"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, June 25, 2022

An Ode to Fathers: Four Fictional Characters Like My Dad

Hello, and happy late Father's Day!


Is this going to be a new tradition at Movies Meet Their Match where my Father's Day post is hopelessly late? I hope not. I could always save it for another year, but I'm not patient enough for that. I mean, we set aside a day for our parents, but we celebrate them every day in our own way, right? That sounds like what my mom would tell my sisters and I when we asked when "Kid's Day" was. She said, "Every day is Kid's Day!"

I've spoken about my relationship with my dad before (he's my boss, I'm his sidekick), but today I wanted to do a special post about my appreciation for him. Which, of course, is going to be through stories, because I'm Chloe the MovieCritic.

My dad has always called himself two specific fictional characters (you'll see who they are, just wait for it), but lately I've found two more he is similar to, so I'm going to discuss how. Maybe I just see the similarities because all of these characters are fathers (or at least, if not biological, they have raised a child), and while that is a factor, I think characteristics speak to more than that.

There will be NO spoilers for these characters, so feel free to read without worries! These characters are listed in the order that I met them. Starting with...

Jean Valjean (from Les Miserables)

I haven't seen this version, but my dad said the Fredric March version is his favorite.

My dad has always called himself Jean Valjean, but doesn't give an explanation. I get that, a lot of times I relate hardcore to characters but am not sure how until I fully analyze them. A few days ago I asked my dad to elaborate. He said he is always being chased by Javert (society) in the changing times. He feels that the world is on his tail and doesn't give him a break. I asked if he was on the run from anything and he jokingly said yes. This isn't really in Jean Valjean's character, but my dad makes jokes constantly. That's where I've gotten it from...

You guys know me, if there's a picture of snow, I have to include it.

He relates to having an experience change your life (candlesticks in Jean Valjean's case, but my dad didn't steal anything or do anything wrong). He will get down in the dirt and lift a wagon if someone is in trouble. He will go to the ends of the earth to make up for mistakes. He is kind and warm, but is not naive to the ways of the world, thus giving his charity even more of an impact.

Feat. my dad and my sister.

One of my sisters says dad used to call her "his Cosette", so the "tradition" (hint for next character) carries through. Yes, his children are a huge part of his worries, but he reacts differently. He still would do anything for them to keep them safe, but is more calm in the first place. Any time I watch a version of Les Mis and see Jean Valjean (I've tried several times to just say the first or last name, but it's impossible. You have to say them both together. I guess you could break it down to 24601...) and Cosette, I immediately can see my dad doing the exact same things.

Actual footage of my dad and I the other day. Except, you know, I'm no Elle Bamber. My hair is shorter. And my dad's is much longer.

Tevye (from Fiddler on the Roof)

Now THIS is what my dad looks like. Well, also with much longer hair and beard. But the same basic principle.

Traditions! My dad has ways he does things and they work well. In addition to being his sidekick, I'm also his apprentice and am trying to learn all his secrets. He never fails to amaze me with his ingenuity of working through a situation, using his past knowledge. His equipment, whether new or old, tends to give him trouble and he has to do it himself. He is trying to keep his balance, like a fiddler on the roof. He is respected by people inside and out of his communities.

He thinks long and hard about things and always have reasons for his actions. I also relate deeply to Tevye's "on the other hand...on the other hand...on the other hand!" How many hands does he have? I get this from my dad, because we are kindred spirits. We have very different ways of doing things, but the same values and goals. I love learning about the ways he does things, though! At first when he shows me something it can seem like there is no reason for doing it that way, but just give it a minute...

Tevye is considerate of all parties involved, as is my dad. He is the second character my dad always says he is like, and a big part of that is because of his daughters. Tevye can seem gruff on the outside, but he is basically a teddy bear. Despite grumbling, he has a heart of gold and cares about his daughters more than tradition. Like my dad, his family and faith is the most important part of his life. The relationship between his daughters is almost the exact same as my sisters and I with our dad, except for the same time not. I'm not sure how to explain it! I have no idea which sister I would be. My older and younger sister are SO Tzeitel and Chava, but I don't think I'm Hodel. Probably one of the two who don't have any lines...

You guys know me, so what do you think? Am I Hodel?

Edward Bloom (from Big Fish)

This is kind of what my dad looked like in his 20s...same hat.

