Banjo Man and I couldn’t decide what to watch last night, so as I was browsing through Netflix I saw this movie, “Hector”, set in Scotland. What the heck. It’s Scotland. We’ll love the scenery and the accents.
The good news: this movie is only 1 hour and 27 minutes long.
The bad news: this movie feels like it’s 3 hours and 27 minutes long.
Here’s the description from IMDB:
“A portrait of an invisible man and an authentic account of homelessness within contemporary Britain, Hec McAdam is at once a powerful character study and an insight into the lives of those on the margins. Hec has been living around the motorways with transient friends for years. After so long on the move, he hopes to have left his past far behind. Our story follows his annual pilgrimage, on the roads and in the cities, from Scotland to a shelter in London to be with his temporary Christmas family . But his clock is ticking and he is compelled to try to reconnect with his real family he last saw 15 years before.”
Hector is a likable guy, always polite to his friends and strangers. He has a bad leg and walks with a crutch as he drags his blue suitcase with him everywhere he travels. He’s on the road. And living on the road is not easy, as you see for a very long hour and a half of Hector’s endlessly depressing road trip.
The movie really shows what being homeless is like, but as the movie goes on we see that Hector has always had options. And yet being homeless and not dealing with the grief of his past has turned Hector into a weak character (although at first you think he is a hell of a strong guy). Hector has Issues. He also has a pension and National Health Care.
I loved the “kindness of strangers” bits, the people who so sweetly offered food and clothing and shelter and rides. Those scenes were the bright spots in an otherwise dreary tale. Too many scenes of Hector hitchhiking, sleeping on sidewalks and limping in pain along the sides of roads made me want to dig out the tequila and self-medicate.
I resisted. The maple-flavored pumpkin seeds sufficed as Hector bought a new suitcase and fur-trimmed hat, then donned a donated jacket and decent shoes.
I wished him well, but I didn’t want to see any more of him.
Neither did Banjo Man.