Saturday, March 29, 2008

Crazy Love

Some documentaries make me feel smarter for watching them, especially those that deal with the environment or politics or big business.

Then there are others that make me feel stupid for Netflixing them, like the ones HH likes that are basically Tin Foil Hat Society stuff and usually involve UFOs, JFK, and vapor trails.

Now “Crazy Love” comes along and it…it…it confuses me. It’s the story of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss, a couple who fell in sort-of-love when she was just 20 and he was older and rich – and very married. Burt saw Linda one day while he was out driving and became obsessed with her. He had to have her, had to make her his girlfriend or whatever he called it. She was impressed and let him wine and dine her but was shocked to learn he was married. He lied all the time about how he was going to divorce his wife and she believed him until his wife Francine called her and said she would never divorce him.

So Linda left. And she found another man who loved her. Of course Burt was livid when he learned she was engaged to this man. He hired a man to throw lye in her face which blinded her and made her bald. Her engagement was off; her life was off. Burt was sentenced to prison for 30 years but was released on parole 15 years later…

…after giving Linda $4000 and promising the parole board he would continue to give her money! She never married, never felt confident in herself after he ruined her life and took away her sight. When he got out of prison, she agreed to meet him and eventually they married. This in itself is dumbfounding but then we learn that during their marriage Burt cheated on Linda for five years with a younger woman who later claimed he threatened her life. Remarkably Linda not only stood by her cheating man, she defended him!

Their relationship is bizarre. I don’t believe either of them knows what it means to love someone. Then again, who is to say what love really is? They have something that evidently works for them. They each came from very rough circumstances: Burt was beaten by his mother every day and Linda lived with friends from an early age and didn’t have much of a father in her life. Each time I thought I had a handle on who they were and why they acted as they did, something shifted.

So I may not be smarter or dumber by watching this, just more confused.