tonight was a night of random tv. One of the shows that came on was Lennon Naked, a kind of biopic of John Lennon around the time the Beatles went bust.
It made quite a strong thread out of his relationship with his dad, his abandonment issues and subsequent abandonment of his own son (kind of angered me the way Into the Wild angered me – the damage done by a man-boy who will do anything rather than be in relationship with people. I know not all people interpret it that way. I do.).
It’s quite good, if very depressing. I had no idea he was such an arse!
But really, what I wanted to talk about was just this one line that Cynthia Lennon says. She has gathered her mother and her lawyers and she is there to hand John an ultimatum: Yoko Ono or me and your son.
John’s feeding the lawyers his usual rubbish and being entirely uncooperative, and the lawyer is exacerbating the situation by insisting on calling him Mr Lennon. John’s about to leave the room, with nothing solved, when Cynthia stands and says to her lawyer: “For God’s sake, just call him John!”
I don’t know if I can attribute the whole of this moment to the writing, because it was also in the delivery – but that one line encapsulated a whole character, for me.
Here’s this woman whose life is falling apart, because she doesn’t understand and has no control over the man she married. But she has compassion and understanding, and perhaps even love enough to treat him as a human, when her lawyer would rather they speak through him. Even though they’re in a room together.
And John responds to it, turning to her and actually listening for the first time since he entered the room.
A very simple, but very good piece of writing/directing/acting.