Mystic River.

Mystic River

Once again my friend Abhaya came up trumps and led me to this film which was simply mind blowing.

The story revolving around three childhood friends coming together again as grown-ups due to a murder of the daughter of one of them is riveting and the final twist made it simply fantastic to watch. I am getting increasingly more respectful of Clint Eastwood’s directorial ability too.

While Sean Penn won Best Actor and Tim Robbins won Best Supporting Actor for the film in 2003, I would like to reverse the order.  In my opinion the latter comes up with a very natural and compelling performance, while the former tends to overact in places. Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne produce professional performances.  Quite why the former’s domestic problems had to feature in the story however,  is beyond my ken.

One of my favourite actors from way back when, Eli Wallach,  puts in a cameo appearance which was delightful too.

Overall, a picture worth seeing despite its running time of 137 minutes, and I was glad that I watched it at home and could pause at will for breaks.

Two observations. The Redhaired Jimmy grows up to be dark haired and I simply could not figure out why the title had to be Mystic River. While a river is shown on and off it does not play any role in the narration!

Despite the two observations, I would still give the film a [rating=5] rating reserving one for the two.

The Gunman.


How can I not go to a movie with Sean Penn in it?  And when the show timings are very convenient in the afternoon, it is cinch that I would go despite not knowing anything about any of the other actors, director, producers or anything else.

With that background, let me share my views on the film that I saw yesterday.  The leading lady Jasmine Trinca produces a very credible performance and I will certainly see any other films that will feature her.  And before I forget, Sean Penn delivers.

The film revolves around hanky panky that happens in Africa with mercenaries killing people and doing other nasty things to enable multinational corporations to exploit the mineral wealth there.  Sean Penn portrays one such mercenary who kills a Minister and then scoots to save himself and his employers from getting caught, in the bargain losing his lady love.

Years later, nemesis catches up with him and he is forced to return to his killing ways to not only save his own life but also his lady love’s and that part of the film is what Shackman calls the popcorn and action experience that keeps one glued to one’s seat.

All in all an entertaining afternoon particularly when it is all over and done with under two hours of theater time, and the film gets my usual [rating=5] rating for such action films.