Sunday, 24 January 2016

Not Suspending Disbelief.

I watched a clip from the film Troy on YouTube last night. It was a scene in which Brad Pitt – who must have been a Greek because he came from over there somewhere – engaged in a fight to the death with some other bloke – who must have been a Trojan because he came from inside the city where he’d just made his baby cry by saying goodbye to it (which had me wondering whether the dastardly director had devised some diabolical deed to effect the required reaction… But I digress.)

The point is, I couldn’t take it seriously. And you know why? Because Brad Pitt crops up everywhere, especially in news pages reporting the fact that his latest co-star has just become his seventeenth wife, or he’s been arrested in Australia for being in possession of an offensive hairstyle, or something or other equally trivial. He’s one of those people who’s impossible to ignore because the brain dead media won’t allow it, while other brain dead people hold him up as the standard by which to judge what it takes to be regarded as truly successful. In short, he’s famous to the point of being irritatingly ubiquitous.

So I watch this scene in which I’m supposed to believe that he’s a legendary Greek warrior. Only I don’t see a legendary Greek warrior; what I see is an overpaid, overexposed, rather pretty young man who’s probably been in make up since 4am having his hair styled, and who is now responding to the director’s instruction to ‘give me lots of swagger and do mean.’ I see a film star, not a warrior.

It seems that most other people see it differently, which only serves to illustrate that most other people are prepared to suspend disbelief rather more easily than I am. And does it matter? I suppose not. But it does make me wonder whether the modern media and modern film stars are engaged in a process which will ultimately prove to be mutually destructive.

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