Sunday, January 20, 2008

Barfly (1987)

Henry Chinaski is very satisfied being an alcoholic and has no other aspirations. He states, “It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.”

This 30ish man spends his time in bars and getting into fights with a bar tender named Eddie, (which he hates). He also likes to write prose with paper and pencil. His writing captures the attention of a pretty young girl named Tully Sorenson (Alice Krige). She is the publisher of an upscale magazine.

Tulley is determined to get closer to Henry (battered face and all). She sends a private detective to spy on him and report what he sees. At one point, the detective takes pictures of Henry’s papers while he is out of his ratty apartment.

But Henry finds love with a barfly named Wanda, (Faye Dunaway). This 40ish woman is slowly losing her beauty to alcohol and the ravages of time. When they first meet, Henry asks her what she does. She replies, “I drink!”

Wanda informs Henry that she does not want to fall in love (again). And Henry responds, “Don’t worry, nobody’s ever loved me yet.” So there is love but yet there isn’t.

She also tells Henry, “"If a man came by with a fifth of whiskey, I’m afraid I'd go with him". Henry says nothing. So there is attachment but yet there isn’t.

And when Henry leaves Wanda in the bar to look for a job, that is what happens. And to make it worse, she leaves with Eddie. Then enter Tulley.

This story is very entertaining, not so much as to what happens, but what doesn’t. And because of all the little things that happen along the way.

You will probably be taken with this movie or hate it. I was quite taken.

“And as my hands drop the last desperate pen, in some cheap room, they will find me there and never know my name, my meaning, nor the treasure of my escape.” Henry Chinaski.

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