Posted by: Dr P | January 30, 2009

Che Part 1

An esteemed member of our film review group, the inimitable Philip McManus Esq. has requested a review of “Che – Part One”. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the movie but I have read quite a lot about it so here goes a review of sorts. If anyone out there HAS seen it, please do add some more salient details.

“Che Part One” is the first in a two part biopic of the legendary round the world yachtsman Che Blyth. The veteran adventurer is famed for his heavy drinking, his solo expeditions, and also for founding Blyth Spartans soccer team (who, incidentally I hate, cos they once knocked Bury out of the FA Cup in embarrassing fashion).

In part 1, we meet the young Che as he discovers a love for water at an early age. We see endless scenes of him playing with tugboats in the bath. In fact in one remarkable scene, all we hear are grunts of concentration as Che tugs away merrily.

At the tender age of 6, Che completes his first larger voyage, a crossing of the Menai Straits which separate the lovely isle of Anglesey from the Welsh mainland. This is a notoriously tough stretch of water which has claimed the lives of many a sea salt over the years. Fortunately Che avoids danger as he is ferried across the Menai Suspension Brodge in the back of his father’s gold Ausin Allegro 1.1 Sport*.

* please petrolheads, don’t tell me this car didn’t exist. Get onto the filmmakers!

As Che blossoms into adolescence he meets the first great love of his life, a lady with the wonderful name of Erin Idiot. This of course all builds nicely to their wedding scene where a huge banner is erected across the doorway of the reception hall in Bristol. This of course reads:

“Welcome Che Blyth-Erin Idiot”.

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

We then see a quick flash forward as Erin gives birth to a whole bunch of young female Idiots (by this point Che has become a bit of a recluse and prefers his children to adopt their mother’s maiden name for their own peace of mind. Clearly he’s not thinking straight, as the children are named after famous Welsh heroes. We have Twtal Idiot, Cwmpleet Idiot and Ray Ving Idiot.)

By the time Che turns 30 he is destined for a lonely life at sea. Erin and the kids have left, and so Che adopts a new fashionable look, sporting a beret and fake starters pistol, and prepares for grand adventure. He becomes something of a revolutionary, and his voyages span the globe in fast-forward (very much in an Indiana Jones red line being drawn on a map sort of way). This being Hollywood, there’s also a marvellous scene where Che is heading toward the distant horizon, when he suddenly hits what looks like the edge of the movie set, and realises that the whole thing is completely made up.

Like other tales of salty seamen, I found this quite hard to swallow.

In Che Part Two, in cinemas now, Che’s middle aged years are covered. We see the flirtation with a new love, Ivy (later Dame Ivy Blythe of course), the founding of Blyth Spartans, their subsequent ejection from the football leagues for their tendency to carry shields and swords into battle, and of course Che’s triumphant reunion with his grown up children. By this time all 3 girls have married, and there’ snot an idiot in sight. After years of bearing the Idiot name, the girls have happily settled into domestic lives as Twtal Mowron, Cwmpleet Lewser and Ray Ving Loonatick.

Storyline – 5
Che’s bath scenes – 7
Che’s tugboat – 9
Amount of seamen – colossal

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