I've heard of the title "Cold Mountain" before. It was a book I had seen at Schipol Airport a year ago. And it intrigued me. The big ads in the London Underground also enticed me. Somebody told me it was an incredible love story, and that was enough to tempt me to see it.
To our pleasant surprise, the new Odeon Cinema in Wimbledon offered a panoramic view, 360-degree high quality digital stereo sound, and comfortable seats.
We laid our heavy shopping bags in front of us and sank back into our seats after a long, grey day.
The first scenes were of men at war. It was the Civil War and not a pretty sight. Nicole Kidman's voice told the story. It's been three long years of waiting and writing letters to someone she's only kissed once, in a town in North Carolina, a place where I spent a good part of three years.
"If you're still fighting, I want you to stop fighting. If you're marching, I want you to stop marching."
I don't like violence, but I managed to sit through all the blood shed to see the dramatic ending. It was a love story, alright. And it echoed of "Like Water for Chocolate" and other almost-unrequited love stories where the lovers endure so much and finally get united or reunited.
It hurt to see Nicole Kidman, the preacher's daughter, selling her her grand piano to buy food. This decision was the turning point for her --- when she realised that pining after her beloved wasn't practical. She needed to survive. And she toughened up.
As for me, keeping my grand piano in London would only lure me back. My life can never begin in Holland unless I sell my grand piano.
The road to his love is a long and arduous one. Jude Law plays Inman, a carpenter who has seen too much. He escapes from the hospital where he is recovering from a serious wound to return to his home in Cold Mountain. It is a steep up-hill climb, full of surprises and countless obstacles.
Cold Mountain is about the uncertain and difficult journey lovers make to be with their loved ones. It's so much easier to stay put until certainty. But then, it might be too late.
Let go of my piano and my house, I tell myself. Cold Mountain is worth it.
27 December 2003 Saturday