Directed by David Lean, Brief Encounter is an early effort from a masterful filmmaker. Still, it reveals an assured hand guiding the performances and pace of the film. The film stars Celia Johnson as a middle-aged, married mother of two, a happy woman who spends her Thursdays travelling by train to do her shopping in town. One fateful day, she meets a doctor at the railway station cafe and discovers the ecstatic rush of spontaneous love. That, and that she’s an adulterous whore.
Sorry. I know that came out a little harsh, but things are changing in the Karreau camp. Down in my neck of the woods, a Conservative government has just replaced the long reigning Liberal party, so I’m just trying to get into the spirit of things before the Empire sends Battle Droids to wipe my mind. I’ve already marked myself with the number of the Beast, ensuring that Ill be able to barter and trade for goods in the upcoming Apocalyptic Red Reich, and now all I need is to adjust my attitude and learn some Newspeak. I’m hoping that what I’ve written on this site will help me in the coming years, since read without irony and a sense of humour, it all comes off somewhat like a fascist bed-time prayer. Still I need to pick up a new vocabulary, preferably one composed of words with less than two syllables, so the real right-wingers can understand it.
I was hoping for a head of state slightly less warlock-ish.
Therefore, despite its beautiful cinematography and moving story, I must condemn Brief Encounter for the shameless way in which it flaunts family values and traditional morals. Both these terms are, of course, used in a Newspeak neo-conservative context, with “family values” meaning “please don’t let my son catch gay by watching Will & Grace”, and “traditional values” defined as “no daughter of mine is going to marry a coloured. And turn off that damn rap music!”
So, in summary, Brief Encounter is a touching love story and tragic romance all rolled into one. But, if you watch it with your family, your wife will leave you for a foreigner, your daughter will have pre-marital sex, and maybe even take birth control pills, your son will grow up to be British, and you will hate Christmas. Be warned.