My dad tells the best stories. There is some hyperbole in these tall tales, but it is not so much about the story as the delivery. There is always a message, which is not one you're always expecting. Even if I've heard it a million times before, I always want to hear him tell it again. Like Edward, he is a silver-tongued weaver of words if I've ever seen one. My dad is the same way in writing, and his annual Christmas letters are quite the thing to receive. His words are full of history and shimmering in magic, but it will swim away if you try to catch them. 

"I didn't forget, I was just working on a tangent."

Like Edward, my dad is brave. He will do hard tasks because someone needs to do them. He cares for people and is one of the kindest people I know. I have seen my dad help people in ways no one else would, and like Edward, someone being an "outsider" does not stop him.

I don't know why, but I can see my dad getting into this situation. The only difference is my dad would have a good way out of it.

Now, my relationship with my dad is nothing like Will's and Edward's, but I'm not my dad's only child. When he saw this for the first time this year, he told me he related a lot to Edward, but when I brought it up today, he said it had been too long since he'd seen that movie. Which makes sense, because unlike all the other characters on this list, he's only seen the film once. He struggles with people taking him seriously and not dismissing his concerns as another story. I am always willing to listen, and that's why I'm his sidekick!

"You spend years trying to corrupt and mislead this child and fill his head with nonsense but still he turns out fine."

My dad doesn't look like Albert Finney, but you get the picture.

Benjamin Martin (from The Patriot)

"Do you have children?"

I'm probably not the one to write about this movie because I just saw it for the first time a few weeks ago. Yet here I am, and I already have another post planned. Actually, two or three others. Anyone interested in those? Anyway, onto Benjamin Martin. He has seen a lot in his past, and has a lot to regret, but now he just wants to protect his family. Sure, this is a war movie, but at its core it's about a man trying to keep his family safe from the raging war around him. Which results in making me bawl. Watching this with my dad was quite the experience...but that's a story for another day.

Such adorable smiles!

Benjamin Martin has a clear head and strong morals. He sees different ways to go about things, but no one believes that will work. Every action he takes in this movie is for the sake of his children. And he has a lot of kids, seven in fact. He has quite the wide range, with a son old enough to be in the army and a daughter still in single digits, and many in between. Some of his kids see him as stern, but he wants the best for them. He wants them to work hard and make the most of their lives. He's troubled when they put themselves in danger, and will throw himself in the way. He says his sons are better men than he is, but he is quite the wonder in and of himself.

"I'm a parent. I haven't got the luxury of principles." (Yes, he does. Being a parent is principle enough!)

My dad doesn't have sons but I can still see parallels between Benjamin and his sons and my dad and his daughters. Then there's Susan. But don't get me talking about Susan or I'll lose it.

'"She said...uh...that she loves you and, uh, misses you, but she understands why you can't be with her."
"My lord, she said that? Well, isn't that something!"'

My dad has been many things in his life, but one of his specialties is carpentry. Which is why he finds the whole chair dilemma quite amusing. To my sister and I, it was quite funny, too, because my dad reacts to projects in the exact same way. Once he gets onto something, he's going to stick with it until he figures it out. I mean, usually my dad has mastery over his emotions, and can take quite a bit without retaliating. But just don't mess with his kids.

All in all, my dad is kind, considerate, loyal, and the perfect father. I love him like meat loves salt, and I'm so blessed that my life is following his. I wish you all could have him, but then he wouldn't be mine...

My dad also reminds me of Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility) and Strider (Lord of the Rings), but I wanted to highlight the fathers for this day.

There you have it! What are some fictional characters that remind you guys of your parents? Do you know  any of these? What did you do for Father's Day? My sisters and I watched Enola Holmes with my dad (again. Really, I can't get enough of that movie), which doesn't have fathers at all, but we were doing it together, which is what counts. 

Do you guys have a favorite version of Les Mis? My sisters and I are planning on watching the Liam Neeson version soon (we're more excited about seeing Geoffrey Rush as Javert, but that's not the point of this post). Do you want to see full reviews for these movies?

Thanks for reading! Also, a happy late Juneteenth!

Chloe the MovieCritic

1 comment:

  1. Aw, this is so sweet! I'm not sure if I can think of anyone for my dad off the top of my head (except looking like Captain Haddock) but my mom has always been a lot like Marmie from Little Women.


To comment, or not to comment? That is the question. Whatever you decide, I would love to hear from you!! I am always open to suggestions, advice, and any other comments! Even if you don't agree with me, I would love to hear from you as long as you keep the comment respectful and on subject. And, please, no swearing. I love comments on old posts!!
My computer won't let me leave comments, so it might take a few days, but I will reply!

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles