May 01, 2012

Gone Baby Gone

Where exactly is the line that distinguishes right and wrong? When can we say that we are doing the right thing? When can we justify actions that are frowned upon by society? Does the end justify the means? These questions provide the basic premise of the film Gone Baby Gone, starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, and a lot more. It was directed by Ben Affleck, who also co-wrote the screenplay of the movie with Aaron Stockard.

Usually, I just go on and talk about the cinematics of a film, more than the message. I talk about the cinematography ad not what they mean. I praise the loudness of the audio when there is also power in silence. However, for this film, allow me to do something a little different.

This was a powerful movie. This had a message, and it would be a shame if I didn't discuss it. The basic plot of the film revolves around a couple who got hired to locate a missing girl. It might seem like a  generic story of kidnapping. Even the usual suspects were portrayed. But the movie took on so much more than that. Just when you thought you already know what's going to happen next, the film changed its direction. The film played with a lot of materials, but it always stuck with its core points. 

I liked the twists and turns in this film, it kept me anticipating what was going to happen. It didn't have a dull moment. It only had quiet moments, and even in those quiet moments, I could still feel the intensity of it. Even the black outs in the film was complementing the mood of the film. There's a subtle loudness to it that hooked me to it. This film might not be a perfect movie, but it was damn close to being one. Not only did this film have an amazing cast, it had a well-written screenplay, and a clear direction to back it up. 

This film was probably one of most moving films I have seen, given that I haven't seen a lot of films. It was an emotionally charged, thought provoking film. It begs you to question your principles, your morality, your stand on issues. It challenges you to look deep and reflect on how you, yourself, would have handled such a situation. It took me some time to finish writing this, and to be honest, I still don't have a definite answer. I guess that is part of the power of this film, you will never really know until you're in that point when you have to make the decision, to make the call. 

It also deals with the repercussions of such decisions. Did you or did you not make the right decision? For every decision, for every action, there are consequences. We all have to face it. Maybe sometimes, we will doubt ourselves. We may even regret the choices we made. However, once you've made the call, there's no turning back. 

Casey Affleck is one talented actor. Maybe it runs in the family. But Casey Affleck must not be boxed to him being an Affleck. He have made a name for himself, and his performance in Gone Baby Gone is proof of the caliber of his talent. The way he delivers his lines just hit you in the heart, and he portrays the proper expressions. That makes the scenes even more genuine. Morgan Freeman is one of the best in the industry. There is something in the way he talks that moves or inspires me. He is simply one of the greatest actors Hollywood has ever seen. I felt like Michelle Monaghan could have been utilized a lot more. She is a wonderful actress, and I have seen her other works before. Having said that, she was absolutely fantastic in this. Amy Ryan deserved all the credit she got in this movie, including nominations from the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. She's the character you hate, only to realize the reason you hate her is because she was doing so well portraying the character. Ed Harris also had a strong performance in this movie. 

This movie, at the end of the day, leaves a challenge; one that calls for a fervent recollection of thoughts and actions. It's all about the decisions we make. I especially appreciated the ending of the film, how a simple conversation with a kid can reveal a variety of things. That scene alone encapsulated the movie's message for me: Sometimes, doing what we think is right is the wrong decision to make. 

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