Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"It's my best friend..."


I watched The Professional when I was in college. Back then I laughed when I saw the characters carrying that pot of plant every time they move or dodge a gun fight. To me, that pot of plant was merely for comedy relief in a brutal action flick.

Now almost 15 years later, I watched The Professional again last night. By the way, it is currently available to view online for free on Hulu.com. The story of a 12-year-old girl training to be a "cleaner" is still shocking (perhaps even more so) to me. Although the scenes involving the plant are still funny, I now relate to the characters differently. The movie also has much deeper meaning and symbolism to me now.


In the film, the main character, Léon, refers to the plant as his best friend. He tells Mathilda (Natalie Portman), "It's my best friend. Always happy. No questions." If Léon wasn't an assassin, he would be great as a gardener.

The first thing I do when I get home is to check my plants (and Dusty of course). Before I left for my trip, I took two trays of young plants to the greenhouse on campus. I wondered whether they would be okay while I was away. I was ready to put any plant in intensive care upon my return if that was necessary. I was so happy and relieved to see everyone looking so well when I came back. Some of them got bigger and look even better now. I shall put those potted plants in the ground soon.

Ironically, I was in Léon and Mathilda's fictional neighborhood last week. I think I passed by their apartment building on the northwest corner of E 97th St & Park Ave.

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