The Guardian

Wake at 1.30am on night bus following audition for play destined for Camden Fringe Festival. Self in no state to bed down as adrenaline and alcohol surging through bloodstream after entire day spent in pub interacting with old (though younger than self) university friends. In bag self finds two beers, book on life of Iris Murdoch, two highlighter pens, small blue notepad, various Guardian newspaper supplements and DVD of Kevin Costner/Ashton Kutcher 2006 film The Guardian. Presumption that film brilliant investigative journalist thriller in style of All the President’s Men or Zodiac about old hang dog journalist at Guardian newspaper being coupled with young jump puppy journalist at Guardian to uncover massive political misdeeds would be wrong, though understandable, as actual content of film unknown to most as film not exactly considered classic. In reality, film more like sea version of Ladder 49. Self has film in bag as self gave film to non-flatmate-nor-house-mate-best-bambina-work-mate Valentina as present as Valentina has crush on Ashton Kutcher. Self inherited through genes self’s mother’s crush on Kevin Costner, so naturally self has already seen film, but since film readily available and self unwilling to sleep, self inserts DVD into parentally owned plasma-TV-based media centre in living room.

As trailer of Johnny Depp pirate film plays (self pleased that trailer of Depp film relevant to sea-based nature of main feature) self has moment to reflect on last Kevin Costner film mentioned on blog. Film was little known The New Daughter. Self decides that hyperlink to past blog entry reasonable: view past blog entry by clicking here. Self muses that whilst The Guardian features Kevin as coastguard, The New Daughter features Kevin as ghostguard. Kevin taking career in new direction: moving away from sportsmen based roles to being protector of others, such as in Whitney Houston music video The Bodyguard.

Film begins with dream-like underwater sequence with bad-children’s-fairytale voiceover proclaiming that “There is a legend of a man who lives beneath the sea. He’s the fisher of men, the last living hope until help arrives, but this of course is only a legend.” Self grips chest in excited glee: is self in fact watching Waterworld?! How can this be?! Self considers sending social-network-hosted message to best-bambina Valentina to question her DVD borrowing ethics, as clearly she has returned different Kevin sea film than one self lent her.

Lack of Dennis Hopper suggests film not Waterworld after all. Instead, Kevin is hardboiled coastguard. Kevin good at being coastguard, but not good at having helicopter explode in his face and watching friends burn alive and drown. Computer generated imagery of exploding coastguard helicopter second only to later episodes of children’s animated classic Pingu. Against will, Kevin becomes hardboiled coastguard trainer, haunted by visions of exploding coastcopter.

New training recruits arrive at coastguard training academy to be physically assaulted by Kevin and team of angry men. Ashton Kutcher arrives, not afraid of anything as Ashton confident swimmer. Kevin becomes aware that Ashton thinks himself something sexy so takes to teasing him with brilliant play on Ashton’s character name Fisch: goldfish. Such sublime sassing reminds self of Full Metal Jacket, to which The Guardian is frighteningly similar: both have helicopters in them, both have lengthy training sequences and both have helicopters in them. Although instead of Vietnam war, war in The Guardian with ocean.

Film develops into at times prophetic analysis of Kevin’s career and Ashton’s career. Whilst Ashton has exciting night with female primary school teacher (Ashton has similar such exciting nights with Natalie Portman in new film No Strings Attached), Kevin has sensible evening discoursing ageing with venerable landlady of local coastguard bar (Kevin must spend substantial periods of time having such discussions in real rather than reel Kevin life as Kevin not starring in many films of late). Landlady remarks Kevin still behaves like he was nineteen. Comment intended as character critique, although self dreams of athleticism Kevin possesses at fifty plus, not to mention Adonis-like physique he must have had at nineteen. When self was nineteen, self looked more like hobbit than coastguard. Rather than protecting lives, self mostly protected self’s meals, especially at breakfast time as self lived in university halls of residence wherein mess hall became like scene from Wyatt Earp at feeding time and self behaved more like toastguard than coastguard. Landlady advises Kevin that “Gettin’ old ain’t bad, man. Gettin’ old, that’s earned.” Comment troubles self. Self has earned spanking perhaps, but not ageing. Film becoming too difficult to deal with from solely critical level so self presses pause at point of coastguard students graduating (and since film following same path of Full Metal Jacket self anticipates another hour and half duration at least) and retires to lower bunk bed in annexe of parents’ house.

Rest of week spent less like coastguard more like fish/fisherman. Early part of week spent drinking with Ashton-Kutcher-biggest-fan Valentina in Somerset House drowning in rosé. Later part of week spent angling aimlessly for replacement mobile telecommunication device as device had no phoneguard.

Self arrives upon Sunday shocked at how fast self swimming through sands of time. Revisit film for remainder, but remainder unlike Full Metal Jacket and surprisingly shallow in depth. Kevin and Ashton go on coastguard mission to rescue characters from The Perfect Storm. Kevin and Ashton find themselves in position on poster posted at peak of blog post: Ashton gripping Kevin’s hand refusing to let go. Self annoyed that poster using climax as advertising image. Self more annoyed when Kevin undoes glove and plummets to death. Self less annoyed as ending actually quite good, given what has gone before. Self annoyed again when next scene has Ashton rescue man from sea, and man from sea proclaims he was kept alive by Kevin ghost, thereby quoting horrendous Waterworld legend from beginning of film. Self experiences wave of realisation. The Guardian. Coast guard. Guardian angel.

Self begins to drown in choking and spluttering fluster having swallowed too many hard water similes from watching film. Fortunately, film finished. Self now free to deal with actual life. Self begins to drown in choking and spluttering fluster having swallowed too much metaphorical sand. Self in desperate need of water-tight guardian angel.

About josh-in-reel-life

Often disgruntled blogger.
This entry was posted in **, 2006 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Guardian

  1. Your H2O-centric semantic field has made me thirsty indeed (restrains “self” from utilising “thirsty” in metaphor form). ;p Great post. Your stylistic prowess and surreal self-splintering have made even Costner appear interesting (and I have long maintained that he is the most banal of Hollywooders).

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