There’s a lovely little old-school manual typewriter in “ Martin Eden ,” director Pietro Marcello’s adaptation of Jack London’s semi-autobiographical novel.
The protagonist of the title sits behind the mechanical device while transferring his innermost thoughts to the page.
As Martin (Luca Marinelli of “The Old Guard”) hammered away at the keys, I was reminded how much I love the sound a typewriter makes. And because I am old, I was transported back to my schoolboy days when I banged out poetry and book reports on my old Smith-Corona. Ah, what glorious noises those things made, so much so that Dolly Parton wired their “tap-tap-tap-tap-DING!” percussion into the backbone of “9 to 5.” Typewriters were the soundtrack of a committed writer making a difference, a glorified and romanticized notion I subscribed to back when I young, foolish and full of optimism.
That sounded like a digression, but it’s not. Martin Eden wants to rise above his status
by becoming a great writer with Something to Say™. The film sees this as noble, righteous
even, and it expects us to understand his frustrations while putting up with him being
a callous and not particularly wise jerk.
He can’t see the predictable paths his actions will take, which is aggravating and plays in a way I am not sure the filmmakers intended.
Though it draws attention to the socialist ideals of its source material, the transplant to another country splits the proletariat and the elite into two very canned clichés.
The former just fights all the time or is repeatedly lectured; the latter is a bunch of
snobbish boors who are terrified their precious daughter might run off with someone
broke and uncouth. At least until that guy finds some success.
A sailor by trade, Martin has that familiar aspiration of joining a more elite group he despises
because he’s in love. So he embarks on a quest to educate himself past the grade school levels
he achieved before he was sent to sea at age 11. Part of the catalyst for his self-improvement is the French poet,
You may remember Baudelaire from my review of the dreadful thriller, “Backgammon.” ดูหนังออนไลน์ In that film, the antagonist used quotes from the writer to upset his giggly girlfriend and her party guests. I haven’t read a single line of the guy’s work, but based on my reviewing history here, he’s the patron saint of cinematic characters who are pretentious and dull.