The BlogFather – Coco and a Series of Unfortunate Events
This isn’t a film or TV review.
Yesterday is a bit of a blur now but the irony/coincidence, or whatever you want to call it, will always be remembered. I finished work at 5pm and I was expecting to go home, have food and chill (as I do almost every night) but not last night. No, as a surprise, my wife had booked us and the kids to see Coco. Ever since seeing the trailer when we went to see Ferdinand, we have wanted to watch it.
We spent about fifteen minutes trying to find a space – Rhyd-Y-Car was packed. After being shooed away by Police who had taken up countless parking bays by their mobile mounted Police truck thing and being stuck with idiot drivers and pedestrians creating hazards left, right and centre we eventually got a space.
Inside wasn’t too bad but I always get stressed out as Georgia and Talia get antsy and start twirling and jumping about and almost knocking into people and what-not. When we get served our popcorn and other snacks and drinks I get even more stressed as my girls are rather clumsy and then you have to factor in other people etc. Laden with my huge Diet Coke, popcorn, the kids’ Fruit Shoots stuffed in my hoodie pocket and the tickets we made it to the ticket ripper person and then slowly make our way to screen 3.
Normally the stress lifts as soon as we get to our seats but not this time. With my popcorn on the floor by my feet and me getting the girls settled, we have people sitting on our row coming in or going out putting me on edge in case the popcorn gets kicked or they bump into the kids and so on.
Skip ahead to the film and I’m at ease. With a few funny moments, the film gut-punched me when one of the characters fades away as nobody remembers him any more. See, the film is based on Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and the celebrations that ensue. It’s the one day of the year where the dead come back to visit their families but only if someone puts their picture up. No picture, no entry. And, if you’re stuck in the Land of the Dead, if no one remembers you you succumb to the ‘Final Death’ – faded from memory, your ghostly existence fades into nothing.
The movie had me cry on at least four occasions. Miguel, the little boy who dreams of becoming a musician against his family’s wishes has his dreams squashed because of his great, great grandmother’s father who was a musician that left and never came back; abandoning his family and leading his wife to ban music from her life and subsequently her daughter’s (Coco) and all down the family line.
Coco is old and chair-bound. The mere sight of her brought tears to my eyes because of the insinuated dementia and the fact that she clearly was not long for this world. Up had the same impact on me. The movie has a good few twists and turns and moments where you think one thing, doubt yourself and then realise you were right with your initial thoughts. I won’t go into detail into the latter parts of the film but there was a point where Miguel was singing and I was sat wishing the scene would end because I didn’t want people to see me turn into a blubbering mess.
Aside from busting for a pee, I never normally feel so relieved that a movie is over but I don’t think I could have coped with much more. It’s been a long time since a movie has made me feel like that and I hope it either never happens or is a long time away should it happen again.
And here comes the irony or cosmic joke or whatever you want to call it. We got back to the car and Lauren has a message from her mum so she phones her. Lauren’s granddad hasn’t been well for a long time. He wasn’t expected to make it through Christmas 2016 let alone 2017. But he shocked us all and seemed to bounce back. I’ve known him for almost as long as Lauren and I have been together (fourteen years this year) and he always acknowledged me, remembered my name etc. Even if I was walking to work or just out and about and he spotted me whilst in his car he would beep or wave. A genuinely nice and decent guy.
So her mum tells her that his body is not getting enough oxygen and to expect the worst. We’ve heard that before. Lauren asked her mum if she wanted her there but she declined so as not to put her out. Less than half an hour later, in the house here mum messages her to say he has passed away. I was doing some washing up in the kitchen and I had this weird hazy feeling as if this wasn’t real – I mean, it was less than an hour ago that she had said the doctors had said to expect the worst but not this soon surely?
Lauren was kicking herself – she had wished she had gone over when she said but, even then, she wouldn’t have made it in time. She’d be on her way there and her phone would have gone off and she would either have crashed the car due to the shock/stress/worry or she would have smashed into something reaching for her phone in the first place. There was nothing she could have done.
The kids had only just gotten into their PJs but I couldn’t let Lauren drive in the state she was in. So, after racing around to get the kids dressed so we can take Lauren down to Nevill Hall, we embark on our journey. I hate the drive – the Heads of the Valley roadworks have been going on for as long as I have lived in Wales and the roads fuel my anxiety. It’s roughly 19 miles from Merthyr to the hospital. The road is strewn with all these road signs and badly lit/non lit sections that causes the eyes to observe a lot of different information that the brain has to process super quick. I hate it.
We make it there, I have a quick smoke before heading to Lauren’s mum’s house to let the dog out and then end up racing to Asda before the close at 10pm (we made it there at 9:53) to grab some dog food, race back to feed him, lock up and had back home. I explain to the kids that they can’t get too settled as I need to wait for Lauren to message/phone me to let me know when to go back and pick her up and come back home again. The fuel light comes on halfway home. The display reckons there’s 47 miles left in the tank. So, before I go get Lauren I have to go to Asda to fill up. Great.
Five minutes from home and Lauren phones – my phone is connected to bluetooth as we were listening to my Google Play Music playlist. It’s just a bluetooth device that plugs into the 12V socket but there’s no mic for input. Seren can’t unlock my phone to turn off the bluetooth so I pull over, answer while trying to turn bluetooth off – I can hear Lauren through the car speakers but she can’t hear me. After wrestling with my fingerprint unlock in my frantic state, she tells me that her mum will be bringing her home but to leave the door unlocked if I’m not staying up as she didn’t have her keys.
We get in, the kids get back into their jammies and Georgia goes to bed to watch Netflix on her TV, Talia goes up to play the XBox and Seren and I have our dinner. I make myself a cup of coffee and go to make Seren a tea but make coffee instead so I have my large mug of coffee and a normal-sized mug of coffee…I take ages to drink my coffee at the best of times…
I spend ages trying to get IT to work on Kodi but the streams are in German so end up ticking the Death Note anime series on on Netflix. Seren goes to bed and I don’t remember even seeing all of episode one. I wake up to Lauren asking if we’ll have enough milk if she gives her mum some milk as all the shops are shut – this was 1am.
It takes me about twenty minutes to come around but I manage to get up off the sofa, feed the cats and shuffle up to bed to fall asleep almost instantly. The running around clearly wore me out.
It still doesn’t feel real that he’s gone. And it just seems that the movie choice was either incredibly appropriate or inappropriate depending on how you look at it. My subsequent viewing choice was unrelated – it was merely the first thing Netflix brought up and I couldn’t be arsed to search for anything.
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