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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Flying High With Eddie The Eagle: Part 1

Last weekend, I went to the cinema to see the movie "Eddie The Eagle." I'm not all that interested in Skiing, let alone Ski Jumping. For that matter, I not all that interested in the Olympic Games. But of all the movies currently in release, the trailer made me want to see it. It made me smile. It made me laugh. And, as it looked like a British film, I suppose that hooked me as well.

The movie began with an unexpected bonus: a short segment in which actors Taron Egerton, who played title character Michael Edwards, and Hugh Jackman, who played his coach Bronson Peary, thanked viewers for watching their movie, and hoped that we enjoyed it as much as they enjoyed making it. Then the filmmakers whisked us off to England, where we meet Michael, a boy who dreams of one day competing in the Olympics.

Just like the preview, the film endeared me to Michael Edwards, whose tireless attempts to become an Olympic athlete won him the moniker "Eddie the Eagle." As with the preview, I smiled, laughed, and, okay, perhaps my eyes even got a little moist at times. (I did not cry! I never cried)! I walked out feeling like I had seen a good, heartwarming movie. I also felt inspired by "Eddie's" example: how he gave up everything else in his life in the pursuit of his fondest, lifelong dream.

That evening, my enjoyment of the movie inspired me to research "Eddie's" life. In doing so, I learned that his life differed in a great many respects from that depicted in the film. While Edwards' dreams of Olympic glory, and his achievements, were true enough, most of the film was fiction. There was no Bronson Peary in Edwards' life, although he was trained by two Americans. But they trained him in Calgary, not Germany, as depicted in the film. In short, I discovered so many differences between the film and his biography that I wondered how much of the film was real. I felt a little let down by "Eddie The Eagle." Then I thought: not only did I enjoy the film, but it helped me learn about the man, and thus his even more interesting story.

What do you think? Should a biopic hove as true to actual events as possible? Or should it be fictionalized, using forms and strictures designed to tug at our hearts, and inspire us to work a little harder to achieve our own dreams?

Dragon Dave

Related Internet Link
Hollywood Vs History: The Real Eddie The Eagle

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