Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nor The Moon By Night

I have no idea what the name of this movie means, neither on its own nor in the context of the film. I think there might be a night scene and the moon is not involved. The movie does have an alternate title, Elephant Gun, and I don't get that one either. An elephant does get shot, but it's not important to the story and the movie isn't about the gun.
The movie is instead the classic love quadrangle:
Andrew and his brother Rusty work at a wildlife reserve in Africa. Andrew has a pen pal named Alice, to whom he plans on arranging to get engaged as soon as she can leave England. But there's a girl named Thea who lives near (on?) the reserve who has a crush on Andrew. And when Alice does get to Africa, Rusty wastes no time trying to steal her for himself. (He thought the whole arranged engagement to a pen pal was a bad idea anyway.)
The thing is, and this may just be me looking at a story from the 1950s from 2011 and being familiar with plot devices and character tropes, but it's obvious from the second Andrew calls Thea "Pigtails" and pulls her hat over her eyes that they're going to end up together, and that happens within thirty seconds of her first appearance in the movie.
What's far more curious to me is why Alice falls for Rusty. He's pretty much nothing but rude to her the day they meet but she still ends up kissing him that night. I don't know if she was just charmed by any sort of attention from a man or if she is just fond of guys who boss her around and act like she doesn't belong (and who later send a porcupine into her tent).
And it's more befuddling when she finally meets Andrew. He's just fallen out of a tree and is bleeding to death after a lion attack. He's barely functional at that point but he still manages to look her in the eye and, suave as can be, say "Pleased to meet you," before passing out. Even if I weren't all fangirly over Patrick McGoohan, I don't think I could resist an introduction like that.
"Do I go for the guy who's been a jerk to me since I showed up, or the guy who managed to be polite in spite of the fact that his brain was barely working due to pain and blood loss? ... Definitely the jerk."
It's okay, though, because as the movie wore on I realized I didn't like Alice. She was kind of awful. Thea, on the other hand, was rather fiesty. So the couples all ended up the way I thought they should have.
Strangely for being the main plot, it didn't take up much of the movie. Half the time the love quadrangle took a backseat to animal attacks and a subplot about the wife of a guy who was attacked (his eyes and tongue cut out; yeesk!) wanting revenge on whoever it was who did that to him.
Come to think of it, we never find out if that guy lived. Thanks a lot, Nor The Moon By Night, now I'm going to be worrying about Amos for the rest of my life (or at least until I forget about this movie; I don't think I'll watch it again).

End of line.

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