I had heard about award nominations A Single Man got but had read no real reviews. We went to see it. The suffering of surviving the death of a loved one is a universal phenomenon. This movie is about one such person -- the everyman who happens to be gay. Firth does such a good job at this, I was at the edge of my seat all the way until the end. I'm not going to spoil the movie in any way so I will talk about themes in a stream of consciousness sort of way.
Professor Falconer, Firth's character, was about the same age as my great-grandfather who himself was a French literature professor in the same era. He was married with step-children (my grandfather among them). In the presence of death, around Colin Firth is life -- tremendous life -- and was. How was life really during that time? How did my great grandfather deal with life and death then? The more I thought about it, the more distant and inaccessible the reality of my great-grandfather's life became.
And then, a young 20-something year-old appeared. Just a few years younger than my grandfather. Would I have been friends with my grandfather? Would I have communed in the same circles as my grandfather? My grandmother?
I am a product of a time in which my existence could not have existed -- the accumulation of material that is inseparable from duration. And there, a single man suffers a death before my eyes. Birth, old age, sickness and death. The waves of karmic existence march forward.