Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

In Paraguay with Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 22nd December, 2010

Last night I travelled from Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) to Asunción (Paraguay) in the front roadside seat on the top deck of a  double-decker coach. Hardly had we left the graceless Ciudad del Este (one giant shopping emporiumn) than we ran into the brightest and most extensive electric storm I have ever encountered. Sheet lightning lit up the sky and surrounding flat countryside for a full four hours, but the deluge of rain did not deter the driver, who sped regardless along the by now virtually empty road. But what made the journey truly memorable, surreal even, was that shortly after we hit the storm, the video screen right by my seat starting playing Robert Schwentke’s film “Red”, in which a bald Bruce Willis plays a retired secret agent who reassembles an amazing group of former colleagues (played by actors including Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and nonogenarian Ernest Borgnine) in an action-packed thriller in which both the director and the cast seem to have their tongues firmly in their cheeks. The story is preposterous, but Helen Mirren struts gracefully in ever-more sumptuous clothes (even when she is killing people) and Bruce Willis gets the girl in the end, even though he has no hair. To the accompaniment of constant lightning outside, watching it was quite an experience.


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