Thursday, August 30, 2007

WE Film - Reign Over Me (Movie Review)

by: Krysta Celestine

I feel the need to express my dissatisfaction with movies that have come out recently. Some of these movies that I've seen in the past year have been so disappointing, that I was left wanting a refund halfway through the film. Movies these days, in my opinion, seem to be unrealistic, lack emotion and creativity. It makes me wonder: are good movies a dying breed? It is for this reason, that I've given up on any hope for good movies. Almost.

I reluctantly decided to give movies a second chance when I took up a friend's offer to see "Reign Over Me", starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle.

I am not partial to any particular genre. In fact, I loath action, comedy at times can be borderline corny, and there are only so many "chick flicks" that I can stomach. However, after seeing Adam Sandler in Anger Management and The Waterboy, I came to appreciate his sense of humour.

I was warned, however, that Sandler's acting in "Reign Over Me" was atypical of "The Waterboy"'s usual wackiness.

I'll admit that I was a bit turned off, and I'll tell you why: after seeing Chris Rock in the film "I think I love my wife", and Will Farrrel in the very painful-to-watch "Melinda and Melinda, I was not about to waste money on yet another comedic actor's futile attempt to take on a serious role.

However, after spending $13.50 on my ticket and a whopping eight dollars on a meal, I decided to give "The Waterboy" a chance. "The Waterboy" had one hundred and twenty four minutes to show me what he was made of.

Surprisingly, he pulled it off. Although I was aware of Cheadle's fine acting, it was Sandler who really surprised me.

"Reign Over Me" is the story of two recently reunited college roommates, Charlie Fineman (played by Sandler), and Allan Johnson (played by Cheadle). Both graduates of dentistry school, Allan is a successful dentist, with a beautiful wife and beautiful children, while Charlie has given up on life entirely after his wife and three daughters were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Charlie has emotionally blocked himself off from the world and throughout the film, wears headphones to tune out everything that goes on around him. He keeps himself busy by listening to old music, playing video games, and constantly remodelling his kitchen.

These three activities that Charlie seems to immerse himself in all have a meaning behind it. While Allan's problems seems to pale in comparison to Charlie's, Allan seems to be dissatisfied with his life, despite to seemingly have it all.

It is not my intent to give you a play-by-play account of what happens in the movie. You will have to see it for yourself. However, I do encourage you all to see this fantastic film.

"Reign Over Me" is an incredibly moving film. It has just the right amount of comedy and drama to keep you on the edge of your seat. It will make you laugh, and I guarantee that it will make you cry, as the audience is able to empathize with Sandler's character as he struggles to come to terms with all that has been taken from him... something that he has desperately tried not to acknowledge. In something that is very rare today, the audience is able to view strong friendships between males.

I tend to agree with a critic from The New York Times, who wrote: "Cheadle is good, as always, but Sandler's portrayal of a guy on the perennial brink of a psychotic breakdown is amazing. The scene where he finally attempts to reveal the events of 9/11 is as fine a piece of naked emotional acting as you're likely to see this year"

If you've been longing for just a really good movie, filled with sincerity, emotion and creativity, like I have, then I encourage you all to watch this fantastic film when it is released on DVD on July 24th.

To answer my initial question of whether good movies are a dying breed, my answer to that is no. Good movies are very much alive. There's a hidden gem where you least expect it.

No comments: