Friday, 16 December 2011

Window No. 16

Be it by the name of the character Scrooge, by one of the many films made of the novel, or by the image of Bill Murray being beaten up by a fairy with a toaster, all of us must have come across the story of 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge's cruel and penny-pinching life is turned around by the visit of the spirit of his dead partner, Marley and of course by the three time-led ghosts of past, present and future, all warning him to change his ways. It's a tale that touches on so many aspects of Christmas and life in general that we often forget on a day to day basis. More than anything, it tells us to reach out and connect.

Long  before I read the novel, I came across 'A Christmas Carol' in the form of a film, the 1951 retelling of the story. Scrooge was played by the irrepressible Alastair Sim, a wonderful Scottish actor whose whole being seemed to come alive on screen. Even in the act of silence, his wild eyebrows and heavy-lidded eyes could tell a million decisions. His voice carried colours of emotion and thoughts half touched on like a magnificent, melodious song, drumming on the heartstrings and pulling unexpected laughter from your lungs. He was what they called a character actor, always himself and yet constantly adding depth and understanding to the roles he played. His Scrooge turned from a mean, nasty, old man who cared nothing for humanity to a joyous, child-man who finally saw the best in everyone and everything.

Since then the story has been replayed countless times, even by the Muppets, but my favourite take on the story has to be Scrooged. Bill Murray makes me chortle at the best of times, even in the worst of films, and his take on the Scrooge character is hilarious and, eventually, endearing.


4 comments:

  1. I bought my daughter the Looney Toons retelling of this and it's really cute. We love it.

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  2. It's a great story, isn't it?

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  3. I don't feel my Christmas is complete without a retelling of this story - it's been a favourite of mine since childhood.

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  4. I used to love a Christmas Carol, and the Bill Murray version is/was awesome.

    Lately I've become less fond of it. The Scrooge character exhibits symptoms of a mental disorder, OCPD, I've become *way* too familiar with. It's overcome-able - with lots of hard work, and sometimes meds. However, I know too many with this disorder who latch onto the idea of one night of bad dreams, and - All Better! They fantasize that a lifetime of distorted thinking and habitual behaviors can be magically cured - and it's a nice fantasy, but in real life, there are no miraculous overnight cures.

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