Stand by Me

While I could've been more productive on July Fourth, watching parades or even paying a visit to the closest eateries, I had preferred to browse the Internet almost the whole day to find stuff about Stand by Me. Yeap, the movie. One of my all-time faves, and one of the very few that can always make me sob (though I'll never admit it publicly). Don't ask why. All I can say is, since morning I sort of heard Ben E. King singing it over and over again. In my head, of course.

So there I was, reading all the praises for the movie in IMDB, watching the clips in YouTube (I even posted one in my Multiply page), trying to get the latest news about the actors (con the late River Phoenix, of course, and Jerry O'Connell has been in many gossip pages -- by the way, do you know that he has a younger brother who shares his hunkiness, and is still very single? Ehm!), and checking out practically every single line of Wil Wheaton's blog. I was so hooked with Stand by Me that I didn't even care to turn on the TV for news.

Observing scene by scene and thus entertaining myself with the fond memories stemming from the excerpts, I happened to encounter the eerie fact that the movie has somehow become an omen of the leading casts, particularly Wil Wheaton and River Phoenix. Perhaps it was because the kid actors were more or less (more "more" than "less", actually) the personalities they were enlivening.

Gordie, the role played by Wil Wheaton, became a writer. In real life, Wil Wheaton has published two or three books and is currently a very popular blogger. He is likewise a sensitive guy. Kinda reminds me to my dad, who refused to speak to a girl he had liked in middle school after she made fun of him, and a very loving family man. Only Wil has a wicked sense of humor, which my dad lacks of.

River Phoenix, like his character Chris, was a bright young man raised in a rather unusual family, and was forced to be mature way beyond his age, of which too short of a lifetime. I suspect he never fit in to the whole Hollywood life, and maybe had always been reserved. It must be difficult feeling like you're totally different from your peers, because of your background. Seeing his interviews, his gestures suggest that he always had this uneasiness and inconfidence, regardless of how successful he had been. Too bad he passed away before he had the chance to really enjoy his life. Without thinking too hard to ensure that his beloved family will never suffer again (whereas it's completely understandable).

Though Wil mentioned Stand by Me only occasionally, I got the hint that what was projected in the movie reflected the real situation. At least when he said (or wrote, to be exact) that he often looked up to River during the shooting, it resonates the truth, not just another nice saying about a dead man. Wil was a self-confessed nerdy, shy boy, and River -- having always been the caretaker of his family wellbeing even at such a young age -- possibly had sensed it and been sort of a big brother to him, though not as close and protective as Chris to Gordie. And Chris' crying, "I'd like to go some place where nobody ever knows me", sounds like what River would've said years later.

There I go again, creating yet another scenario with my imaginative grey cells, just like other millions of entertainment media suckers.

Anyway, watching Stand by Me all over again brought me back to a conversation with a friend several days earlier. We agreed that the age of eleven, or twelve, or thirteen, is probably one of the most difficult periods. It is the entry into adolescence, the transition time when your body is your worst enemy and suddenly everything familiar becomes alien to you, particularly yourself. Though most of us can get through it quite safely, some may face fierce challenges.

We all can only be twelve once. So was I. But, unlike Gordie, I've been blessed to get Friends -- yes, in capital "F" -- at any point of my life.

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see

No, I won't be afraid
No, I won't be afraid
Not as long as you stand, stand by me

Ah, River Phoenix. I still have my diary from high school, with his picture stuck on the cover. What a waste of talent. What a waste of young life and opportunities laid upon him. Sheesh. Although I hadn't seen him in more than ten years, I know I'll miss him forever.


-Fitri Mohan- said...

being thirteen is never easy. my thirteen's a combination between suck and happy-go-lucky. :D

i remember (not vividly though) watching this movie some times ago. after reading this post, i definitely want to watch it again. making it a show in my weekend. :D

dodski said...

duhh.. stand by me memang asoy! ada bbrp artis yg udah bawain lagu ini dan none of them failed to bring the perfection of the song! oh.. how i love this song (and the movie as well) so much :D

Anonymous said...

if the sky, that we look upon, would stumble and fall. the mountains would crumble to the sea. i won't cry. no, i won't shed a tear. just as long as you stand by me.

guario said...

Don't worry, I cried watching the movie too:). You're not the only one hehe...