Friday, September 4, 2015

Ricki and the Flash - Movie Review

There was a time in the 80s when we thought we were cool if we pasted posters all over our rooms. Those were also the times when magazines like Sun and Jetset sold posters of rock stars and celebrities and we bought them for those posters. Archies too made a fortune by selling us posters. I bought several - a lovely Brooke Shields poster that had her staring at me lovingly from the back of the door (strategic placement), Marilyn Monroe pouting away, Madhubala in black and white, and a few cricketers before the rock bug caught on. Kiss was one of the first, painted and all, Bruce Springsteen, YES, The Police - and one rather unknown singer but one of the most handsome chaps - Rick Springfield. I remember I had the poster on the wall (over Brooke Shield's left shoulder) before I bought his album 'Living in Oz'. 'Alison' was a number I remember very well, 'Human Touch' was another (I saw the video last night and Rick speaks into a futuristic computer in year 2016!) and many other numbers. It was a nice, rocky, tangy album and one of those few where you could listen to all songs. I did listen to a lot of Rick those days.

When the posters came down (why did they come down?), Rick Springfield went away from my life because he did not make too many other albums after I think. 'Living in Oz' is still in one of the boxes with the other cassettes and will come down from the loft soon when I chronicle my life with my music. Until this movie came. And I see Rick again, now 65 or so playing the romantic interest to Meryl Streep in a dream-about-living-a-rock band-life movie.

I haven't missed many Meryl Streep's movies so there was not much chance I'd miss this. Listening to a few 80s songs was not too bad too. 'Everybody have fun tonight' by Wang Chung was one I remember apart from the Bruce Springsteen song in the end. Couple more songs I can't remember now. Meryl Streep plays the broke singer of the band 'Ricki and the Flash' - a bunch of old musicians playing for a bunch of oldies in an old pub. Ricki had left her family to pursue her dream - broke and all but she does live her dream. Her ex-husband, now rich and successful, calls her to help her daughter who has just separated from her husband. And she meets her gay son and the other son who kept his engagement hidden from her. Clearly Ricki is not the favorite but she does have something and it turns out ok in the end. I like the part when she says she has no money to buy a gift and will do the only thing she knows how to do - sing. And sing she does with her band and whips up a nice party. Nothing much in terms of a story - it's a bit sweet and sour - and reminds you of watching movies in Sterling - one of those vague movies that somehow sticks in bits and pieces. There were a few tense moments when Meryl Streep walks about with a towel around her - and you hope it doesn't fall off. It doesn't.

And I enjoyed seeing the crowd that came - fiftyish, give or take some (like me and my two pals) - two ladies, grey haired, came by themselves in a car. It surely whipped up a lot of memories and made all of us feel older than what we are. It's that same Meryl Streep we watched in 'Falling in love' and the same Rick Springfield. You could excuse yourself for being transported for a while and wondering what happened after. But thanks Rick and Meryl for growing up with us.


Girija said...

Thanks Hari for reviewing this movie. Hope it brings in more viewers to the theater. I agree that it is like one of those movies that stay with you in the nice bits and pieces. Thought it is like many of our life, where extraordinary events happen in bits and pieces and most of time it is routine and routine.

The saucy comment on the towel was a nice touch. If it had fallen, guess it would have been really realities .
Hope you do find some of those lovely posters and maybe put them up for Anjali to know about dads younger days facinations.��

Harimohan said...

Thanks Girija. The posters are gone though!