Upřímně netuším, jestli má vůbec smysl tento článek vydávat. A to nejen z toho důvodu, že je psaný v anglickém jazyce. Jedná se o mou esej k předmětu Kinematografie anglicky mluvících zemí, ve kterém jsme koukali celkově na dvanáct filmů a na jeden z nich jsme museli pro zápočet napsat esej (mimo jiné). Vybrala jsem si film Being There, v češtině Byl jsem při tom, který podle mě rozhodně stojí za to. A pokud náhodou nebudete mít náladu na to číst tu esej (což naprosto chápu) tak se třeba podívejte na ČSFD a možná vás zaujme natolik, že si ho někdy také pustíte. Podle mě vážně stojí za to. Jestli je ještě něco nutné k té eseji dodat, tak je to to, že ačkoliv anglický jazyk studuji, tak to neznamená, že jsem v něm natolik dobrá, abych to dokázala napsat bez jediné gramatické chyby. Jsem si jistá, že se jich tam objevuje několik, ale když to člověk po sobě čte neustále dokola, tak už tam nevidí naprosto nic (ta bakalářská práce bude ještě velká sranda).
“This is just like television, only you can see much further,” said Chance astonished, being finally in a car for the first time in his life. And this masterpiece is just like a movie, only one can see much further. It is not only the plot and the characters. It is also an important message.
Being There is one of those movies, which are not so well known, but still are a treasure among the thousand’s other movies. It does not have the attention and appreciation which it deserves, but maybe that is for a good thing because once something is a mass product, it loses its magic.
Despite the fact that this film is not so well known, it still managed to reap success. For example, CNN Entertainment included Being There into the article of Essential movies of the 1970s, which is a great honour considering how many significant movies have been made in that decade. For example, The Godfather, Jaws, Star Wars, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky or Annie Hall. Moreover, The United States Library of Congress choose Being There for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it „culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant“.
The director Hal Ashby created a very significant and delightful movie, but it would have never happened if Jerzy Kosinski had not written the novel Being There. It was even Kosinski again, who adapted this novel for a screen. This film alongside with some actors was nominated for several awards. For example, the screenplay won the British Academy Film Award for Best Screenplay, and it was even nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay.
Being There is considered to be a satire. Robert C. Elliot defines a satire in „The nature of satire“ in Encyclopædia Britannica as a genre in which “vices, follies, abuses and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement.” This movie definitely meets with this definition. As well as with the fact, that the satire should be humorous but at the same time, it should function as constructive criticism and draw the attention to a certain problem. Being There is a delightful comedy when its main character gets into funny situations and at the same time, it is showing the world of the rich and the powerful. Furthermore, it also shows how the rich can be easily fooled when it comes to the fame, a possible connexion or just simply the excitement and the feeling of importance when knowing someone who is intensively talked about in a media. It almost seems like one need only an expensive-looking suit, not being too talkative, to nod and smile a lot and he can easily enter the world of American high society.
Sometimes it almost seems like the performance of Peter Sellers, who plays the character of Chance, is more discussed and admired than the movie itself. And the truth is, he deserves it. Film critics even say that it is his best performance as an actor. It is hard to believe that Peter acts differently in reality than as a Chance in the movie. He created a truly authentic character, which everyone must love.
Chance is a pure-hearted, fragile, slow-witted and innocent old man, who is living in complete seclusion. He has shaped the notion of the rest of the world only by two activities. By gardening and watching television. He was under the care of a wealthy guardian and his housemaid, but when the guardian dies, Chance is forced to enter the real world of the Washington D.C. And he is quite shocked when he discovers that the world does not respond to a click of a remote or that he does not get any food when he asks someone how he was used to his whole life. But he is still kind and childishly naive even when he is verbally attacked by a group of youngsters. Thus, it may be luck, indeed life-saving luck, when he stumbles into another wealthy couple, which takes him under their wings. However, they had done it only because they have mistaken him for a businessman. “Chance, the gardener,” he introduced himself. Chauncey Gardiner, they understood. Mistakes like this continue for the rest of the film. People think he is fluent in Russian only because he nodded when someone spoke Russian. His note about seasons and their importance in the garden is taken as an advice and a metaphor about economics. And the president himself includes this metaphor in his speech. His comment “I like to watch” is also taken very wrong, as sexual innuendo, and not only by one but by two very different people. When a few people finally came to a realization of who Chance really is, nobody is angry with him. Because, how could they? Chance has never lied, and he never stayed with Rands with the intention of using them for money or fame. It was people’s fault they have mistaken him for someone else, not his.
Finally, it would not be fair not to mention other great actors who played their character brilliantly in this movie. Melvyn Douglas played Ben Rand, critically ill businessman and Shirley MacLaine, who played Ben’s wife, Eva. It is important to mention that Eva was slowly falling in love with Chance. Richard Dysart played Ben’s doctor, and his suspicion towards Chance add some spice to the story.
Last but not least, the 1979 film Being There is truly a masterpiece. All the awards were by no means deserved. Being There will flourish our culture, and the character of Chance the gardener will win people’s hearts even in the next decades.
 Being There. Directed by Hal Ashby. USA, New York: Lorimar, 1979.
 Essential movies of the 1970s from ‚Jaws‘ to ‚Being There‘. CNN Entertainment. Last modified July 26, 2019. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/25/entertainment/essential-movies-1970s/index.html
 ‚Ghostbusters,‘ ‚Top Gun,‘ ‚Shawshank‘ Enter National Film Registry. The Hollywood Reported. Last modified December 16, 2015. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ghostbusters-top-gun-enter-national-849092
 Elliot, C. Robert. „The Nature of satire“, Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed on Britannica. Accessed January 3, 2019. https://www.britannica.com/art/satire