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retread| Heart of a Baboon 16 September 2006

Posted by EDITOR in Humor, Reviews, VARANGALI.

Retreads are quality posts that are given a second run on Saturdays. This piece was originally posted by VARANGALI on 28 Mar 2006.

…it took me ages to stop crying because I have a friend who had a similar experience.
(jaq_mc, Internet Movie Database)

jaq_mc’s friend apparently let her boyfriend die instead of receiving necessary heart surgery because she believed he had the heart of a baboon. This movie review is dedicated to jaq_mc.

In an early scene of “Untamed Heart” (MGM, 1993, Working Title: “Heart of a Baboon”), waitress Marisa Tomei is assaulted by two rather large hooligans. Luckily for her, busboy Christian Slater has been stalking her in secret, and vanquishes the hooligans with a stick. And thus begins the romance – the more Tomei learns of Slater, the more she falls for him.

We may question her choice in men (she has been through several failed relationships), but her new flame’s credentials are impeccable: Slater demonstrates his sensitive Buddhist leanings with nuggets like “you are my peace,” and lives next to the river with his anonymous and rather androgynous dog:

Tomei: Good dog. What’s her name?
Slater: I don’t know. He didn’t tell me.

As an avid reader of literature and one who spends most of his time lost in profound recollection, it is only natural that Slater still believes the explanation given to him as a child for his heart defect: he has the heart of a baboon. Slater always struck me as being too perfect for a man. Now I know why, because he is a baboon.

Yet not all is wonderful in paradise. True to their nature, the hooligans return for their revenge, and Slater learns the hard way that two men with knives beats one baboon with a stick. Soon Slater’s in the hospital, where he is informed that although he was stabbed in the stomach, he must be treated with heart surgery.

As no human can perform surgery on a baboon heart, Slater flees the hospital to Tomei’s house, where the following exchange takes place:

Tomei: Adam your heart is diseased! You need a new one.
Slater: But this is my heart! I’m afraid that if they take it away I won’t be able to love you the same.

With final proof that he truly loves her – and has a baboon heart – Tomei doesn’t take him back to the hospital, and instead holds him ever so gently while he comes to a slow, twitching end.



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