I still owe you my comment on "Ordinary Heroes".
I didn't know about the movie until I came here to Kate's website a few years ago. I watched it and was stunned about the great acting skills our favourite man has got, whom I until then only knew as MacGyver and Jack O'Neill.
Here we have a complete other side of him. First a seemingly cocky young man, Tony, who falls in love with a girl, Maria.
His way to win her is quite hilarious. Their first "blind date" goes perfectly awry, then he nearly stalks her, but in a quite humorous way. I really was amused about the scene at the bus stop, when he asks Maria to come into the car, that their little boy would be crying for his mom and all the other waiting people go after her, what a cruel woman and mother she would be. And she is furious!
Later he ruins a date of her only to come back in the evening to ask her to go out with him. Great. And he succeds, they become a couple.
On the day they move together into an apartment he gets drafted. He decides to serve as an soldier in Vietnam because he thinks it is the right thing to do to serve his country. He thinks about asking Maria before he has to go to marry her, but on their last evening their friends throw a surprise party for them and when it is over he is afraid to ask her. He can't be sure if he is coming back and out of love for her he doesn't want that she has to wait for him.
Maria misunderstands his intention. She thinks he doesn't take their relationship seriously and is hurt, and when Tony comes back from the bathroom she pretends to have fallen asleep.
In the next morning he has left for the bus to bring him to the base and has left her a note. Regretting her behaviour she drives like crazy to the bus station and meets him in the last possible second. He then gives her the ring and she takes and kisses it. She asks him to be careful and he promises to be.....but three days before his planned return to the US he rescues a friend out of enemy fire and hurts his eyes badly....he loses his sight!
The most interesting part of the story starts right there in my opinion.
Maria gets to know, that he is back and that he is hurt, but nothing more. She doesn't know what happened, how he has been injured, where he is. And Tony doesn't want her to know, so he doesn't contact her. Because he wants to be healed when he meets her again.
When a surgery isn't succesfull and he learns that he has to wait to repeat the surgery and even then might not get his eyesight back he is desperate. He loses his will to live, to deal with the situation. So he is unwilling to learn any skills he needs now that he is blinded. He doesn't want to return to his hometown and his friend's too. He is too ashamed to be blind and helpless.
I the meantime Maria has learned in which army hospital Tony is and travels through the country to see him. Tony's doctor tells her the truth about Tony's blindness and that at the moment he is completely dependent on help. He agrees to let her see Tony, but under one condition: If she isn't absolutely sure, that she is up to it to deal with his blindness she isn't allowed to make herself present to him. As she sees him (totally filthy after first time trying to feed himself) she is shocked and says nothing. She just goes away.
Later we learn that she hates herself for her reaction. She was scared she would lose her life because of him, after she had to fight for every independence in her life so far. And so she backed away and is now ashamed of it.
So, she decides to return home to her family, but first she wants Tony to come back to their friends for Christmas dinner. With the help of Tony's friend she brings him to his former friend's home.
The scene when the little daughter of his friend, Tina, greets him at her home, and she - the way kids are - tells him, she will help him because he hurt his eyes, makes me cry every time I see it.
After dinner, when the others have left, just Maria and Tony stay at home. There they have the first chance to talk to each other alone since his return from Vietnam. And when she bursts out that she has been at the hospital and has seen him there he starts crying.
In the end he admids that he acted the way he did, because he did think he wasn't worth her anymore. He says he wasn't worth her before his injury because he had been just ordinary, but now he wouldn't be even that, because he couldn't see.
So we learn in the very last sentences of the movie, that he never was that confident he pretended to be. And Maria tells him she really loves him and she pretended to be strong and independent, but she can't live her life alone, without him. So, they have to help each other going on with their lifes.
I would have liked to have a sequel about their later life. Will Tony have another surgery? Will he get his sight back or will he be blinded for the rest of his life? How will he deal with it? Will Maria really have the strength to live with a man who is so hurt (not just physically)?
Will they marry, have kids and live their life despites all problems that will show themselves?
Would have been nice to get to know....maybe not with a movie....just a few lines in the end of the film would have been nice.
So, the audience is left alone with his feelings and thoughts and everyone can continues the story the way, he wants it to go.....
Although it is not a "happily ever after" movie I like it. I like the development of the main characters alone and how they deal with the situation when meet again. Great movie, I really like it.
And I hope, you like my again really long comment on the movie, too.