Paraphrasing lines from the movie Quartet – “Why must we get older?” says Maggie Smith’s character Jean Horton. “Because that’s what people do.”, says Wilf Bond played by Billy Connolly. What a delightful piece of art this movie – with the best of British actors and musicians in attendance. So many one-liner insights on aging all through the film.
In one scene, Tom Courtenay’s character, Reggie Paget is holding a class for young people about the comparisons of opera and hip hop. I got it. Well done. And in a few other scenes of utopian generational collaboration, the interaction between old and young was well tuned in a natural, honest way. Music as it happens can be a great connector of every age. Pity the average age of the audience at the showing I attended was only around 65.
What also stands out as a message in Quartet is that even at the advanced age these characters were; their nature, their character was likely the same as it was when they were younger. Does a proud grande dame ever easily let her guard down even with a walking stick?. Does a flirtatious young specimen ever loose his edge as an older winking Romeo?
Perhaps one message from Quartet that threaded through the lovely music in the film was: Age as long as you can. Age as big as you can. Is one promise of longevity really that you can fulfill the better older you that you always wanted to be?