When Pigs Fly (Film Review: “Ricky”)

What starts out as a story of an ordinary single mother struggling to raise her young daughter while working a boring factory job quickly becomes a remarkable tale of a miraculous infant who sprouts wings and flies. And no, Norma hasn’t been drinking.  Ricky is a unique and charming movie that (of course) begs a huge suspension of disbelief to get on board and let this movie into your heart.


SnapShot Plot

Katie and her daughter Lisa are used to making it on their own.  Mom works the morning shift in a factory, dropping Lisa off at school each day and picking her up on her motor-scooter.  Lisa is the kind of child who sees deeply into things, very serious, and in fact it is through her eyes that we see most of the action taking place.  A new hire at the factory introduces the possibility of love into Katie’s life, in the form of Paco (played by Sergi Lopez…oh, and check him out in the steamy drama, Leaving, opposite Kristin Scott Thomas).  Paco quickly moves in and it’s not long before Katie is expecting a baby. It’s clear that Lisa craves a father figure in her life, yet she and Paco are taking it slow, still wary around each other as they test the waters to see what’s real in this new scenario.  A beautiful baby boy (who his sister names Ricky) is born but he seems to be very hard to soothe, as if something is hurting him or upsetting him. Tensions rise when Lisa and Katie discover two identical welts on Ricky’s back, and when Katie confronts Paco with her suspicions that he’s abused his son, he’s out the door, voila. It’s not long before Katie realizes how wrong she is, when the baby’s gone missing from his crib only to be found on top of the armoire.  The events that follow are often comic but also tragic, and by the end of the film, it is the essence of Family which is tested beyond the implausibility of a flying baby.  At one point, Lisa says of her brother, “He’s like an Angel.”  Which may be the whole point, after all.

Parting Shot

I think we sometimes feel an innate and cynical resistance to a Fantasy tale set in the Real World, as if it’s somehow stupid to engage in a film like that because it’s so unrealistic.  Yet we have no problem spending countless hours and millions of $$ engrossed in super-hero comic book adventure movies while pumping even more cash into their licensing deals through toys, games, and related merchandise.  So why not let a flying baby inject a little magic into our everyday lives? Ricky doesn’t have a cool costume, nor is he battling the forces of evil to save rural France from outer-space aliens, but every time he spreads his wings it’s an affirmation of Wonder and Hope, alive in our world today.

Featured Image Courtesy of:  http://www.le-pacte.com/international/library/single/ricky/


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