Movie Review – Mystic River

Posted: April 20, 2014 in Movie Reviews
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Guilt is the one word which could be used to completely summarize the whole film. Almost all of Eastwood’s film have this as its universal theme. He seems to be a sad person deep inside. It doesn’t look like he’s doing films sad just for making us sympathize with him. I could see the genuine sadness associated with the films. The film was hardly like anything I thought. First of all I never knew it to be a multi starrer and secondly I didn’t expect the film to be so silent. There was no back ground music. No hurried shots but the thrill was maintained throughout like a silent river ebbing away from us. And that treatment to thriller was a treat to watch.


The film had a terrific opening with three kids trying to write their names in a wet cement slab. The tension builds right from that scene. But we don’t know why we’re having that tension. There’s an eerie silence that descends on us when we see them writing their name in the slab. The background is like that of Bronx Tale. The roads, people, cars etc. First to write the name is Jimmy who is the tough nut, the second is Sean who looks more like a push over and the third to write is Dave who is clearly afraid. When a police official takes Dave into custody I couldn’t find out that he was a fake.

The way they grow up is also shown brilliantly. Jimmy is a dad of three but looks cool with tattoo and leather jacket. I wasn’t sure at first how he’s well built like this in spite of being a dad. But then got to know that he’s the head of the brotherhood who scare the people out there. Then there is Sean who becomes a police officer with a wife who doesn’t talk to him. Dave on the other hand is a father of kid and quite quiet. We see him walking his son off quite often. We could see the protectiveness he has in his eyes. How his past was such a misery. How much he’s afraid of his son. We could also see the rage with which he kills a child molester. The rage that was within him throughout his life. Every single one of them have given their performances of life with Sean Penn being the most brilliant of all.

Throughout the movie we are made to think that Dave could be the one who could have killed Jimmy’s daughter. The explanation I thought was that he was still angry about why he was chosen and not the other two to be molested by the child molester. It could have been them too and that would have made a whole lot of difference. What wrong did he do to get chosen instead of others? It’s plain fate.

The way the whole thing comes together with Dave confessing his murder and the original killers getting arrested by Sean is such a brilliant scene. On one side even though we almost know that Dave wouldn’t have killed Jimmy’s daughter we believe him for a second. We could see that he doesn’t have a chance or maybe he’s plain tired. On the other hand the whole killer episode gets brilliant by just one small relieved laugh by Sean once the killers are caught.

The climax is the most brilliant scene of the lot where Sean tells that how it all could be a dream and they all could already have been trapped in the car. It tells us how frustrated they all are. Each of them have their own share of guilt. Be it the silent wife of Sean, the murder of Dave for Jimmy or the molestation for Dave. They all are trapped in their respective boogies. The existence they have on the outside are mere superficiality. At the end of the day it’s all fate.


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