This movie made think on one of Saint John of the Cross' poems.
At 3am the dragon set forth along the Caparica beach and stared out over the water, lit only with the full moon:
“In an obscure night, Fevered with love's anxiety (O hapless, happy plight!), I went, none seeing me, Forth from my cave, where all things quiet be,” said the dragon, to no one in particular. But someone was there, creeping around in the shadows. Arthur, Arthur Scargill the vampire, twiddling his strangely long thumbs.
'Zombies! Zombies everywhere!' Cried the Dragon. 'Quick!' Said Arthur, 'Get in my futuristic looking Ford Sierra. Don't mind Stig he does that.' 'What's that thudding sound?' Said the dragon, 'Don't mind them. That's me killer robots.' Said Arthur as they crashed through some barriers and narrowly missed going over a cliff. 'What am I sitting on?' Said the dragon gloomily. 'That's just big bird.' Said Arthur.
Vampire Arthur Scargill wasn't in the mood for a moody Dragon, and had come to look up to the Beast, through the sunroof, as a source of inspiration. "You just turn that frown upside down, Laddie."
He stopped the car and told the Grumpy Dragon to look behind them; nothing but chaos, dust, and a shed on a tow-rope.
'Go and look in't shed, eh? I've got Mr. Sheen in there.' The Gloomy Dragon flapped his great wings, and whooooosh was half-way out of the sunroof in a second. Arthur had to push him through the rest of the way, but he made it and was at the Shed door. He was very excited and pondered to himself in Dragonspeak 'I dunno if I like Martin or Charlie the best... What if it's Michael? I bet it's Michael, it's gotta be Michael because Vampire Arthur Scargill'll have a love/hate relationship with him, he played Brian Clough, but he also played Blair... twice.'
The great Dragon tilted his head to listen for signs of life but all he could hear was an Australian shouting over and over... 'What's your country of origin? Where are you from, you foreign polish bastard?'
The door was opened and there in full Highland regalia was Mel Racist gripping a can of furniture polish, drunkenly spitting at it, in rage. 'I told thee I 'ad Mr. Sheen in the Shed' chortled Vampire Arthur Scargill, who watched in horror as the Dragon set light to Mr. Sheen, who set light to Mel Racist, who set light to Dan's home for over 30 years.
Dan peaked out of the boot of the futuristic-looking Ford Sierra for a few seconds (wearing his 'There Will Be Blood 'tache) before going back to method acting the part of an actor kidnapped in a futuristic-looking Ford Sierra) by Vampire Arthur Scargill, a Dragon, Big Bird, and the Stig. The nightmare didn't really end for anyone until they safely retired in Grimsby. Except Day-Lewis, who made another film 12 months later, then announced his retirement, once again.
I've seen so many similar relationships of a man subjugated to his mother who never grows up and then plays games with woman ever after -- unable to commit to anyone not as cruel as the bitch who bore and raised him. The outcome is perhaps bachelorhood but -- in this case -- Reynolds swears he's waited all his life to meet the waitress who can remember a ridiculously-long list of breakfast food and how he likes it. But what seems truly arresting to him is her pronouncement that if he wants to stare her down, he will lose. And so the contest begins and he's apparently losing interest [as he always does] when she insists that a client who passed out in one of his dresses "doesn't deserve it" and that they should go into her home and strip her of the gown. THIS is spectacular to him and, I believe, that's the moment he realises he's FINALLY met someone as cruel as his own mother, as humiliating and terrifying. And suddenly he wants marriage and declares "love" which is actually just a sick need. And from the incident she discovers how to conquer and hold him. It's just a question of how vicious she's willing to be. And -- the perfect metaphor for the ultimately toxic relationship -- she discovers a way to poison him with mushroom in a delicious meal that just about kills him, but not quite, rendering him helpless, submissive and beaten. The apparent congruity with his childhood -- of being emasculated but never quite flattened -- is oh-so-familiar and comforting, allowing him to be revived and lash out into his creative world again and again, with the promise of being repeatedly humiliated and brought to his knees [quite literally] in a way that reminds him so of home-crap-home with his mother. To me it's the perfect metaphor with near-lethal co-dependence that sooner or later will prove miscalculated and deadly. And the script builds in an incredible way -- the clues having been there from nearly the first line.
But it's not the film, it is the Actor! Day-Lewis' character reeks of something deeply discordant and corrosive. A psychic entrapment that hovers as long as celluloid flickers. Nothing courageous, no self-denying ordinances just lust; deep dark and selfish lust decomposing morality and performing the diabolic tricks of Hollywood's controlling and abusive morality. Sheep deserve better. What a frigging Actor!