Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
There are films that go beyond films. Documentaries that go beyond documentaries. This, is one of those rare films.
On the face of it, it doesn't seem like it. At the start, I was obviously aware that I was watching Coogan and Reilly. As the film went on, that didn't matter any more. It told the story of two legends of cinema.
We are all too used, these days, to fame and the trappings and riches they can bring. Fame in the modern age is seen as shallow and worthless. However, in the time of Laurel and Hardy, things were different; and the people behind this were something special.
The film is set up with Delfont being the greedy one after the money, and Stan and Ollie actually caring about their fans, their art and the joy they bring to people; despite the rough treatment they received from some quarters.
In real life, Laurel is said to have his number available in the phone book so that people could readily call him, and it is said that he spent a lot of time on the phone to those that wanted to connect with him, especially in those closing years.
Hardy's health is reported to have cost him the small fortune that he made while alive, and both died in less than fairy tail circumstances.
The film ends with their love of their fans, of each other, and giving their style of joy to those who loved their shows. The obvious crescendo at their last performance together in Ireland, is a key point in the film which pays tribute to the gift that they gave humanity through their work.
"It was fun while it lasted, wasn't it Stan? I'll miss this when we're gone."
Ollie, facing serious ill health, still giving his last on the stage, with the pair of them never to perform again.
This film does more than simply tell their story. I view it as a final recognition of the pain and effort that went into their career together, and a, "thank you," for the legacy of laughter that they left us.