fairly entertaining and thoughtful picture about the nature of love, regret, and insane englishmen. the opening scene was an attention grabber for me in part because of the potential for metaphorical readings. it features a couple in a large field who suddenly see a red hot-air balloon which is out of control and has a boy in the basket. the couple, and several other bystanders, run to grab the balloon and free the boy but a gust of wind sends the balloon flying just as it appears they have stopped the balloon enough to save the boy. as the balloon ascends the bystanders hold on, but quickly figure out that they had better let go while they still can. all, but one, do just that and survive. the one who holds on falls a few seconds later and dies. the boy eventually figures out how to release the hot-air from the balloon and lands safely a few miles away.
what follows is a fairly simple meditation on the nature of love (is it real and spiritual, or just the next phase of evolution?) and an examination of one man’s inability to forgive himself for letting go of the balloon. rhys ifans plays a psycho stalker who was among the bystanders who lived through the event. he becomes obsessed with the main character and is a personification of the guilt and regret the main character feels after the incident. it’s a pretty good film with a pretty good idea. it would have been nice if the filmmakers were able to create a situation that was a little more regretful. that is, sure the guy let go, but there’s really not much of a chance that him holding on would have brought the balloon down fast enough to save the man who fell to his death. this is a minor quibble, but it did detract from my fully empathizing with his guilt.Watched in theater