promises - not the film, that was cracking - but society didn't quite pay off, did it? Maybe it did, for some. But I don't think it worked out quite like we were led to believe.

90's, England. A new era? New music, Cool Britannia, whatever it was - it wasn't. We were sold a lie. The movie (pictured above) is about that lie, in a round-the-houses kind of way.

I went to university in the nineties. Thought I'd end up with some kind of phenomenal job, a bit of money, some fun, a little lightness in life and the world. Who sold us this lie? In the film, it's the diaphanous alien entity known as 'The Network'.

It's proper science fiction, this - social commentary wrapped in a light and breezy...utterly heartbreaking?...back story.

The main man - Gary King - is still trying to drown his 12th pint while the world is ending. It's all he's got. Nothing to live for, nothing to die for. Just a friend, a past, the memories of past glories.

'We'll always have the disabled toilets,' he says to his love disinterest at one point. Made me think - these past glories we hold onto...are they worth more than a quicky in the bog? Maybe. Probably not.

Anyway, social commentary gives me the shits. The film's great at it. Me? Not so much. It's not that I don't care. I care an awful lot. I just don't think enough people do.

We were sold a lie in the 90's. Weren't we sold that same lie with a different flavour in the 70's, the 00's?

Anyway, I think that lies are comfortable. That's why, maybe, they're so easy to swallow. Why, too, maybe, people still love the apocalyptic fiction that tickles the masses.

We hanker, in a way, to get back to something simple. Something, ultimately, honest. Family. Food that our bodies can actually digest. Five minutes without being at the beck and call of a 'Smart Phone'.

Fiction paints this well, over and over, and that, too, is beguilling. King's protagonists in The Stand, getting back to basics. Nevill's The Ritual, McCammon in Swan Song - time and time again, fiction draws us into the beauty of the simple life, of the plain pleasure of eating when we're hungry, and not when we're bored.

Yes, modern life can be comfortable - health care, pharmaceuticals on tap, panaceas for all our ills...

I guess my point is, how many of those ills are caused, in fact, by this lauded modern life?

Well, I'm logging off. I'm going to toast Wright and Pegg (who penned The World's End) and celebrate with a poignant beer, and hopefully remember that humans aren't cattle. We're beligerent, and we are more trouble than we're worth.

Anyway, go watch the film, then perhaps this might make sense. But probably not. I'm on pint number twelve.

Love you. x