A short scene where a man and a woman are laying down naked in a prone position, the camera is on their buttocks.
Later, the sunburned man’s buttocks are shown as he is walking into his home.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Before I saw the film, someone wrote the monologue at the beginning of the film on my message book:

——Norman, you like writing stories. Maybe one day, you will write the story of our family. At that time, you will understand many things that have happened.

There is no doubt that this is a proverb about writing. As I often say: writing comes from a desire to see clearly.

When many things happen at the moment, we can’t see clearly, which most effectively shows that “history is not just what happened”. We often have to wait until we suddenly look back after many years, and our eyes pass through the heavy curtains of years before we get some cold and thorough understanding. Please believe that the years that hang horizontally are not just curtains. On the contrary, that is why we can extricate ourselves from the non-stop burden of the present.

When my father was in bed, as an only child, I was busy with all kinds of secular affairs I had to face during the day, and spent the night on the folding bed in the ward… In that time, the material burden had no time to condense into pain. It was not until my father left for a long time, until life had its next theme, that I began to feel the slow pain of that needle. I couldn’t write any words when I watched the water drop in the infusion tube fall or the wave fluctuation on the monitor; Standing in front of the cold tombstone – I can stand for a whole afternoon – I am full of thoughts.

Tears are the same.

Some people may say that perhaps it is this personal experience that makes you always prefer films with such father son family themes, just as you even understand the godfather as such films. Well, since I mentioned the godfather, I’ll answer with one of the famous words: it’s not personal

Indeed, it was my father. It was something I experienced, but it doesn’t mean that it was a “personal experience”. The reason is very simple. When I call him, I don’t call him by his first name, but call him “father”. And “father” is not “private”.

This is the difference between what happens now and what happens afterwards. At that time, the mother almost didn’t call others or talk in any form, because such communication always had to mention the situation of her father. In that case, the mother had to repeat those trivial situations: how many times she vomited today, how much fever she had, what medicine she took, what measures she took or how much money she spent, etc. Such an expression is difficult, just like cutting the cut again with a knife. Others are concerned but have nothing to do, so the situation of mother becomes worse. It can be seen that the whole of the present is so. But after a long time, when I looked back at the past, the first thing I thought of was not my father’s vomit. Even if I thought of the infusion tube, the whereabouts of the transparent water droplets were aesthetic. I remember more deeply that I held his warm hand in front of my bed and felt his breath and pulse without saying a word. I sat for a long time until I suddenly realized that the sky outside the ward window had gradually turned white – another night had passed. I clearly remember that at such a moment, the thin dawn did comfort me, because a new day came and my father was still by my side, so all the fatigue of the past day seemed to be worth it… Until one day, there were only snow-white sheets left on the bed.

Milan Kundera’s “poetic memory” is not simply the so-called “selective memory”, it is not a psychological term at all. “Poetic memory” is the most real history we can have and the significance of our existence. Father, in all human experience, and only in this “human” experience, it will not be vomit, but the wall between us and nothingness. As long as he exists, we can be at ease.

In a river runs through it, there is such a father. As a priest, he declared that “religion and fishing are the same thing”. Preaching is to spread God’s human gospel in church, and fishing is to listen to God’s natural law on the river. He said: fishing as a skill can be learned, but fishing as an art cannot be learned. It needs another way.

The one who can say such a sentence is by no means an old-fashioned and pedantic priest, which is well proved in the film: he teaches his eldest son Norman to write in English, with simplicity as the beauty. When Norman writes and hands it in, he will say “reduce the weight by half”… Until he is finally satisfied. It looks no different from other strict and rigid fathers. However, when he was satisfied, he said an unexpected sentence: “now you can throw it away.”

