I’m not sure, where hope fits in, in this rather confusing little picture.
I see dismay, stretching over the canvas, overlapping horizons till all that remains is a blur of grey.
A cinema like the Roman Holiday, is more than art. Beyond the black and white lines of Audrey Hepburn’s perfect face, the strong jaw of Gregory Peck, the scruffy beard of the accompanying photographer who had his own brand of gritty charm, there is a lingering sense of the same darkness that seeps into every single heart at the dead of the night.
In the first glance the movie seems improbable, unrealistic almost. The chances of our princess not being raped, tortured, sold, ransomed or killed by a psychopath is slim. Yet stories are made of unlikely events, and we see the rarest situations possible: she finds an upstanding gentleman in her midnight adventure.
There is charm, that weaves the story together, a charm that lingers on your tongue, the taste of our ideas of manna.
Can you imagine what food from heaven would taste like? Do you know what your prince charming feels like?
Love, not the half-broken heartache we have in our lives, but the perfect, sad-sweet fairytale is the proof of human imagination.
Yes, there might be sudden bursts of unexpected human kindness, sweet stories of couples who love each other to death, but they are pinpricks, that are enhanced, widened and mutated to create an epic blowup of a lie that we may never have.
I have done cruel things, and been treated cruelly, been hurt and given hurt. I have made and broken others as others have made and broken me. A white brilliancy marred by the specks of mud that is reality.
I have seen pornography, and I have seen Audrey Hepburn curtsy, both as unreal as they get.
Did that actress have something the porn actress didn’t? Why, is it that girls with identical faces, with beautiful features, might either be exalted as a goddess or have leather gags tied around their faces?
Where does the distinction lie? Between the truth, and what we wish were the truth? I look at my face in the mirror, a plain face but it has its moments. I think of the thousands of other girls looking into their mirrors and wondering the same thing,
Why not me?
Why does she get the prince, why do I get a cheating liar? What sense is there, underneath the ache I feel when I watch The Roman Holiday, if it is truly as unrealistic as it seems?