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The New World movie reflection

That hauntingly familiar tune appears each time Pocahontas and Captain John Smith meet, as though something is about to happen. It's a slow triple time, more like a sicilienne (in 6/8), beginning with a heart-rendering piano solo followed by orchestra. It has to be a piano concerto I've heard somewhere before. Definitely not James Horner. Which piece is it?

Tonight I had expected an action packed adventure film in The New World: Colin Farrell discovering the New World and meets Christian Bale, Batman exposed...... Instead, I rediscover Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (K488). The Adagio is not in A major like the first movement. I can't wait to borrow the score from the library and play this piece that touches me so.

What is it about music that evokes feelings and memories from the past? The story is simple and familiar. Two souls meet. One knows their love is unrequited. The other believes otherwise and pines for their union. Is it betrayal to grieve and lose hope, only to discover after she marries someone else (and bears a child) that her love was not lost after all?

We all give ourselves, knowingly or not, a deadline to our hope of a love to requite. When our deadline is past, we move on ---- unrequited and disappointed. One day the opportunity to "requite" appears. In this case, Pocahonta's husband played by Christian Bale, very generously and selflessly arranges the two to meet. We see ourselves wondering if we would do the same.

Listening to Mozart's Adagio from the K488 piano concerto, I wondered if it made sense to actively look for those unrequited loves of my past and put them to rest forever. Years after she had married and settled, Pocahontas met up with her past love and decided to stick with her present. Perhaps it was the faith and kindness of her husband in his generous act of fulfilling her wish to see her unrequited love that gave her the reality check. Perhaps she was a changed woman, and the past was just an illusion. We will never know.

For those with an unrequited love, is it better to leave it in one's imagination --- forever unrequited, perfect, and beautiful? Or to meet again, where opportunity presents itself, and risk the realisation that it never was and shall never be?

26 March 2006

Related links:
analyticalQ movie reviews
The New World official movie site
Mozart midi files
about Mozart's piano concerto K488 adagio
Essential works of Mozart at the Mozart Forum
Yuan Fen: unanswered and unrequited love
Only in my dreams - lyrics to an unwritten song about unrequited love
Immortalising the optimal state
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page. See her publication list for more.
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