Eddie The Eagle is a film based on Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards who became not only the first skier to represent Great Britain in the Olympics, but also one of its most popular participants. Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) stars as Eddie, and Hugh Jackman plays his mentor.
This is officially the first film that I’ve seen from 2016, and if this is any sign of what’s in store; we’re in for a very good year.
Eddie The Eagle starts with a young Eddie in a bathtub trying to hold his breath and looking at a watch to see how long he can last. After noticing he beat his record, in reaching almost a full minute, he gets out of the tub and excitedly gets ready to go to Rome for the Olympics. He goes on a short journey to the bus stop and it was here, before the title card even appeared on the screen, that I knew this film was going to be something wonderful.
From the opening montage of Eddie attempting different sports and never giving up on his dream of participating in the Olympics, this film just oozes charm. Throw in Egerton (who was incredible in last year’s Kingsman) and Hugh Jackman (who is wonderful and charming all on his own), and it’s real easy to side with the film. You very quickly want to cheer Eddie on as he faces every new obstacle. Eddie hits road block after road block, yet it never changes his demeanour. When he tries one of the taller ski lifts (there are 15m, 40m, 70m and 90m lifts) and misses his landing, as he does quite often, he never gives up. He keeps going, unaffected if not for the bruises he wears cheerfully. Once he does stick a landing, he quickly moves on to the next one as he believes he’s ready.
We’ve seen films like this before, where our hero isn’t believed in by many, but he and a select few believe in themselves so they continue to work until they succeed. What if our hero isn’t necessarily good at their passion? This is the scenario. Eddie wants to compete in a sport that he isn’t really good at, but he works harder and harder and breaks records for himself and his country. In comparison to who he faces, the distance he goes feels minuscule, but to himself, the distances he has gone, and everything he’s endured, it’s everything. It’s the feeling I got during the finale of Rocky. Not becoming a punchline; believing in yourself until the moment that the rest of the world does too.
This film feels like the underdog story that needs to be told today. The film highlights the differences between a career that may be someone’s passion and a career that may lead to being successful. Sometimes they’re the same thing, but typically, they’re not. With today’s generations being more involved in the arts, every art related career may become more difficult to work in, but it also allows for more individual voices to be heard. It’s something that resonates very deeply with me, and why I feel so attached to this film.
The film seemingly resonated with the rest of the audience as well as they cheered for every successful jump, or hid every time he fell. This is partially due to the cinematography that keeps us right with Eddie through every jump. A camera is attached to him, so we see his reaction as he reaches his fast speeds and we get his views as he’s in the air, about to land. As he prepares to go down the ramp, the audience sat forward in their seats, waited until he was in the air, clenched, and waited until the proper moment to release (as instructed by Jackman’s character). But, once you do release, not only do you feel you’ve jumped with Eddie, but you feel like jumping for him.