It’s interesting to note that knowing the story or not knowing the story doesn’t necessarily impact the entertainment value, or the experience of seeing a movie. Case in point, I did not know the story behind Les Miserable, and although I am happy to say I did see the movie, I cannot heartily recommend it - while in the case of Lincoln, I did know the story, but will encourage you to go see it.
In the case of Les Mis, I simply struggled through an ordeal that ate up nearly four hours of my day. In the case of the Lincoln movie, my heart was pounding about 15 minutes into it and I continued to have that experience at different times throughout the story. One thing that continued to hound me during the two and a half hours of tension was an unending sense of how little my life has had an impact on anything in the world. Imagine what it must have been like to be Lincoln, with the fate of the entire country on your mind daily, as your decisions and how you acted upon them would literally change the world.
This was more than a history lesson, it was a wonderful illustration of the democratic process, carried out against the backdrop of a long and bloody war. I recall reading about Lincoln in grade school and remember understanding that his sense of humor was one of many qualities that endeared him to his country. Today I know you can go look up how many times honest Abe failed at different ventures in his like, and it is supposed to inspire you to never give up. This movie goes a long way to improving on that theme. Near the end, you are provided with a graphic representation of the gruesomeness of a battleground littered with human remains and you see Lincoln’s humanity as he has to internalize this understanding.
That’s enough for now. I would say I won’t spoil the ending, but you already know how it goes.
Oh, I should say, I also saw Django, Unchained this weekend. So, now I’ve heard the “N-word” more in the last few days than I had in the last several years!
Happy New Year to you.