Ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated? Last night I was at Paddington Station, coming home from seeing the New Town Kings (a great, 9-piece ska band) at the Camden Purple Turtle. 30p to use the toilets at Paddington Station. 30p! What especially pisses me off is the fact that I only had to do this as my train was delayed and the display boards didn’t say how long this was going to be for, (it was 20 minutes in the end). Was it really so hard for them to work that out? Didn’t they know where the train was and how fast it was going? Of course they did. Bastards; they waited until I’d paid my 30p before announcing that useful bit of information. Put together with my 65 minute delay coming into London that afternoon, (on a journey that’s only supposed to take 30 minutes), it’s a fucking disgrace that you’re then charged 30p for something you can do on the train for free, (well for no more charge anyway as you’ve already paid for it in your massively overpriced ticket), if it actually turned up on time. In fact, no one should have to pay to use a toilet ever, it’s not like it’s a luxury you can do without. And what’s more, I had to go and buy a cup of coffee for £2.00, to get some change to use the ‘little boys’ room’. So basically I paid £2.30 and waited around for 85 minutes on cold stations, just for the privilege of going to the toilet. What next? You’ll need a ticket for breathing in the air at a station? Well guess what? Last time I travelled on the same service I sat in First Class, even though I only had a Standard Class ticket. The train was totally bunged and some people couldn’t even get on it, so my travelling companion convinced me to make this futile gesture to The Man. (Not that we were alone, although we were the first of the proles to burst out of Standard Class; by the time the train left people were even sitting on the tables in First Class and in the luggage areas, it was so crowded.) So up yours Great First Western (or whatever it is you’re calling yourself this week). Next time I’m going to urinate all over the station concourse. And also, some random, young guy came up to me whilst I was waiting, shook my hand, asked if I knew him (I didn’t) and asked me if I liked people called Mohammed. What sort of idiotic question is that? What did he think I was going to say? That I hate all Muslims, especially ones called Mohammed? I just said that it depends on the person. Anyway, this seemed to suitably impress him and he went on his way. This film is about feeling someone else is having a better time in life than you are.
1991 – Certificate:15 – Belgum
This is a really interesting thriller, despite the fact that it comes from Belgium, which as everyone knows isn’t famous for anything, except weird chocolate and being boring. It’s about a guy, Thomas, who’s convinced himself that he was swapped for another baby (Alfred) when the hospital they were in after being born, caught fire and everyone was evacuated. As a consequence, he’s spent his whole life being jealous of Alfred’s apparently more successful one and feeling it should have been his. It’s like four films in one, covering him as a wide-eyed young boy, unfulfilled and underachieving middle-aged guy and bitter old man, as well as a fantasy version of his life with him playing the part of a private investigator / secret agent kind of person. The movie cuts between these and goes back and forward in time a lot, so you’ll probably need to write some notes if you want to keep things straight. Thinking about it today, I’ve realised that I entirely missed the point of whole parts of it, but that’s okay as it means it’ll be worth watching again. Despite it being quite a bleak sounding film, it’s actually quite fun in places and Thomas’s ‘solution’ to his ‘issue’ is quite unexpected. It also has a nice and positive cameo for his brother, who has Down’s Syndrome, who’s shown as the one person in it who’s content and happy with his life. Everyone else spends their time regretting what they did or didn’t do, lost and wasted opportunities. No wonder I liked it, it’s a film I can relate to. Yes, it’s a really worthwhile movie, so go watch it please.
Recommended for people who like high quality films that are a bit different.
1 cat and no decapitations. But poor cat; it’s all squashed at the side of the road! :-(
Top badass moment? Alice (Thomas’s sister) trashing the Virgin Mary in the church, after their father isn’t found quickly enough after an air crash. I’m not condoning such behaviour, but busting up a religious icon in a church is pretty badass.