Chariots of Fire (1981)

“where does the power come from, to see the race to it’s end? From within” -Eric Liddell


What I loved about this film was the parallels. They were just really amazing. It really showed how people, although doing the same things and having the same end goals, go about achieving them almost completely differently. Everyone has their own sources of motivations and different approaches to things. Like we see Liddell running and smiling, lightheartedly but also determined, and we see Abrahams running, equally as determined (if not, more) but his is with a more focused almost military like vibe. The overall editing and the way the story flowed was really very good, in my opinion (and clearly Dr Goh’s as well because he paused at least 6 times in the first 5 minutes of the film to comment on that hahaha I found that really funny, in a good way!!).

Liddell, Abrahams, Lindsay and everyone else (sorry)

Liddell, Abrahams, Lindsay and everyone else (sorry, I forget. Yup, no favouritism here. lol)

Thinking about it based on Maslow’s hierarchy, I think Liddell was on his was to achieving one of the highest needs, the need for self-actualisation. He had basically fulfilled most of his lower needs already and was running more for others than himself, as opposed to Abrahams. He ran because he could feel God’s pleasure through his running and it would help him spread his faith. One of the most notable parts in the movie, I feel, is the part where, after all his training and hard work to become a worthy competitor in the Olympic, he almost throws all this away because running on the Sabbath goes against his faith. Even when the newspapers (if i remember correctly) poked fun at him for declining to run on the Sabbath, he still stuck to his guns. To him, his faith was more important to him than any prize. In a way, its also because his faith was the source of his motivation anyway and going against that probably made little sense. But it really showed how important his faith was to him and how he was running for it, rather than himself which I found to be very noble. It also made me think about how our motivations sometimes get discoloured, and distorted. After a while, we begin to forget the reasons for us doing certain things, misattributing it to other reasons and so on so forth. It’s quite sad really.

About Abrahams, I kind of found myself both admiring as well as rooting against the guy. It probably was the way he was portrayed in the movie, but he seemed so unscrupulous and kind of a sore loser… well not exactly, but those are the only terms I can think of right now. From his perspective, I do see why he acted that way. To be treated so unfairly and looked down upon all your life, obviously he would want to be respected and looked at as an “Englishman”. However, from all the racism movies we’ve watched and things I’ve read up on, the way he treated it in the movie seemed like he was admitting that one race was superior to another. That Jews really were the underclass. But I could be interpreting it wrongly because he was also running because he wanted to prove that as a Jew he could do things just as well, or better than them, despite the disadvantages they put him through. I did really admire his determination though. He really went through a lot and was so stubborn the whole way, hiring a coach even though it was frowned upon. In a way, it shows that we should always do all we can to achieve what we really want. But, in another sense, I do think there have to be some lines we should not cross.

I think the movie did a really goos job at portraying the “after-win”. Because his dream seemed quite uni-dimensional (not really, but I can’t explain it properly), in that he basically just wanted to win to prove to them he could, Abrahams was kind of numb after his win. While everyone else was celebrating, he quietly packed his things and walked off, almost as if something depressing had just happened. To me, it brought up the idea of “what now?” like after you’ve finally accomplished something you worked so hard for, the sole focus of your time.. what then? It kind of reminded me of a friend in highschool. She’s this incredibly smart kid, and always worked so crazily hard on all her exams and assignments. And usually after she got her results (which honestly were 98-100 most of the time, I kid you not), she always seemed kind of down. I could never understand why then. I guess it’s a combination of “what now” and also, that whole “once you’re at the top, the only way you can go is down” mentality type-thing. yeah.

“Nothing else you want to do after all your dreams come true. You’ve become numb. You shouldn’t have ever stopped dreaming.”- Toba Beta, Beteulguise Incident

With head thwon back and chin thrust out in his usual style, he flashed past the tape to win what was probably so far the greatest victory of the meeting. (please read here, it’s about what happenned in the real olympics and a little about liddells life. Super interesting)

What hit me the most was what Dr Goh said at the end (not really part of the movie) but it sort of extends the character portrayed in the movie. It really makes us look at the real Eric Liddell. How the real person, is just SO MUCH MORE than what the movie portrayed him to be. He told us how Liddell went back to china to be a missionary. Doing right by his faith and all his kindness. How he declined the various opportunities given to him to leave China during the Japanese Occupation, instead giving them to others like pregnant women. How he basically died quietly of disease, or a brain tumour, in a small grave marked with a cross (no one even knew where he was buried until recently). He really is one to admire. His entire life was just so very inspiring.

The actual Liddell carried round the streets after his victory.

The actual Liddell carried round the streets after his victory.

read here really it’s just whoa.

Lindsay, Lindsey (wtv, that guy lah) He’s just so happy. Look at him, he’s like a puppy.”runnnnnniiiiiinnnnnnngggggggggg” < I feel like he’d be thinking exactly that.

Another thing I thought was pretty amazing in the film was Lord Lindsay, or Lord Lindsey’s character (the internet is being very confusing with spelling). Besides the fact that his character is just completely likeable and very adorable (even from the opening sequence as you can see from above), I like it that compared to Abrahams and Liddell, to Lindsey, running is a source of fun, happiness, freedom.. just something that makes him happy. Even in his training, we see how he takes everything on so playfully (his hurdles had champagne glasses on them). He’s just doing it because he genuinely finds it fun (although, he did already win one medal so.. that kinda took away from this a little bit. but still). He graciously offered up his chance at winning another medal to Liddell when Liddell almost had to pull out of the Olympics completely. In doing so, I felt this basically showed us that although some things are important, there are always other things out there, bigger things. Things like camaraderie, friendship.

word count: 1257

Also, as I was looking for pictures, I found this, and it just made me laugh and laugh.

you guys remember that QWOP computer game with the horrible sprinty person whose limbs flailed like that guy in the gif up here. hahaha

you guys remember that QWOP computer game with the horrible sprinty person whose limbs flailed like that guy in the gif up here, right?hahaha

i’m glad (and a little ashamed) to say that I now finally know the origins of the iconic song mostly used for slo-mo sequences and running. I hadn’t heard that in years and having the opportunity to see it in the context it was made for.. well that kind of makes me happy.

-also, did anyone else see Mr Dursley? Like, Hello there Vernon, what you doing here old chap? hahaha He was so much younger and a wee bit skinnier too.

ALSO. i just visited my wordpress and realised I never did click the publish button for my post on Dances with Wolves. I feel like a complete idiot and want to slap myself. ughhh. Anyway, if it makes a difference (to me it will), read it anyway please 🙂 because I’ll feel like it’s just so wasted. I put so much effort into that one too. UGHHHH. but anyway, at least watch the video at the end of that post because that was really something. ok bye 🙂

…although now I’m not sure whether or not it published because it wasn’t there when I checked, but now that I check again, it says published March 4th, which was probably when I did intend to publish it…. So i’m just basically very confused… um.. ok so if you haven’t read it already, go ahead now.. and if you have, just ignore all this gibberish. ok fanks bai.


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