Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mysterious movie turned out to be subtle but sneaky propaganda.

We chose, at random, the other night, to watch Doonby, a 2011 independently produced film available via Netflix. From the very brief outline of its theme it sounded to be a wee bit mysterious, and unlikely to be filled with the slam-bang element we both dislike.

If anyone is likely to want to watch Doonby, do stop reading this now, because spoilers will follow.

The film's theme is focused on a drifter, a guy probably in his late thirties or early forties (played by John Schneider, best known for his role in Dukes of Hazzard). He arrives in a small town in Texas, looks for work and finds it in the local bar. As the story unfolds the drifter, Doonby, becomes a popular member of the local community, manages to save the day on a few occasions when calamity or tragedy could well have been the result had he not been present. He displays a fine talent for guitar playing and blues singing, which adds to his popularity - and a wee bit of jealously from certain quarters. He falls in love with the town's wealthiest guy's daughter who is, what's commonly termed in these parts, "a piece of work".

An air of mystery hangs around Doonby. His background is vague, misty. Flashbacks to his childhood are interspersed showing him as son of a single mother, whom he adored, even though she left him to an orphanage so's she could run away with her lover.

A turning point in the building mysterious atmosphere of the film comes as Doonby meets his girl friend's father, a doctor, for the first time. Doonby reels away in horror from the guy, for no apparent reason - very strange, and seemingly out of character.

Okay, I'll cut to the chase now.

All those flashbacks depicting his mother, ending in her leaving him to an orphanage while she ran off, they dissolve. In their place, more than halfway through the film, we see a different flashback of an alternative past (or not) for Doonby. His mother, a pregnant teenager who has a chance to run off with a guy who will not countenance a child as part of their lives, seeks and finds a doctor to perform an abortion. Guess who that young doctor was ? He's now the father of Doonby's girlfriend!

Is the mist clearing? It did for me at the moment Doonby's girlfriend fell out of love with him and repeated again and again in answer his plea "What do you want me to be?"

"I don't want you to be. I don't want you to be.
I. don't. want. you. to. be", she screamed.

The penny dropped.

Doonby magically disappeared, the room where the couple had been conversing changed back to an empty dirty old barn (it had been painted, furnished and made homey by Doonby ). The child Doonby had saved from being killed was dead. The bar he had brought to life with his good humour and his playing and singing was now empty, the staff miserable, the bar's owner, an old blues singer was dead because Doonby had not been there to save him from a bullet.

Get it?

The film was little more than propaganda for the pro-life people. It was clever - sneaky, though. Only thing... what if Doonby (anagram of Nobody) had turned out to be a serial killer, or a dirty brutal cop, or Dick Cheney, or an abusive husband? The idea the film peddles doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Note: I'm not pro-abortion, but I'm also not pro- anyone telling or even suggesting to other people what they should do with their bodies and their lives. It's nobody's business but those few directly involved in any decision.


mike said...

Haven't seen the movie, so can't comment about it, but from your description, it contains elements of other "parallel universe" or "what if" type movies. "Peggy Sue Got Married" and "Possible Loves" come to mind, and the Leto movie I still haven't viewed, "Mr. Nobody". One movie that is definitely pro-life themed is "Gimme Shelter" that was released this keeps popping-up on my Netflix "new, watch now" list.

The pro-lifers are a bit like the quotation, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ” (Mahatma Gandhi). I have to appreciate life, as I'm a member of the non-aborted, but I sure don't like the pro-lifers and their one-size-fits-all message of forced compliance for all women.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I haven't seen "Peggy Sue Got Married" or "Possible Loves" - I quite fancy seeing the former though - will look out for it. "Gimme Shelter" doesn't appeal much though, from the synopsis. "Mr Nobody" is very strange and confusing - I've more or less wiped it from memory now. All I remember clearly is turning to anyjazz as it ended, and saying - "Now that was one peculiar movie!"

I was enjoying "Doonby" for its mystery, trying to guess how it would all pan out (e.g. Doonby might be an undercover cop investigating drug traffic or some such ...etc).

I felt annoyed that I'd been tricked into watching such a piece of outright propaganda though. If I'd done some research before watching the film the penny might have dropped and we'd not have watched it....(another "what if"!)

mike (again) said...

FYI - "Astrology could help take pressure off NHS doctors, claims Conservative MP"

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Bless his cotton sox!
And....3...2...1... next the come back from the rest of 'em, Dawkins probably leading the pack!

Had a very quick look at the emphemeris for his dob 19 Jan 1950, he has Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius; possibly Moon too, but not sure.