Saturday, 3 October 2020

The Karate Kid

Last night my son and I watched The Karate Kid on Amazon and I'm not ashamed to say that I wept. 

Why? Because I only just realised how much Noriyuki “Pat” Morita and Ralph Macchio (now 58) moulded my childhood, even though I never learned Karate or was bullied by a group of high school seniors in skeleton costumes. 

It was their relationship, their spirit, their philosophy and defiance against the odds to overcome and finally prevail, which possibly inspired me to be such the non-conformist pain in the ass that I am today. Only now in my later years do I note that it was probably more thanks to the writer Robert Mark Kamen, who Wikipedia now informs me wrote the screenplay combining elements of his real life with those of a newspaper article optioned by producer Jerry Weintraub.

Sadly Pat Morita (who tested five times for the role of Mr Miyagi before producer Weintraub agreed to cast him, not originally wanting a comic actor to play the role) passed away in 2005, but Mr Kamen is still alive and well at 72 and growing grapes in California.

I just want to thank Mr Kamen for writing the screenplay, Mr Weintraub for producing the film, John G Avildsen for directing, and Mr Macchio and Mr Morita for pouring their heart and souls into such an iconic film providing staple viewing for kids growing up in the 80s, and answering the question "whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them."

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