Alfie I just watched Michael Cane’s breakthrough 1966 movie Alfie. I have been transforming into a cynical man as life begins to unfold before me and the older I get the less I bounce. I thought seeing a young Michael Cane deal with the same issues in his own coy fashion gave me an outlet for some frustrations.
Michael Cane leaves a good impression on me because he was one of the first actors that I liked as a child. I saw him in a Muppets Christmas Carol as a child and he made an impression on me then. A Muppets Christmas Carol was one of those movies that a young Deren watched over and over again.
Then in adolescence I saw Michael Cane as a father figure in the Ciderhouse Rules. In my early teen years I saw him again as the campy Austin Powers’ father. I remember being impressed that when my father was younger he saw Michael Cane in the theater. However, now that I am a twenty-year-old young man I saw Michael Cane in Alfie. This movie like the others before it allowed me to connect with Michael Cane’s character.
Alfie tells the story of a man being too arrogant to fix his own existential crisis. I couldn’t put into words better how this story connects with my arrogant self. What left the lasting impression was a scene where Alfie is non-dramatically opening a door for someone. It just reminded me that things come and go in and all you can do is keep drifting and look back at the bends you past with a subtle smile. The film was also a timepiece, he had many references to the gender relations in England. It also touched on being able to speak properly and being properly respected for your accent. (as in England class is denoted by your accent) In the end, Alfie has lost everything that was good in his life to his own arrogance and fear and he walks away from the camera with a tramp dog.
The movie ended on a melancholy note and we can each take away a different telling point from the film. I took away a few small assumptions and a realization that I didn’t want to be too arrogant to see my own ineffable existence. Bravo to Michael Cane for poking me from my blind arrogant slumber. To end this on a positive note, the take away point from a Muppets Christmas Carol was, “ wherever you find love it feels like Christmas”.