Obviously, the father did not regard his law as the highest or even the only model (it is the model, because as a priest, he is not enough to think that he can replace God’s authority, but he can claim that his understanding is the best model like many priests. There is no doubt that the so-called “best model” has a different name, called “dogma”). He also taught the two children to fish: he took out a swinging pendulum and asked the two children to swing the long fishing line according to the rhythm of four beats in the music. (people who haven’t seen this film or have no fishing experience may not know its significance. I was lucky to follow my later “father” , my father-in-law studied fishing. Although he was not as poetic as his father in the film, he did teach me how to throw the fishing line farther. In my opinion, there is no difference between me standing by the country river and Norman standing by the river in the film, and when I think so, I’m glad I have another “father”.) The father in the film teaches his two children to fish in such a rigid but beautiful way, a way of combining rules.

Of course, the fish line thrown into the river in the film is much longer, and the arc thrown out is more beautiful. This is the brilliance of the whole film – whenever the fishing line is thrown out, the sad music will sound, and the camera will slow down. So, you can see that the fishing line stretches and rotates in the air until it falls into the water. When I watch this film again, every time the fishing line is thrown out smoothly, my lips can’t help smiling, but my eyes are full of radiance.

Norman is the eldest son and the eldest brother is like a father. Although he had the rebellious psychology of a child to his father’s teachings, in fact, he hardly disobeyed them. But the young son Paul, played by Brad Pitt, is different. The two children were lying on the grass in the afternoon, and there was the sound of gurgling water at their feet – his father once said that it was earlier than the sound formed by rocks, and it was the sound from God. Paul asked Norman: what do you want to be when you grow up? Norman replied: Reverend, fisherman. After thinking about it, he said: or a boxer. Asked Paul, but Paul replied: boxer or fisherman. Norman asked: is there no priest? Paul replied: No. So both children laughed. From then on, no matter what Norman became, others called him a priest. Norman became a “priest” not because of his occupation, but because he was the best successor of his father and had all the fine blood of his father. Paul, the priest’s father, once said half jokingly: he turned our family into Scots on the plain.

In fact, Paul showed this difference when he learned to fish. The film is always narrated from Norman’s first person perspective. In that scene, he stands on the stone by the river, holding the fishing line. On the left is his father, dancing the fishing rod with the standard and beautiful four beat method, and on the right is his brother. Norman was surprised to find that his brother didn’t completely follow his father’s teaching method, but let the fishing line swing above his head, It enters the water in an “8” shape. Norman was amazed at the beauty of this posture. He said to himself: Paul found his own sense of rhythm.

In fact, Norman is always in such a position in the film – his father on the left and his brother on the right. An elder brother is like a father.

For example, his only quarrel with Paul occurred after they rebelled against their father’s teachings. That night, two young people sneaked out of the house (their actions were so meaningful: the youngest son Paul jumped down from the second floor window, while the eldest son Norman climbed down the stairs, although he also slipped out). Together with a group of young friends, they stole a wooden boat and planned to drift on the river. But when they got to the river, the young people were stunned: the waterfall ran down. It was too dangerous. So a group of people retreated one by one. Only Paul, who put forward this proposal, still stood on the ship and didn’t give up. When everyone else retreated, Paul turned his eyes to Norman, his brother named McLay. Paul said: it seems that there are only “McRae people”. At that moment, Norman did not hesitate, we can see, but it was not only the danger of the river that made him hesitate, but he knew that his father would not allow it. However, when he looked at Paul, Paul was looking at himself eagerly, and he used the title “McRae” inherited from his father. He knew that this strong brother would not shrink back, and although drifting in the river was too dangerous for his father, it was also impossible to leave his brother at such a time. Norman’s hesitation is not as strong as his brother, but that a responsible person is usually more cautious than a child.

Norman still chose to be with his brother. After returning home, of course, he was punished by his father. When Norman bowed his head and said “yes sir”, his brother Paul stood up and said: punish me. It’s all my idea. But Norman didn’t seem to appreciate it. The two brothers later had an angry fight.

There is only one battle of principle. No matter in the struggle or in their later life, they found that no one could do anything. For many years after that, Norman looked at his brother with such a riverside look, not sure whether he was trying to appreciate it or full of worry.

