Rutger Hauer (23 January 1944 – 19 July 2019) played one of my favourite characters. I know he was the bad guy, but he was my hero. As a young man I felt his rage, and the impotence of not being able to change your life, resisting the pressure of conformity, and the power fantasies that breeds. Roy Batter found his God and made him pay, but I was not so fortunate, as mine was a bit more elusive. All of which made the end scene all the more impactful. Tears in the rain. One of the few films to move me to tears, and brought the nihilistic horror mortality to the fore in a young mind. His calm acceptance of his death, his dignity, the joy of life, and forgiveness had a profound impact on me.
I later found out the Rutger used his own words, and that scene is now considered one of the best in film. Rutger said he has an affinity with Roy, and it’s ironic the character Roy died in 2019, and so did Rutger.
Many memories are being washed away as I age. Memory is funny like that: you only remember what you dwell on and distort your own reality. Something Marcus Aurelius bangs on about, that you forget all the little things you did to get where you are, but the little things, your habits, are what built your achievements. If you are not careful, you start to wonder how you got to where you are.
With Rutger’s death, I’m reminded of this all, and over the past few weeks I had a good think about it, and I must confess: I love life :)
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