Monday, October 22, 2012

Musical Monday - Who Wants to Live Forever? by Queen

Sometimes a movie that is a seemingly trivial piece of flashing swords escapism will make you think a little bit. For me, the original Highlander movie is one of those movies. While the movie is overtly about a collection of magical immortals who can only die by having their heads cut off, leading to the gimmick of having them all engage in a collection of sword fights, there is something of a deeper story to it. Namely, the loneliness of immortality. Maybe I came to these thoughts because I had read Joe Haldeman's Forever War at about the same time, but the element of Highlander that always stuck with me is the dislocation felt by Connor MacLeod. Although it is only used as a background for a scene in which he demonstrates his immortal nature by stabbing himself in the gut, the trophy room he MacLeod has, filled with banners and mementos of his long dead past always struck me as horribly sad. I imagined him spending his days in there, sitting and wistfully trying to remember all the friends he had buried. Highlander made me decide that if those I was close to could not be immortal, I don't think I'd want to be either. To answer Freddy Mercury's plaintive cry "Who wants to live forever?", I'll answer, "Probably not me".

Subsequent Musical Monday: Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions

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  1. Funny, I've always felt the same way about The Highlander. It's not the best movie but it does pose some excellent questions. What do you do with immortality?

  2. @Julia Rachel Barrett: That is a good question. One might argue that our actions are given importance because we aren't immortal. We have finite time, and so how we choose to spend that finite time matters. If we were immortal, then we would just be deciding what to do now as opposed to foreclosing some options entirely.