Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Being There - Movie Review

Peter Sellers plays Chance, a simple gardener who has lived all his life in the estate of a rich benefactor. So innocent that he has never stepped off the estate, has not had a drink, has not sat in a motor car, has not used a telephone, has not kissed a woman etc. The one thing he does know well is the television, which he likes 'to watch'. He makes no claim on the estate despite having lived there for over half a century perhaps or more and is quickly removed.

Chance walks off into the world and promptly bumps into the beautiful wife of a rich man - literally. Her car knocks into him accidentally and she takes him home. Chance's simplistic ways are seen as great pearls of wisdom and they somehow think his name is Chancey Gardiner. They believe there is a great mystery to this high-borne man who chooses to be simple. The rich and powerful man Rand, is also an advisor to the President so Chancey ends up giving good advise to the President too - using gardening as a metaphor - when spring comes all will be well. The advise works, Chancey becomes a celebrity. But Rand is dying and is provoking an affair between his wife and Chancey to no avail - Chancey only likes to watch (TV).

In the end Rand dies and Chancey walks off, and walks on water (really). There is a scene when he is propositioned by a gay man in  a party and in reply to his pointed - so what do you like - Chancey replies his standard - I like to watch. Sellers is brilliant in the role. Interesting concept. Slow. Shirley Maclaine is as usual superb.

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