Obsession and Hubris
The most interesting aspect of The Englishman... is the very notion that motivates the movie. A pair of English cartographers come to a Welsh town to measure a local... I'll call it a geographic feature. The locals consider it a mountain. The measurements - and whatever arbitrary English standards they had in 1910 - say it's a hill. So the locals, with their pride all afronted, set out to build up the extra little bit of height to qualify as a "proper" mountain.
This really happened. Probably not exactly like we see in the film, but the basics are assuredly the same. It actually makes a lot of sense. People like to feel they have a certain amount of control over their environment - said control having had a lot to do with the success of the species over the years. And add on the uncanny ability to obsess over meaningless, arbitrary details. If one foot can mark the distinction between a hill and a mountain, then it's in fact nothing to do with the natural order of things and more to do with convenience.
So of course the residents of the sleepy Welsh town band together and pursue the meaningless physical task of building a mountain out of a bigger than average molehill. I guess that's the sort of thing people did before videogames. And no, it's completely meaningless - the meaning is entirely in their minds.
As a a lightly comic little character drama, it works. This minor distinction is important to them, and thus it is important to us. It seems appropriate that the characters are not blown out of proportion archetypes, or burdened by a myriad of internal dramas. We see the story of a hill maturing into a mountain, a quaint and dubiously inspiring tale, and that's it.
But as far as the name of the film goes (a "stunt title" as I've heard it called), on one level it is actually trying to be clever. Yet I can't help feeling a certain overreaching element to it, as the film, like the characters in it, tries to claim an importance more on a technicality than actual merit.
Full profile for The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Offsite info: Internet Movie Database
login to submit an article
A Film Review
2006-03-10 06:51:39... CheriLacy
The Lazy Moviewatcher's Top... Something of 2004
Despite being busy watching all of 2003's movies at home, this reviewer did actually hit the theater a few times this year
2004-12-30 22:39:13... andrew
2003 Awards Tracker
So many awards, so much recognition - it's amazing how these people don't develop an ego
2004-01-29 21:45:11... andrew
How to set up a cheap home theatre
Constant upgrades and a host of revolving standards make the home theatre market hard to decide when to jump in.
2003-05-27 17:52:42... mastadonfarm
submit a review here
submit a review here
indexes links credits privacy|
all contributed material © their respective authors
everything else © 2020 thatcow
link to this site