Saturday, 8 September 2007

Hallam Foe

Peter Bradshaw has got it all wrong. Not only is Hallam Foe a beautifully shot and well acted piece film, but also ranks as one of the finest tributes to Star Wars ever made.

Consider, if you will, the moody teenager stalking the grounds of his family home, his mother dead, his father (a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek portrayal of Darth Vader by Ciarán Hinds) turned to the dark-side by his step-mother/Emperor Verity. The poignant use of lush Scottish countryside to represent the desert planet of Tatooine was particularly moving I thought.

So, rejecting the dark side Hallam/Luke flees to space, or rather Edinburgh, searching for his destiny. We all know what happens next. He meets, falls in love with, and is rejected by Han Solo, who considers him little more than a child and would prefer to spend time with the powerful, if uncommunicative and aggressive wookiee, Chewbacca (Jamie Sives wasn't quite hairy enough for me). But Hallam is not alone. A wide and aged Jedi Master is there to guide him (and, quite frankly, Maurice Roëves Alec Guinness is far superior to Ewan Macgregor's paltry effort in Episodes I-III) and there's even a tribute to R2-D2 with Ewan Bremner's bumbling, jerky Concierge.

Ultimately Luke wins the love of Solo who brings him to realise that this is not enough His destiny is to return to his father and win him back from the dark-side of the Force. At first, he thinks that this means he must kill the Emperor but ultimately Hallam, like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, realises that mercy is a greater force than hatred. Like Luke, Hallam refuses to give in to his anger, and like Luke, in doing so Hallam triumphs and is reconciled with his father. He is now whole again.

It would have been easy for director David Mackenzie to have Hallam return to Edinburgh and spend the rest of his days flying about the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo, his one true love. But above all Star Wars is a story of love and loss. Han will never accept Luke because he sees him as a child. In the same way in the final scene Kate turns away Hallam away at the door of her flat. Although we never see the third party in this act, we all know it is his sister Lucy behind the door. And thus the Trilogy is complete.

Hallam, like Luke, is destined to walk alone through the Universe.

No comments: