August 04, 2012

Mystic River

I was afraid at first to watch the movie because up until this point, I've liked every single movie I've seen directed by Clint Eastwood. I've been impressed by all his works that I thought watching another of his movies might change that. I'm not saying I thought the movie was going to be bad, it's just that I thought it was impossible to like everything he's done.But after watching it, I can say that it is possible. I've seen a lot of Eastwood directed movies, and I thought there might be a time when I would be disappointed. This was not that time. Mystic River was an excellent movie. I had an unbelievable experience watching it.

Mystic River was a 2003 drama movie starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon as three childhood friends who lived different lives after an incident that changed everything. It was written, produced and directed by the the talented Clint Eastwood. The screenplay was written by Brian Helgeland. Also part of the cast were Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Emmy Rossum, Tom Guiry, and more. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins went on to win their first Academy Awards, winning Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. The movie also performed well in the box-office, pleasing both critics and regular audiences.

The story started with a time when the three kids were friends, playing games with one another, doing regular things kids do. They were friends. After decades, after life forced them to grow up, almost everything changed. They were no longer the three friends who ran free. In fact, they were no longer friends. The story narrates of how these three men ended up as almost strangers. The movie tackles the different back stories of each character, and how it ultimately connects them to one another. It's a movie that tells a tragic story. It was a story worth telling, and the way it was told was appropriate and complementary to the message of the film. The whole somber atmosphere aided the narration of the destruction of a once strong friendship.

I liked how every one ended up with a different life in the same neighborhood. Jimmy, the cool kid, became a crook who went clean. Sean, the live by the rules kid, ended up as a homicide detective. Dave, the trying to fit in kid, ended up as a almost messed up adult. These are not their characterizations. These are just short descriptions of how each character looked like to me. Just personal observations. Going back, I really liked the plot of the story. It was heavy drama, but at least it had substance. It wasn't about the tears as there was almost none. But it was a tragedy, a depressing one at that as well. It had pain and terror around it. It was a little dark and filled with tension. It's a crime movie as well so it had some serious moments, some disturbing and some depressing.

I thought Sean Penn and Tim Robbins both deserve the awards they got. Sean Penn was scary in this  movie. Not horror scary but more of Psycho scary. At the same time, I still sympathized with him and everything he was going through. He's a man in pain, suffering because he lost someone important to him, someone he loved. Tim Robbins on the other hand, who will always be Andy Dufrense, was also filled with the same pain of going through a terrible experience as a kid. I saw him as a man who's troubled with wanting to set everything right. His experiences led him to a life of fear, but at the same time a life with a drive to be the best person he could be, although the line's blurry for him.

Kevin Bacon was the anti-thesis of both characters. I guess it was already clear from the beginning of the film that he's the good one. I'm surprised at the variety of roles he has played throughout his career. From the guy in Footloose to Sean in Mystic River, his resume has to be one of the most diverse resumes in Hollywood. Another surprise for me was that Tom Guiry's career didn't boom after this movie. The movie became successful, and he demonstrated his great acting skills. I thought this would be a movie that would catapult him to Hollywood stardom, even getting on the A-List. He was really good in the movie and it's disappointing that not a lot of people noticed. I' glad to find out he's still working as an actor, but I hope he makes it big soon cause he's one seriously talented actor and he deserves more recognition.

Clint Eastwood has to be one of God's gift to the film industry. He's a talented actor, and even more impressive as a director. He really knows what scenes to create, which shots to take, and how to aim the camera towards the actors. He knows how to work with everything and the end products of his films are always delightful to watch. His talent radiates and I'm proud to say that I'm a big Clint Eastwood supporter.  Mystic River was really good and I hope whoever can read this will check it out. It had a great story line, great actors, great director, great scenery. It was a simple yet embedding movie.

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