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Ryan Gosling And A Dash Of Jimmy Sheirgill

The first time I was acquainted with Mr Gosling was through Drive. I was thoroughly tired after a long day at a shoot for a client from Britain and my body was pleading for some relaxation, ideally in form of a good night of sleep perhaps, and instead I found myself, on a whim, playing the DVD of Drive. What began as sluggish, and laden with melancholic visuals, had me seized in due course by Mr Gosling’s strength of the sinister. It was as if he had this simmering volcano effect to his rather subdued performance, and whenever it erupted, it engulfed you, leaving you no less entombed in your seats quite akin the mummified populace of Pompeii along the path of Mount Vesuvius. In bated and tense breath, I reached the end of the motion picture and felt as if I had been stabbed hard. I found myself watching it over and over again, and sensed every time I watched it, it spoke rather unswervingly to the iniquity that very much existed in me. Something that exists in everyone else too, just that everyone cloaks it for the fear of societal judgement.

I then greedily savoured The Ides Of March and was overwhelmed by the man’s ability to invade my senses in totality. I mean, how? How did a kid from around the corner supersede Clooney (whom many consider sexy while I think he’s just about ordinary) with his cold portrayal that is in no way comparable to Clooney? I watched Ides numerous times and unearthed that some of the characters in the novella I was writing at that point had obtained Mr Gosling’s mannerisms rather unconsciously. That is when it first dawned upon me that this was no ordinary man. That luck had no role to play in his getting where he had brought himself. That it was a design of providence, which had sent him to mesmerise us with his dazzle and brilliance. At the same time one could not but help ignoring the notion that with his depiction of evil, (he had the nerve to essay the same without any impetus) he communicated rather directly to the evil in us.

Then I watched Lars And The Real Girl; another splendid portrayal of the mechanics of the drifting mind. The critics might have dismissed it, and many might have thought it atrocious: concept of believing that a doll could be real, but I ask why not? We have unlabelled anxieties that have taken refuge in our heads that we muffle mainly out of fear. The human psyche is a very complex network of criss-crosses and only the one who is entrenched in it knows its depths, so it would be inappropriate for any one of us to poke at something that we do not understand. And if Mr Gosling had the verve to accept a character as challenging as the one chiselled out for him, we have to offer him credit for taking the risk rather than writing him or the movie off. I offer a bow to the man for having helped numerous others through his screen representation of Lars. I wonder how many Lars might have found a means of letting themselves out of themselves and let in the healing process, all because a young man took risks with a role many others might have thought dangerous to accept. The crux – men will be men, and as much as they love their women they still love their freedom more, and will only readily accept a woman who will be compliant with whatever they say. Harsh indeed, but the barefaced truth!

Next on my list: All Good Things, and that was when I fell in love with Ryan. I felt he was playing the essence of what every man felt and wanted. Wickedness is as innate to us as our shadow. It is as inherent to us as breath. And yet we behave and pretend that we are righteous human beings with values and ethics. I loved the way he got what humanity has quite literally bottled into itself, and unleashed it onto the screen with such impressive honesty. Granted, some might find his method grotesque, mainly because he was showing them their real faces, but my question is how long, and how far can we run away from who we quintessentially are? Violence is unsettling, but it is very much running alongside blood in our veins, and this is what Ryan helps you retrieve: the portions of your mind you are too afraid to access though they are very much alive and breathing. He allows you to feel what you feel and yet not feel anything about it. In a strange way, he is a psychologist at a heightened level, who helps you rid you of your demons via the characters he chooses and the distinctions they represent.   

Crazy Stupid Love: well, well, it was crazy and stupid and the only thing to love in it was Ryan. Initially, his character was flat and flaky, but my sole reason to hold onto watching that motion picture was because of Ryan. Although, I did find certain scenes interesting, overall the movie offered nothing novel, nothing that one had grown to expect from the reliable stables of the horse one could bet one’s money on christened Ryan. Then again, I assumed, he had done the movie out of obligation, or even a favour to Steve Carell, who in my opinion is a pathetic actor. Or one plausibility might be that perhaps Ryan was plain lazy and was in the mood of humouring himself with regards to how much he could stretch his stupidity on screen.

Then arrived the DVD of Half Nelson in the mail, and, man, what a journey it was! Like life, that takes its own course despite us wanting to try and keep things in our control. Like it throws on us surprises that would bewilder and haunt us. Like we wish to live and love in the barest of our emotions: this movie had it all. If the jokers at the Oscar committee had only been even one per cent as intelligent as they so claim they would have given Ryan the Oscar for this landmark performance that was infused with reality and reflection. I have this feeling that Ryan would care two hoots for an Oscar, bot because he is not bothered to be applauded for his talent, but because he is far profound a man to care for a statuette provided by a bunch of jokers, to people they think harbour talent, when they do not.

After The Believer I could think of nothing else but the fact that in life we actually hate that we most love. And in the oddest manner possible that is the strongest manifestation of love.

The thing with Ryan is he doesn’t try hard like the others do. I’m most certain he prepares mentally for his roles, but he has this absolutely nonchalant approach to his work that adds the authentic touch to it. And yes, he does remind me of a very dear friend of mine, Jimmy Sheirgill whom I quite simply can equate with Ryan. Both are simple, yet towering personalities. Both have done ground-breaking roles that many others would turn away from. Both have left, until now, their unmistakable stamp on cinema and will go down unparalleled in the history of the future of cinema.

Also, the ability to let himself be himself, without any dramatics, is a rare sight today, and that is where Ryan wins hands-down. The real test of the actor is not to distance himself from his audience by playing characters that might go down in history, but the real test of the character is to enrapture the audience with the escape of a little of his soul in each of his performances that will have history write itself around him and that is Ryan: the sovereign of confidence and humility. The dynamo of talent no one else can ever challenge, or remotely come close to for many years until someone equally good or better straddles along.

Having grown up around some of the famous names in literature and cinema, I have grown to view the ones who are in the limelight with objectiveness, so I would have to admit that I am not a fan of Ryan; he is a human being like any other who happens to hog the spotlight due to the profession he has chosen, but yes, I am a fan of Ryan’s mind, because to have the silver spoon in life, and do something about it to make this world a better place, step-by-step, now that is something he executes with the smoothest flamboyance, and more than anything he asks us all if we can be soulfully naked in front of the world and be utterly unashamed of it?

I overheard two women talking about The Ides of March. One of them said, “That man, Ryan, he has balls.” Quite honestly, all of us, regardless of gender have balls, and it was rather lame of the women to observe that Ryan had balls, balls he does have anatomically, but beyond that he has something even more precious: courage. The courage to defy the norm and help get you or me to use the balls that god has given us. That cleared, methinks what Ryan is doing is not self-emulation, but a huge service to mankind. We needed people like Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Teresa in times that understood their language. In today’s times we need people like Ryan Gosling and Jimmy Sheirgill to talk to people in their own language.