Friday, October 10, 2008

Mystic River (2003)

Mystic River is a difficult movie to digest. The climax is also the anti-climax. Its conclusion provides you with no closure. This is a movie you will either hate or like. Unfortunately for me, I didn't like it very much. Yet when I went to read some opinions on it, a lot of things occured to me. Perhaps I was too focused on disecting the mystery during the movie that I missed out the important things. The acting was also equally distracting, Sean Penn was bad, it seemed like he was trying too hard and Marcia Gay as the terrified spouse just came off as annoying. The movie is focused around pedophilia, even though during the course of the movie, it isn't talked about a whole lot. Instead, it provides a back story on an act of pedophilia and goes on about the events that ensue. The movie also uses some subtle references, you have to pay careful attention to the dialog to catch them.

The lives of 3 boys were forever changed when one of them was kidnapped and sexually abused. Even though the 2 other children were unaffected, their lives were intertwined because of a tragic incident. Dave (Tim Robbins), the boy who was sexually abused, became the center of a crime that involves the murder of Katie, Jimmy's (Sean Penn) daughter. Sean (Kevin Bacon) is the cop who tries to solve the murder. The events that unfold becomes the crux of the story.

The ending made a lot of people dislike the movie because it dropped a huge dosage of realism that does not sit well with a lot of people. Having a happy ending is one thing, but having no ending is another thing. It's like telling you the Cinderella story but after she runs from the ballroom I just end it there. The conclusion ended with a lot left to interpret. This was actually ok for me if the movie was like "No Country for Old Men", where the entire point of the movie was that things just happen as they do. The problem I had with this movie was actually not all about the ending, the ending would have been fine if the body of the movie wasn't so boring. It could be like, an extra point. However, the movie focused too much on solving the mystery of the crime rather than what it was talking about, the act of pedophilia that caused it all.

To be fair, there could be another way of looking at it, that even though Dave suffered a terrible tragedy in his past. He didn't find closure or a happy ending like how most movies would paint out such an event. Instead, he received more damage and ultimately died. I guess that could be the point of the movie, that the world isn't very fair. It wasn't very clear on this and this is actually just pure speculation on my part which is why I don't like the movie. It didn't manage to support its points very well.

There was barely any soundtrack in this movie, there was like one theme song and they used it throughout. Usually it would be ok but the song was used so inappropriately that it came off as really strange. As I mentioned before, some of the actors did a bad job but not all of them did poorly. Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins and Laura Linney still managed to maintain their high standards. In my opinion, 6/10.

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