The Man in the Hat
starring Ciarán Hinds, directed by John-Paul Davidson and Stephen Warbeck
There’s a theory, when it comes to reviews – of anything – that the reviewer needs to have a background, some level of expertise, to be able to effectively assess that which they are reviewing. In food writing, food critics will insist that to write a good review, there should be an understanding of how the food was made, flavoured, grown, etc. Meanwhile, sites like Yelp thrive on reviews based on whether or not an individual liked the taste of what they ate and little more. Does knowledge change our level of enjoyment and understanding of something?
I bring this up here because it’s an important point when it comes to The Man in the Hat as well as the reviews of this film published so far.
Growing up in Halifax, which is both a military town and a tourist destination, it was not uncommon to come across parades, guys in kilts, bands with lots of bagpipes or even the occasional tank while wandering around downtown. Here in Toronto, it happens far less often, and finding a military parade is kind of a treat.
We were walking past St. Andrew’s Church on King Street West, and we encountered a parade about to start. St. Andrew’s has long and historic ties to the 48th Highlanders (the church houses the 48th Highlanders Museum) and there was a special service on Sunday that involved them. People stood around outside, waiting for the bands and troops to march by before the service.
It was a cold windy day on Sunday, not one in which it would have been fun to wear either a kilt or a massive fluffy hat, but the regiment soldiered on (ha!) and after marching past St. Andrew’s headed north on University Avenue.