However, I think all the audience understand that they are good children. This evaluation is not only made by the audience, but also the judgment of the father in the film. Although he taught the two children to fish, when the two children put the fish caught with different rhythms together, the father smiled and commented, “they are all very good.” Then he took out a trout he caught from the basket and said slowly: but God still prefers me today. The two children then looked respectful.

Soon, the two children grew up and had their own lives.

Norman, after studying away from home for a long time, finally got a teaching position at the University of Chicago. It was his father who taught his literature. Paul didn’t leave home, but he just worked for a nearby newspaper. Although they are different choices, there is no distinction between the desire for father’s identity.

At the dinner table, my father always asked Paul with a smile: what’s the news today? Paul will talk about his proud interview experience. At this time, the silent Norman cast a smiling gaze. It’s hard to say whether it’s a brother’s eye or a father’s eye, or the two are intertwined.

Really, when I was young, I admired Paul so much. I liked the childlike innocence and bright smile on Brad Pitt’s face when he looked back. I appreciate him holding the hand of an alien woman and dancing a hot dance in the hostility of everyone. I appreciate his action of jumping on the huge rock, his uninhibited style of holding the cup empty in his hand, and his aloof personality of sitting, speaking and acting alone… However, as I grow older, I begin to understand the eyes of Norman behind Paul. I can’t tell whether it’s appreciation, anxiety, trust or confusion. Perhaps his father spoke of his confusion in Paul’s sermon after his death. At that time, his elderly father said slowly in the same tone as before:

In our lives, there are those people, no matter how close we are to them, no matter how concerned we are about them, there is still nothing we can do. But later, I began to understand that no matter how little we know about them, we can at least love them.

Norman’s face was both happy and sad when he heard his father’s words.

Paul is dead. It’s boring to blame his death on his personality. It’s not personal. It’s what we called destiny.

I recalled the last time father and son went fishing on the river. This time, Norman had no father on his left. His old father could only stay on his “high place”, and only his brother was left beside him.

That day did not seem to belong to young Paul from the beginning. At the breakfast table in the morning, his father always asked Paul about the news. Paul, who had just returned from the casino, was speechless for a moment. At this time, Norman said, “I have one.” Then he told his parents that he had been hired by the University of Chicago. Parents can’t help themselves. In the subsequent fishing process, Norman succeeded one after another, but Paul abnormally found nothing. When Norman was happy, he told his brother that his favorite woman would accept his proposal. Looking at his happy brother, Paul joked: it’s a rich day.

He was not unhappy, but in such a complicated look, the audience began to realize a haze. Sensitive Norman then said: go to Chicago with us! Paul turned back with a familiar smile and refused as expected.

The tone of the film has been suppressed at this time. Norman’s good news and fishing achievements have not changed this style. It seems that all the audience are looking forward to something.

At last Norman came up high and watched Paul from a distance with his father. Paul took off his hat, fixed the bait, then picked up the fishing rod and walked to the middle of the river. The river is picturesque on the whole screen, and the back of the river is lonely and proud.

A man’s Paul gradually calmed down. He looked attentively at the water, raised his arm slowly, and then shook his wrist – in this extremely soft posture, the long fishing line flew over and moved, drew an almost perfect curve in the space and fell into the distance. The music is melodious, an extremely soothing slow motion.

As we all know, this is the so-called “last Pastoral”.

I am an only child. I have no brothers. After my father left, I made a decision. I hope my children won’t have the chance to appreciate my lonely and frightened state of mind in the morning when Bo Xi first appeared. I hope they grow slowly under the eaves, grow up and grow up orderly. I hope they don’t have to have that kind of insight overnight. I hope their growth rings are broad but dense. I hope they have an ordinary and rich mood and don’t have to be the protagonist of any film.

I hope they learn to throw the fishing line from their grandfather, not from a movie like a river runs through it.

Although, that posture may not be perfect.

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