I walked into the night, opened the car door, sat down and shut the door. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to stay. I had a headache and my eyes were red and heavy from too much crying. I just needed to breathe for a minute. The air in my house had become stale, and the lights too bright.
But I went. What was I going to do at home? Think more about him? Worry about him? Cry for him?
I felt like I’d been crying for years. Ever since he left my mother. He was the perfect father for over 20 years, and then something happened and I felt like he drop kicked me right out of my fairytale land. No. He’s not perfect anymore. But I cry just the same. I need him just the same. Maybe, I love him even more.
So I drove away, picked my girlfriend up, and drove away from it all. The phone calls. The constant texting. The ever present reminders that my father was in critical condition. I sat back in the dark crowded theater, and waited for my escape.
Nick Nolte popped on the screen, playing the character Paddy Conlon a Vietnam Vet and boxer turned steel mill worker whose family was torn apart by his sins. And I think Oh. Crap. Here we go.
Will the similarities never stop?
Soldier. Father. Sinner. For the love of God, I don’t know if I can sit
through this film. Not now.
Paddy’s youngest son, Tommy (played by Tom Hardy) apparently, has his own issues. Most of which he blames on his father. A sentiment I’m oddly familiar with. Just great. I’m going to be escaping into a world torn by crisis, where there are father-offspring issues, where the father’s sins have torn the family apart, a movie about loyalty and honor and love, and FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, I JUST WANTED TO WATCH A MOVIE ABOUT NICE LOOKING DUDES FIGHTING. I DON’T WANT TO SEE MYSELF ON SCREEN. I DON’T WANT TO RELATE. But I do. Even though I’m not a wrestler, or a man, father or brother, I’m a daughter who has a father. And we have a history. A deep history with pain and struggle. And somehow its the worst and the best part of our relationship. Because once, a very long time ago we had something perfect, and then it was lost, and I was faced with my sister to pick up the pieces all alone.
There is no hell that could have ever been as hot.
And then I look up at the screen at Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte), who I gotta tell you is REALLY hated by his kids. And suddenly, the man is my unlikely hero. And I’m rooting for him full force.
I’m crying a little. I’m enjoying the movie in an odd sort of way, and thinking how much I wish my father wasn’t lying on a bed in ICU, and how much I wish I could embrace him, and let go of the pain that still remains. I’m willing Conlon’s sons, Tommy and Brendan (Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton), to let go of the pain. The kind that invades your every being. The sort that stops you from loving to your full potential, the type that gives you a rough exterior and hardened heart. I’m willing them to embrace their father. To try again. To give him whatever they have left.
And then, just like that. The movie moves into full-force Mixed Martial Arts fighting, and I’m LOVING IT. There’s blood, and muscles, sweat, and crazy ridiculous fighting. And it makes me feel all cozy inside. Because I’m not wrestler, but I’m a fighter. And so is my father. So I decide right then, I’m headed home to help my dad in the fight for his life. I packed up my suitcase. I got on a plane and I head to Miami. And now I’m here.
And he’s fighting. And I’m fighting.
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So once again, I have given you the strangest movie review in the land. Sorry about that. That’s just how I roll. My mind is a bit mush lately, but it’s great to be able to talk to you and get all of my worries off my mind.
The movie was brilliant. Very similar to Rocky, in my mind. Lots of blood and fighting, which is a good thing in a Mixed Martial Arts movie. But, if your not into fighting per se, I think the central plot will have you riveted. Here’s brief synopsis:
Tommy Conlon (Hardy), haunted by his past returns home for the first time in 14 years to get the help of his father (Nolte) to enter Sparta, this really huge winner takes all event in mixed martial arts. Tommy does really well, ’cause he’s really strong, and really cute, and really angry, and really good. And oddly a
bit sensitive. Meanwhile, his brother Brendan (Edgerton) who also is very good at mixed martial arts, has to return to the ring to save his family from financial ruin. The two end up “in a collision course where the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.”
It’s good. Really good.
You’ll find similarities in yourself that you never knew were there.
You’ll love it.
It’ll make you want to fight for good.
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Thanks to everyone for your kind words and prayers for my father. It’s been a really tough road so far, and we have a way to go.
My dad is still in ICU but his heart is getting stronger. He continues the fight everyday. Yesterday was better than the day before. And today will be even better still.
All my love to each of you. Please keep my family in your prayers.