Feathered Eddie : American dream, English style
What dreams did you have as a kid? Did you also want to be the BEST in everything you laid your hands on? Michael Edwards knew from his young age that he was going to take part in the Olympic Games. Nothing could stop his determination. His dream became a reality in 1988, when he attended the winter Olympics in Calgary.
For a little while, one could think that „Eddie the Eagle“ is in fact a sports film. When watching the film’s trailer, it feels more like watching a funny comedy rather than a sports film. Truth is, as usual, somewhere in the middle. It is, first and foremost, a real story that sends a big message. What message? Keep reading…
Mike Edwards definitely isn’t a sporty type. If you expect a statue-esque body, perfect muscles, bright grin and the kind of look that sends women to their knees… Michael definitely isn’t that.
From his childhood however, he dreams of representing his country (Great Britain) at the Olympics. He is not picky – whether it’s holding his breath underwater, a ski slide or later a ski jump, he does his best.
Ski jumping eventually becomes the discipline, in which against all odds (insufficent experience, medical and bureaucratic obstacles) Michael indeed represents his country at the winter Olympics in Calgary.
He appears out of nowhere, a total amateur, that started to get involved in ski jumping just few short months before the Olympic Games. If I may present a parallel with a common saying, he is „the blind one in a country of the one-eyed“, or rather the hawk-eyed . Michael however does not succumb to the limitations of this handicap and continues to plow his way through all the challenges with his characteristic technical style, the „eagle“ style.
The picture is relaxing, tragic-comedic, but most importantly, humane. I was pleasantly suprised with the atmosphere in the projection room. In some scenes, the viewers verbally encouraged Eddie and loudly professed their feelings – the film was that well made.
In regards to the film’s casting, the fatty Michael was played by Taron Edgerton (e.g. Legend), his trainer Hugh Jackman (X-men, Les Misérables…) who made sure that the women in the audience would get their portion of manly beauty.
There were two ambient tracks setting the mood – „success“ vs. „misfortune“. With their mellody, they properly underlined the emotionally enhanced scenes. I think that the song „Jump“did not please only the fans of the group Van Halen.
Altogether, the film was a relaxing matter, that will amuse even the less sporty types… And what about the movie’s message?
„The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.“