Over the weekend I stumbled across the movie Alfie on Netflix. I’ve never watched either of the films, therefore, decided to embark upon a mini marathon shall we say. I watched the original Alfie from 1966 starring Sir Michael Caine and the newer – now 12years old – Jude Law remake. The romantic comedy-drama focuses on the protagonist Alfie and his journey along a simple, yet exciting life filled with: Sex, love, style, family and death.
Alfie finds women expendable and since he has a plethora of women to choose from, he has no problem with blocking contact with any one of his conquests. Of course, in reality, this is a terrible way to act, as a Gentleman, you should always show respect to a lady no matter whether you’re single, married or in a relationship. All men can relate to Alfie’s behaviour – especially when unattached – we are always waiting for a ‘showstopper’ as he puts it, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but it’s all about how you conduct yourself until you find your number one. Alfie has strong views on meeting women: “Whenever you meet a beautiful woman, just remember somewhere there’s a man who’s sick of shagging her” which is quite an amusing way of looking at encountering a female, instead of looking for where the relationship could strive, he’s already looking for an escape route. Gent’s I do not recommend this, instead of looking for a planned exit route maybe go with your gut, see how you feel, always keeping a slight mysteriousness so to not be caught off guard.
Both movies ooze love but more often than not the feeling is coming from the females characters. Alfie makes it clear that he doesn’t want to commit to anybody, “I’m a free agent” he shouts a plenty and as soon as he sees a lady developing too strong a feeling, he vacates the situation with ease. In fact, in the original, I find the character Alfie rather disrespectful. I’d always had this vision that he was the ultimate gent and that’s what I should aspire to be like… How wrong I was haha! He refers to ladies as ‘it’ and even threatens to slap one when they start crying, how crazy is that?! We have to put it into context mind, the movie was released in 1966, so maybe that was the norm back then. This is a time when my Mam was only 3years old which was ages ago, right?. Sorry, Mam haha.
Alfie’s style is something special, in both movies, he relentlessly protects and promotes his branded attire. He’s a suave, sharp dressing, Vespa riding, Cockney. It’s all about image and that’s what it’s like with me. I love fashion and as he say’s “It’s been said that clothes speak the international language” which is totally true, especially when parading around New York or London where both movies are set. He even goes on to mention how if you ooze masculinity then you have no reason to fear to wear a pink shirt, which I find to be true. Some guys are worried about rocking a pink shirt because of the stigma attached to it, but all stigmas are there to be broken. Follow how you feel and follow in Alfie’s steps, buy that pink shirt and get styling it up with your latest suit!
During both versions of Alfie we don’t see, meet or really hear of any family members. He only mentions his father once as it was the only time he gave little Alfie any good advice on women. This also leads to further insights into his life and wellbeing. He discusses Christmas as being one of the worst times of the year. I can only imagine it’s because he’s truly lonely and doesn’t commit to anyone or anything to even begin to build his own family. This made me think about myself. I, like Alfie am as free as a bird, can date and do what I please. However, I do have the cushion of my loving family, always there a phone call or train journey away. This is a huge positive for me and my life, a family is everything in my eyes. I think this is what Alfie means by not having ‘peace of mind’ in his closing monologue.
Death is a prominent sub-plot in both movies. Alfie has the scare every man can only dread – a lump on his testicles which could result in Testicular Cancer. Luckily in the storyline, he recovers from his illness, but it gives all men a gentle reminder that during life and however fast it is going, you must always remember your health and to be checked by your GP. You can find out more information at Prostate Cancer UK and Testicular Cancer in the links attached.
If you haven’t seen either of the Alfie films then I’d definitely recommend viewing them. If you have, what do you think of them?