Monday, October 06, 2008

"Being there"

Many do not remember this drama starring Peter Sellers(his penultimate film) even though he recieved the Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. But see if the plot and the main character remind you of somebody or something.

Sellers is in the role of a simple gardener called Chance who never left the estate of his employer and whose only knowledge of the outside world comes from television. When the owner of the estate dies he is thrown outside and has to cope with the real world for the first time. He accidentally gets hurt by the limousine of a wealthy and influential Washington business man Benjamin Rand who is dying of a blood disease. He takes him in, cares for him and soon befriends him, being under the impression that Chance is a down-on-his-luck business man and believing that Chance's simple sayings about gardening are alegories with profound wisdom. Soon enough, Rand introduces him to his friends which include among others, the President of the US and they too are won over by Chance's simple personality and sayings. Pretty soon, Chance becomes a star of his own making, appearing on TV shows and being roundly quoted by everyone. He captures the minds of so many with his seemingly wise words which are never seriosly analyzed by anyone, nor is anyone seriously engaged in investigating Chance's background, that he gets to run for president.

Sound like anyone you might know? And were the makers of the movie simply ahead of their time, or were telling it like it was even back then?

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