Monday, May 28, 2018

Solo: a review


Interesting. There's an argument from Ann Douglas in her "Terrible Honesty," that something akin to crude male swagger gave life to the 1920s, freeing a generation from the dreaded smothering Victorian Titanness. In this movie, arguably, male swagger comes across in a feminine form, as being free from "the burden" of greater knowledge. With who is really in the know at the end, one feels that the capacity to hold oneself back in informed, partial restrain, while admiring the simple boys who are all innocent and do not know, belongs to the enwisened woman, who is more mature in years than her mate, and more really for the helm. There's something of "White men can't jump" about this film; the foregrounding of greater female awareness and maturity, and life as an outlaw, as meaning taking pleasure in how preening as a rebel, makes one boyish, harmless, and intensely likeable. This is not a movie about establishing your own space, but in taking a partial step in that direction... and pausing until people who might weigh in the negative, give in and approve. The authority isn't in you, but in the one who ultimately can't help themselves but agree... that you are indeed scruffily loveable, despite your initial, cloying, impertinence. The triumph of the outlaw was more, say, "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (or perhaps "Skyfall") where the femme-fetale is second-fiddle, not overarching. Here he seems the boy who comes to his mate ostensibly a man, only to find she in his absence surpassed him, so what he brings to her belongs only in a land of nostaligic toys. If he chastised her out of this state, he'd be the outlaw with authority; but in taking the space afforded him to in his innocence adventure, he is outlaw as pulled-back from adulthood; as adolescence, not as great man.

Zacharek attends to Ron Howard as good with actors. I think if people want to give due to how the film does not work in a Trumpian direction, they could draw on how Howard has his actors relate in an easy-going fashion. They're not all on tippy-toes, but relaxed, which is not exactly Trumpian.

The Kessel Run becomes in this film not a race-track or a straight line, but a giant swallowing vortex with a gigantic placenta-beast near its centre. The first great villain of the film, is a large worm-snake female, in the middle of her own murky pond. The great beast Han must fight, is a tall, solo creature, centred in an arena of mud. A psychoanalysist would read these as regressive fears of being swallowed back into a pre-Oedipal matrix. All the attention to clothing, nice cloth, which threatens to draw one away from the action so to take a look at something that isn't a McGuffin or whatever, a generality that one could g*ve two sh*ts if it looks just like the real thing because the real thing isn't distinctly defined, but something imagined precisely... also maternal allegiance; memories of mamma and her intriguing closet. Some more important and intriguing territory is being withheld, though we are allowed intriguing glimpses.

The great feat in this film, what distinguishes Solo's excellence as a pilot, is moving through a narrowing gap by translating the vehicle he is in into a accommodating sliver. Vagina Dente encloses, and he gets through by being stretched and wafer-thin... by being accomodating, not by barging through, not by rape. This is the psychology behind the eating disorder, anorexia, in action, starving yourself so there's nothing there to grasp; the maw snaps at you, but grabs plain air! It fits too that this Han is a short actor. If he loomed, like Harrison Ford can loom, in prowess, people would be more able to take a piece out of him, and he'd have to able to see if he could withstand their efforts. Instead he's small, which doesn't presume much, and accomodates, so he can slip through.

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