Monday, March 9, 2015

John Boorman's Second Coming of Age, "Queen & Country."

By Laura Medina

Life comes in stages.

Director John Boorman's sequel to his World War II childhood, "Hope & Glory" followed up ten years later in "Queen & Country."

It wasn't just Mr. Boorman's alter ego, Bill Rohan, who comes to age in the early Fifties but also England immediately after World War II.

If "Hope & Glory" was the first coming of age movie when the main character, Bill Rohan transits from childhood into tween/adolescence, "Queen & Country" is the second phase in a person's life, from adolescence into adulthood.

This "Hope & Glory" sequel was a classical boyhood-to-adulthood story, a young man leaves home for the first time when he gets drafted into the army.  He loses his innocence not only sexually, but ideally as well.  Bill also took up smoking because of that undeniably craving of young men, bonding.  Being a typical young man, with John Boorman retaining his dry wit, he rebels by questioning the system then subverting it...with friends.  Then, he lets go of subversive pranks and friends who do him no good anymore and unrealistic romantic ideals then settles down with an approachable young lady and a potential career as a film-maker that he will eventually become.

It wasn't about Bill's journey but also about England changing in the Fifties.

Queen Elizabeth inherited the throne from her father and now the military has to pay respect to a young woman leader.  Years of colonial rule of India has brought fiery curry into the English basic military training which incorporated it into mainstream English culinary culture today.

Following the screening, an enthusiastic fan asked the 82 years-old John Boorman, if there's going to be any more sequels after "Queen & Country"?

The whip-smart octogenarian jokingly quipped if there's going to be another sequel, it'll be my funeral.  Seriously, Boorman said the film camera stopping when it run of film at the end of "Queen & Country," signals the end of the series, where the Bill Rohan character will become John Boorman the Director.


No comments: