I am in mourning.
Yes, once again I am taking things that have absolutely nothing to do with me personally. Very personally.
I was being naive.
I just thought that geeks would be different.
Brains over beauty, right?
It is not even beauty per se. It’s youth that we are competing against.
In the end, you can’t fight youth.
Well, you can, literally, if you are Simon Pegg and his merry band of old school chums in the movie “The World’s End”.
As much as I laughed at the slapsticks in this movie starring my favorite duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and my favorite reluctant detective/doctor, Martin Freeman, I now think of Pegg’s character as a Shakespearean fool. One of those tragi-comic figures who in his outrageous conduct and verbosity states the truth that nobody wants to admit.
To make it brief, Gary King (played by Pegg) peaked in high school, and he’s been behaving the same ever since, driving the same car, wearing the same long black trench coat, listening to the same mixtape, while his high school buddies moved on and over their high school glory days. It was hilarious and at moments, endearing, to watch Gary trying to hold on to the residual of their shared youth.But it also made me wince.
Gary was the King back then. A real badass. In high school. We all know how that turned out: you graduate, you get a real job, you move on. Life happens. Reality sets in. Welcome to the real, fucking, world. We all did it. We moved on.
Gary though is different. He is committed. He’s been forestalling the march of time in his own way – you know, the car, the clothing, the hair, the mixtape. He refuses to “move on”.
Is this pathetic or heroic?
I winced because I could relate to Gary and I probably should not have admitted to that. In life, it’s always the former. Only in movies and in literature would we have been convinced of the latter.
It is something to do with death and time and age. Simply: I am eighteen in my mind I am eighteen and if I do nothing if I stand still nothing will change I will be eighteen always. For always. Time will stop. I’ll never die.
Nadie Smith, NW: A Novel
[SPOILER ALERT. PLEASE STOP READING IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE AND YOU PLAN TO.]
To be honest, now that I’ve been chewing on this movie over and over in my mind, the ending of the movie depresses the heck out of me. Not because it portrayed a post-apocalyptic world… No. In fact, during the last scene of the movie, I felt happy for Gary – here he is, leader of the five musketeers. King again finally. He looked so truly fulfilled in the final freeze frame, his eyes glistening with excitement and purpose.
I find it depressing exactly because of this: that the ONLY thing that enabled Gary to defy the rules of growing up/old was literally the end of the world, that it will require a deux ex machina (an alien invasion for example) to stop life from turning into a long, drawn-out requiem for youth.