Ghosts Vs Angels: My Judgement

I recently watched a hilarious film which ended with me in tears. Ghost Town is based on Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) who after an operation gains the ability to see and talk to dead people. Naturally a film with Mr. Gervais had me clapping my hands and screaming with laughter, however it also had a somewhat unhappy side to it. The film will most certainly strike a chord with those who have lost loved ones or with those of the mushy, sentimental type. Unfortunately I fit into both categories so chances of me coming out of this dry-eyed was very slim.

The film no way overplayed sentimentality but during the ‘extras’ it was claimed by those involved with the film that it is the living who have unfinished business with ghosts, it is the living who have unanswered questions, unfinished work with ghosts and it is us, the living who do not want them to go. This directly contradicts the well-known belief that ghosts are not at rest unless their work on earth is ‘finished’.

I do not believe in ghosts but that does not necessarily mean I don’t believe they are with us. Towards the end of this film, I could not help but wonder whether my father is ‘haunting’ me. It will be six years next week since he died and I would hate to think he has remained in limbo or purgatory simply because I’m still not ready to let him go. The question is are we ever ready to let the people we love go? Does that mean that for every person who dies, another ghost is walking aimlessly through the streets until their loved ones can accept their absence?

The belief in ghosts previously stemmed from religious worship but as with most things in recent years, it now holds more secular connotations than anything else. In my mind, what were once termed as ghosts (in a religious concept) are now seen as angels. The fear aspect associated with ghosts, I believe, stemmed from society’s fear of the unknown, the unseen. Personally, I prefer to continue believing that every time I see a white feather, it is a sign that my angel, or my ‘ghost’ is with me. I want to think my father is looking out for me, telling me that he is still with me, while also knowing his soul, his ghost is at rest.

Although this is not a review of the film I have to say it surpassed my expectations. The film is very funny in parts and plays on the hilarity of death (no easy feat) but if you are as sentimental and mushy as I am, be sure to have one or two tissues at the ready. The film intentionally encourages you to review your belief structures and that is what I adore in films. It delivers more than you expect it to.

I have previously heard that the London Underground is one of the most haunted places in London. Standing at Charing Cross station, I can’t help but wonder about the ghosts supposedly wandering along the platform. Imagining what they look like, how they died and what they think of us while watching time and decades go by. I guess it is also true that we are never truly alone and in my opinion that can only be a good thing.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruby slippers
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 00:17:58

    I love the way you add pictures to your posts. I think it’s really clever and very cute. The way I see it is when people die they become our angels, we don’t have to let them go. If we did, then we would be forgetting them. They are with us and leaving little signs for us to notice. It may be a white feather or a bird that lingers and seems to be watching you. A butterfly that doesn’t fly off but stays close for a while, or a beam of sunlight that you suddenly notice and makes you feel warm. Don’t let them go, they want to stay with us! (He used to love the ending in the film ‘Ghost’ with Demi Moore when the spirit of her husband goes up to heaven and he says “the love you have inside, you take it with you”). Remember that! X


  2. alphabetgames
    Feb 14, 2011 @ 13:51:14

    Thank you so much for your encouraging comment, very sweet and touching yet tinged with sadness. I admire your line of thinking that even if we can not see our loved ones they are still around us, if only we look for them. I don’t think I ever can or indeed would want to let my father go and now the film ‘Ghost’ has a much deeper meaning for me. A touch ironic that now he is speaking those words to us…

    Thank you Ruby Slippers. x


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