Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chaplin's Final Joke

Geraldine Chaplin once recalled her famous father's resilient humor, which persisted even onto his death bed.
At 88, Charlie Chaplin's health was failing, and as doctors and relatives observed him, his eyes closed and barely breathing, Geraldine's mother audibly declared that the "final moment" had come.
"I'm just playing dead," Chaplin muttered back.
He remained to the end the energetic, lively man he had always been. He married four times and had 11 children. Yet one of them, the actress Geraldine Chaplin, has said on a current visit to Buenos Aires that at the age of 69 she feels "like 97." She insists she has felt old since turning 50. 
Geraldine is a talented actress. She was and remains a beautiful woman, as as our own recent picture of her shows. But does what she says reflect how she is, or how she wants us to see her?
Old age can take several forms. An old man can feel young, and a young man old. Geraldine may have inherited her father's lively genes, but the desire to live happily is something we gradually construct, in spite of passing time or bumps along the way. 
Geraldine Chaplin in 2012 — Photo: Odessa International Film Festival
Geraldine complains that the human life is "poorly made" when the body ages and youthful desires remain. There is, alas, no rewind button.