May 05, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a 2011 film starring Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, and Sandra Bullock. It was based on the novel of the same title, written by Jonathan Safran Foer, which was published in 2005. The film was directed by Stephen Daldry who also directed the 2008 film, The Reader.

This was probably one of the most heartwarming movies. How could it not be? It talks about a son who lost his father during the 9/11 attack. It talks about how the mother and son deals with it, with a little help from the grandmother. It also showed the return of the grandfather, who abandoned the boy's father when the latter was still a child. It's a family drama film, and an inspiring one at that. It utilized puzzles and adventure, and the journey it made me take was incredible. 

It dealt with a lot of sensitive and current issues. For starters, it's about terrorism. Sure, it wasn't featured in the actual film; however, the act of terrorism committed on September 11, 2001 provided the basic premise of the story. It provided the setting where and when the story took place. It also tackled death. Although the premise locates this story as part of the aftermath of 9/11, anyone who had lost a loved one would be able to relate to this film. It talked about family, the dynamics of a family that got broken. The trauma other family members could go through after losing someone in an unexpected time and event. It's always hard to lose someone, but I felt how it was so much harder for people to deal with a death caused by such tragedy. 

It also depicted other things like conquering one's fears, dealing with strangers, family problems and a whole lot more. This movie had so much to offer because it explored different elements that surrounded its core story. Jonathan Safran Foer created an amazing story in his work, and Eric Roth did great in translating the book to a screenplay. 

This was the first piece of literature that I came across that talked about the 9/11 attack. This was the first movie I saw that talked about 9/11. I guess it was different than watching war films. I've seen a few war films: Saving Private Ryan, Flags of our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima to name a few. I enjoyed watching these movies, and I even consider Saving Private Ryan as one of my all time favorite films. However, I would be the first to admit that there's a challenge to situate things mostly because I was not around during those times. I had several history classes, I had come across stories and details about it so I can say I am familiar with the war, at least to a certain extent. However, 9/11 was something that happened in my lifetime which made me relate to it more. I remember being in the classroom when I was in the fifth grade talking about how the twin towers fell, or watching the news on TV witnessing how people were crying and suffering. In both cases, war or 9/11, I could only imagine the horror of having to deal with losing someone unexpectedly. 

The story, which was basically the journey of the boy to re-connect with his father, was really moving. I still consider myself to be young, still a kid. However, seeing a much younger boy go through what he went through could make your mind wonder about your own life. At least that's what happened to me. It was very clever to use a key to be the primary object of the journey, because Oskar, the kid, wanted to find a "door" that would allow him to make his connection with his dad longer. 

Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are both award winning performers; and they just showed why they got all those awards. Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors. I became a huge fan of his when I saw Saving Private Ryan, and as I've mentioned, I think it's one of the best films of all time. I've also always been a supporter of Sandra Bullock, although it's mostly because of her comedy films. I strongly believe she's one of the best actresses in the industry today. Thomas Horn has a lot of potential. Considering he was just discovered after joining a game show, the kid delivered in the film. His acting was superb! The supporting actors were great too. Everyone was great. 

The film, as a whole, was beyond excellent. There was a scene, however, that I didn;t exactly appreciate. It was theone where Oskar asked The Renter if he, Oskar, could tell his story to the old man. That scene was a bit dragging for me. I felt that it was too much and halfway through it, I jut wanted the scene to be over. However, as soon as it stopped, and Oskar was shown with his head on the table, I immediately went back to admiring the movie. It really was an amazing movie, and I would never understand why it didn't do well in the box-office, or why some of the critics hated it. I guess, we have our own opinions, and mine clearly shows how much I liked this movie. I'm glad it got a lot of recognition from different institutions because the film deserved every one of it.

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