Cinerama: The Cider House Rules

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

The Cider House Rules

By Mike Derderian

One of the most beautiful images in life is of an infant laughing and producing cheerful sounds in response to his mother’s gestures. Yet if you don’t like those little things God created and dispatched to earth by a lovely bird known as a Stork, then you might find the following incident as nothing more than a public nuisance.

During my routine ride on the bus, I find it real stupid how people proudly ignore signs like the one and only “ No Smoking”. They seem to know something about the real causes of cancer that we don’t know of!

I just remembered that my main story is about a baby, not smoking in public transportations, so sorry for the slight detour.

Like in my many rides on the bus, I stand more than I sit when the bus is packed like a sardine can. However, this time my via dolorosa became easier when I stood right next to a young mother with her two children, a seven-year-old girl and a baby boy.

The baby was looking around exploring his surroundings and wandering what he is doing in this crowded, noisy bus. At first he was silent, listening more than participating in the conversation when his mother began playing, talking and tickling him, making him laugh.

His cheerful sound filled the bus and people began smiling at the little family, especially the star attraction who innocently reached out to his sister’s pink striped shirt mistaking it to something eatable.  As soon as he examined it with his tongue he found it tasty and sunk a few of his growing teeth in it and began chewing.

Watching this little wander made time pass quicker than usual and I had to get off at my stop. Naturally, I forgot about the whole thing, until a film called “The Cider House Rules” made me remember everything.

It is about an orphanage in Main, New England during World War II. The orphanage is ruuned by a old doctor, who believes that there is nothing wrong in abortion. Knowing that it is illegal he believes that everyone deserves a second chance in life.

This is one part of the story. The other is about Homer Wells an orphan that was never adopted, however, he has a special place in the old doctor’s heart to a degree that the doctor taught him every thing that he knows about medicine and surgery.

Based on a novel by John Irving (I), the film was directed by Lasse Hallstrom with a cast of young talented actors like Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd (I), Delroy Lindo and the two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine, one was for his role in this film, released in1999.

One of the heart breaking scenes in this film is when the orphans rush out to see the Oldsmobile driven by a young couple that are seeking the illegal services of Dr Wilbur Larch (Caine).

The curious orphans would soon surround and board the car of Lt. Wally Worthington (Rudd) and Candy Kendall (Theron), who steps out of the car amazed by those energetic children. Buster, one of the orphans’ approaches Candy and begins to tell her repeatedly: I’m the best… I’m the best.

The poor thing thought that they were here to adopt a child so he began to promote himself hoping that they will take him and fulfill his wish in finding a home. The whole scene makes us realize how fortunate we are in having a family.

After getting acquainted with the couple and becoming friends with them, Homer (Maguire) decides to leave the orphanage and work with Wally’s family in the apple cider factory.

At the departure scene we see Buster again, only this time he is sad. At first we think that it is because Homer wants to leave them, however, the real reason is that he thinks that Candy and Wally adopted Homer instead of him. In a funny yet sad-reality Buster tells Homer that it is not fair since he is too old to be adopted.

Now, the reason why Homer left the orphanage despite of the fact that his decision will break the old doctor’s heart, who taught him every thing, was because he wanted to see more of the world that is beyond the orphanage’s boundaries especially the ocean that he never saw. Wouldn’t you do the same thing? To find out who you really are.

It offers an insight into the human soul of an orphan that never felt the true meaning of paternal love other than the true love of an old doctor who is addicted to “Ether” a drug used as an anesthetic.

The film is humanistic in every aspect for we are offered a chance to visit an orphanage in a different time and place something that we don’t do in real life knowing how the world is full of under privileged people. It truly awakes the long forgotten feelings of compassion and love that we think are of no more use to us.

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