Not so aged widow Thelma Caldicot is coerced into a rest home by her manipulative son and daughter-in-law after the death of her bullying husband. Apathy turns to anger and then action as the medication is discarded and Thelma discovers her mettle. She and her aged cohorts stage a rebellion but the result is something nobody envisaged.
Shirley Valentine grows old
A daring title that may well put a lot of people off but this film is definitely worth a look.
The movie starts with strong overtones of ‘Shirley Valentine’ (though not as good) as an older Pauline Collins again plays the part of a much put upon not to say bullied wife and mother with no life of her own. There is a small undertone of rebellion even before the fateful day when her husband is laid out for duck or should I say for want of a duck.
Mrs Caldicot finds she does indeed have a mind of her own and starts a small rebellion in the twilight rest home where she has been parked by her son, baulking at the harsh regime and standover tactics of the management.
The story then moves on to an oft repeated scenario of old folks locked away, drugged to the eyeballs to keep them subdued as selfish offspring fulfil their own needs at the expense of the parent. Unfortunately it wont prick the conscience of those guilty of these deeds in real life for two reasons, they wouldn’t be able to see themselves up there and they probably wouldn’t watch or appreciate a movie of this calibre.
It was fun to see John Alderton up there as an antagonist of Pauline Collins which would have made for some interesting and fiery rehearsals at home I’m sure. Parts of the movie were a little far fetched but added to the overall fun of it. I hope the message got through to viewers about the quality of life for the older generation because there are going to be a lot more of them in the future with the improved health habits and mobility of most aging people. I certainly plan to be one! It may be distressing of course for those who don’t have any choice about the long term care of their aged relations, knowing that they may be experiencing these same degrading practices.
Overall a very pleasant 100 minutes of humour, pathos and reckoning and I shall be heartily recommending that my own aged in-laws go and see it.