"the lives of 3 childhood friends are drawn together through tragedy." i think that's the tagline most often used to describe this movie. i only went to go see it because i read good reviews about it. i'd describe it as a dramatic crime thriller. the story was interesting, but i wasn't moved by it as i am with some other movies. i'm not much of a drama fan, i don't go to movies to see great acting, i go for the stories. this film has a list of supposedly great actors: sean penn, tim robbins, laurence fishburne, marica gay harden, laura linney. notice how i left out kevin bacon. he's forever mr.footloose to me, i can't take him serious, and each year he looks more and more gaunt, he's become a caricature of himself, a mythical figure in the cult of bacon. sorry, i digress.

the story takes place in the greater boston area (hence the mystic river reference), and the boston accent really distracted me. what is it about actors and their need to do the boston accent? most people who never grew up here in boston don't do it right, and it sounds retarded when they try to do it.

the aforementioned tragedy is the brutal murder of jimmy marcus' (penn) 19 year old daughter (the fact that she's 19 years old is mentioned several times throughout the movie, so you don't forget). sean devine (bacon) is one of the detectives on the case, and he and jimmy were friends as kids, but grew apart as they reached adulthood. the third friend, dave boyle (robbins), becomes the prime suspect of the murder when he comes home to his wife one night bloodied with a suspicious alibi, the exact same night jimmy's daughter is murdered. jimmy has a checkered past (spent some time in the joint) and has several shady connections that he calls up to help him track down his daughter's murder so he can exact his revenge.

so the stage is set as each character work his/her way through the story. did i fail to mention that as boys, one of them (dave) was abducted by child molesters but later escaped? how that plays into the story i won't reveal. why that's even important, maybe i'm not smart enough to figure out. sometimes i watch these movies and i don't understand the critical raves, and i think maybe i'm just not bright enough to watch certain movies. but you'd think a good movie would have an universal appeal, not just limited to intellectuals?

the wives of the friends play an interesting part as well. jimmy's wife (linney) has an almost lady macbeth element about her, while dave's wife (harden) is one of the most tragic figure in the film, not quite sure if her husband is the killer, torn between keeping a secret and telling her friends about who might have murdered their daughter. sean is married as well, but we never see his wife, she just calls him and says nothing, which has some kind of significance, but once again, i didn't really understand that part.

i didn't really understand the ending either. i don't want to give anything away, but two of the friends exchange some gestures which i don't know how to interpret. this is what happens when you go see movies by yourself! nobody to discuss the film with afterwards, and you're left slightly confused!

so mystic river, it's an interesting movie although parts of it i didn't quite understand. for fans of drama, it's probably a must-see. for fans of movies that aren't so hard to decipher and don't require very much thinking, i suggest looking elsewhere.




a simple sunday really, had soup from a can for lunch (with a smoothie), then went to cvs to get a watch battery (i've been watchless for many months now, relying solely on my cellphone clock to tell time), then went down to alewife to watch mystic river in fresh pond in one of their smallest screening rooms (i sat very far back, had a hard time hearing the audio), followed by a visit to staples to get some supplies, before coming back home and getting picked up in the evening for dinner with my family in belmont, helping my mother with her jigsaw puzzle, then returning home to watch a new episode of alias while wrapping the present for the office holiday party tomorrow night.

spoiler: just when i was starting to think this was one of the dumbest episodes ever, with sydney all friends with kendall now and how he knew what had happened to her during those 2 missing years, or the fact that the covenant stole her eggs in order to fullfill the rimbaldi prophecy (i hate this rimbaldi plotline, too much x-files, not enough 007), we discover that the SNIPER ON THE ROOF is none other than vaughn's wife! the fact that she's crooked means sydney and vaughn can hook up. okay, i'm hooked again, see you next sunday.