Esio trot, esio trot, emoc no esio trot…

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h54m09s136

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h52m48s153

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer
Albert Camus (November 7 1913 – January 4 1960)

There is no way you can escape the charm of  this film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s ”Esio Trot” by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, directed by Dearbhla Walsh, briskly narrated by James Corden and starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman.

The two living legends meet on-screen and you instantly know they were meant for each other. It isn’t so much their brilliant, effortless performances -this has become second nature for them by now- but their obvious rapport, a bond they share that seems to go deeper and beyond the set; and the fact that they seem to enjoy themselves immensely in doing what they do best: acting.

Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman is one of the most endearing, charming, loving couples you’ve ever seen on-screen. Such a perfect match it will have you wonder why on earth did they have to wait so long to start working together.

All the while, they’re being supported by ”Mr Potato-Head-Pringle”, Richard Cordery who gives a perfectly irritating performance, ranging from mildly annoying to downright malicious, the lively narration by James Corden and about a hundred tortoises of various sizes, from small to large to enormous, this touching, feel-good story is your instant pick-me-up when everything else fails.

For Esio Trot is a story about love, an ode to life and a reminder that there is neither age limit nor expiration date to happiness.

It goes like this:

Mr Hoppy is a quite, shy man who lives alone in a nice flat in an apartment block in London

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h47m16s186

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h47m09s30

Besides jazz and fishing, there are two loves in his life: one is his flowers, the other is a secret love he keeps all to himself

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h49m10s56

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h49m51s192

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h50m07s96

Mr Hoppy is in love with the girl downstairs

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h54m50s121

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h54m58s195
– I’m Mrs Silver. Lavinia. Facebook status – Widowed.
– Ah, my Facebook status is ”I’m not in the Facebook”

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h57m08s212

Mr Hoppy is so shy he doesn’t dare ask Mrs Silver out. Fortunately, there are those brief encounters in the lift. Days, months, whole seasons go by and Mr Hoppy loves Lavinia every day a little more… Well, wouldn’t you?

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-17h59m34s129

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-18h00m00s152

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-18h00m44s93

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-18h01m08s64

Yes you would…  And if you found out that the love of your life was raising money for charity at the Dance Marathon, you’d sponsor her for ”a pound-a-minute” too! Mrs Silver danced her socks of for four hours fifty minutes – a true dancing queen

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h51m46s90

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h54m01s179

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h54m52s181

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h55m14s142

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h55m29s12

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h55m50s207

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h57m42s92

But there is something that bothers Mr Hoppy: Mrs Silver doesn’t live alone. She did for many years until she decided to do something about it. Now, Mrs Silver lives with Alfie

vlcsnap-2015-01-31-18h04m20s185

She nurtures him, cuddles him, talks to him, reads him stories… she has only one concern: no matter how hard she tries, Alfie refuses to grow

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h37m58s77

– One day I’ll find the right food, and the right exercise regime, and the right vitamin supplement…. Then at last we’ll both be happy, wont’ we darling?

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h39m01s253

So Mr Hoppy sets about to make Lavinia happy. Because he thought, if he could maker her happy then maybe, just maybe he might be worthy of winning her heart

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h45m56s34

Mr Hoppy suddenly ”remembered” an extraordinary tortoise-size-related secret from a Bedouin tribesman: a Bedouin tortoise chant!

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h48m22s237

Esio trot, esio trot, teg reggib reggib, emoc no esio trot. Worg pu, ffup pu, toohs pu…
Gnirps pu, wolb pu…

Mrs Silver is to whisper it to Alfie three times a day before meals, without fail. With these magic words Alfie will grow bigger and bigger. Actually, the words are reversed: Tortoise, tortoise, get bigger bigger! Come on, tortoise, grow up, puff up, shoot up! Spring up, blow up… but it ”must be read backwards because tortoises are very backwards creatures. So they would only understand words that are spoken backwards”.

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h49m36s201

Mrs Silver: … Gnirps pu, wolb pu… (Well, thank goodness I’m not asking you to sip up anything)…
There’s a lot of pu’s in it…

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h44m00s176

So Mr Hoppy puts his cunning plan into action: it involves several trips to local pet shops, frequent dipping into his savings box and the invasion of his apartment by hundreds of Alfie’s cousins that come in all sizes 

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h50m54s203

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h51m08s108

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h51m35s114

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h52m00s103

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h52m09s217

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h52m57s173

Meanwhile, downstairs…

Esio trot, esio trot, teg reggib reggib, emoc no esio trot…

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h53m24s188

By the way, did you know that tortoises love strawberries?

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-18h54m11s152

And once Mrs Silver leaves her apartment, Mr Hoppy springs into action – up goes Alfie 1, down goes Alfie 2. Over the next eight weeks, Mr Hoppy goes on switching ”Alfie” with a slightly larger one, so that Mrs Silver won’t notice:

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h58m54s41

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h59m19s35

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h59m38s174

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-22h59m57s151

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h00m30s228

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h00m42s99

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h01m38s113

Until one day…:

– Mr Hoppy! Something very extraordinary has happened! And quite marvelous! Alfie can’t get through his door! He must have got bigger! Oh you did it Mr Hoppy! You’re my miracle man!

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h05m45s42

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h22m24s130

Mrs Silver invites Hoppy downstairs to see for himself how Alfie has doubled in size:

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h24m46s10

Hoppy: I’d quite forgotten it was Christmas!
Mrs Silver: Oh, it isn’t. I just like to get my tree up on the first day of August. What’s the point in getting old if you can’t break the rules?

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h24m20s8

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h24m35s166

Mrs Silver: Can I ask you a question? Would it be alright if I came up later and had another look at your balcony? I think it’s one the Seven Wonders of the World.

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h17m06s31

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h17m53s222
Mr Hoppy: Oh I’d be delighted. Can I ask you a question too Mrs Silver?
– Yes of course.
– Will you marry me?

But before Mrs Silver could answer off went the doorbell, and:

Mr Pringle: Might this little chap belong to you?

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h26m18s166

The doubt… the realisation…

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h27m16s245

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h27m47s45

The confrontation… the sadness…

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h28m22s136

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h28m40s57

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h29m10s101

The forgiveness…

Because:

A man that would go to such trouble to make a woman’s dreams come true, must be very exceptional indeed

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h33m20s50

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h34m48s151

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h36m06s155

Mrs Silver: The answer to your earlier question is yes. I will marry you. Thank you very much for asking!

vlcsnap-2015-02-06-18h37m06s235

You can read more about The Story Behind The Making, in an interview with Richard Curtis here.
Roald Dahl’s books are adorned by Quentin Blake’s distinctive illustrations. More about the artist and his work can be found here.

Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot (2015)

Viewed on 25 January 2015

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Esio trot, esio trot, emoc no esio trot…

  1. Pingback: 6 Word Story – Maria Korkonea

  2. Ha! I read the book today to my son, had no idea they had made it into a film. It seems they played around with the original plot, Mr Hoppy gets away with it in my version. Thanks for sharing 😀 Best, Russell.

    • And before the film, I had no idea about the book! I knew about other books by Roald Dahl but not this one… well I can still pretend I’m 8 again, can’t I 🙂
      So, in the book he gets away with it! They HAD to go and up the suspense – as they do in films; make it a bit more dramatic. But it was well done, not cheesy at all, and gave Mrs Silver the chance to forgive ‘naughty’ Hoppy!

Chatroom | The Floor is Yours

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s