The news of Rutger Hauer’s passing still hits hard. He died several days before I ventured into his native country of the Netherlands. I haven’t seen all or even most of Hauer’s films. I haven’t even seen Turkish Delight, which all the movie snobs swear by.
All I know is he made a bitching replicant, and he starred in a great little movie about the trials about human redemption.
“The Legend of the Holy Drinker” immediately comes off as artsy-fartsy, but it also offers a weird but simple parable on how we all bargain ourselves into the grave in some form or another.
Rutger Hauer plays Andreas, a homeless man living in Paris, suddenly landed with 200 Francs by a generous and religiously motivated old man. The only payment required for this donation is that he one day returns the money, when he is able, to a specific cathedral sporting a statue of Saint Therese, to whom the old man associates an epiphany.
Andreas is a drunkard, but a man of conscience, and he endeavors to put himself in a position to pay back the money. However, as he accumulates more and more funds, he finds fate and finances conspiring against him, as he chases his own turmoil and guilt into a destructive downward trajectory.
I love The Holy Drinker because it’s not about glorifying the act of being a booze-hound, but instead noting the tragedy of throwing away opportunities and being victim to human nature. As a Mick, I can definitely identify with this shizzle. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve stayed sober for some unappreciative, unworthy woman, all the while depriving myself of the un-bested truths of the liquor-verse.
And those truths aren’t easy to come by.
The Holy Drinker is a slow-moving odd-ball one-off of a movie that you catch accidentally in the middle of the night. It is not something I’d recommend for regular consumption.
It has the best fucking movie title I’ve ever encountered, but watch at your peril.