Tuesday, January 21, 2014

01/21: Chariots Of Fire

I guess its not so ironic that I write a movie about an Olympic-themed movie just 16 days before the '14 Olympics event in Sochi. Chariots of Fire is a true story about 2 men who competed and represented England in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

For a film that was (and still is) considered one of the greatest films of 1981 (year I was born), I thought it would grab me. After all, this beat out such films (Raiders of the Lost Ark, On Golden Pond) for Best Picture. So I was hoping I would see what the hypes all about. As it turns out the first hour was completely boring for me. I noticed that I do get a bit bored with foreign films (this was British) but I guess every country or culture has its own cinema style. During the second hour, however, I was starting to get moved to the end. It made a lot of sense as the stories between the two men were becoming more inspirational. I will admit this was shown in a slow-pace. Maybe that's it. You see, the movie isn't really split in two parts. As mentioned above, it does tell the story about two young men and their rise to stardom: one Jew who experiences some anti-Semitism and a devout Christian. The religions without doubt play a huge part in the story. You'll also hear religious quotes throughout the movie, which give Chariots of Fire its characteristic movie. But its mostly about determination and inspiration.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the movie is its theme, which I believe has become forgotten over the years. As a child growing up in the 80s, I remember hearing the Vangelis song "Chariots of Fire -Titles" in many TV shows and commercials. Usually in slow-motion mode this is often heard. The song went to #1 in 1982 and it would be one of the last instrumental tunes to hit the top of the Pop chart. I even remember my sister trying to play some of the chords to this song on the piano at church.

My rating: 6 out of 10

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