BACON,SEAN PENN,TIM ROBBINS,LAURENCE FISHBURNE MARCIA GAY HARDEN,LAURA
LINNEY, TOM GUIRY,KEVIN CHAPMAN, SPENCER TREAT CLARK,EMILY ROSSUM
ON THE NOVEL BY DENNIS LEHANE
BY BRIAN HELGELAND
BY CLINT EASTWOOD,JUDIE HOYT & ROBERT LORENZ
BY CLINT EASTWOOD
a working class Boston neighbourhood, three local boys Sean, Jimmy,
and Davey are playing street hockey when they are questioned by men
posing as plain clothes police officers. Davey is forced into the
strangers' car and subjected to days of sexual abuse before escaping.
Decades later, Sean (Kevin Bacon) a homicide detective, Jimmy (Sean
Penn) an ex-con and owner of the local grocery store, and Davey (Tim
Robbins) who is still haunted by the tragic incident in his youth,
are reunited when Jimmy's eldest daughter Katie (Emily Rossum) is
murdered. Sean, along with his partner Whitey (Laurence Fishburne)
are assigned to the case; Jimmy has sworn revenge before the police
catch his daughters killer; and Davey has become the number one suspect
due to his dubious behaviour which has also made his wife Celeste
(Marcia Gay Harden) to become suspicious of him.
A disturbingly tragic murder mystery, Mystic River is an extremely
well written adaptation by Brain Helgeland which features great direction
by Clint Eastwood (loved the fluid camera movements), striking cinematography
by Tom Stern, and a startling third act that had me glued to the screen.
Shot on location in Massachusetts, the city of Boston is itself a
character. We get a sense of the loyalty between friends and family
within the working class Catholic community the characters are based
in and the Mystic River itself is featured prominently.
The films ensemble cast in excellent. Sean Penn gives an emotionally
powerful performance as the grieving father, the actors' tough, quiet
restraint giving way to strong, heart breaking moments of despair
throughout the film. Kevin Bacon, who has put together a solid carer
filled with rich character roles (which has not been giving a break
as far as accolades are concerned), gives another great performance
which is at times marred by an annoying sub plot featuring an estranged
wife that should have been ditched form the film. Tim Robbins gives
a chilling performance as the damaged child sex abuse victim who slowly
dissents into madness, Marcia Gay Harden is excellent as his suspecting
wife, and Laura Linney (although wasted in a minor role as Jimmy's
wife) sent chills down my spine with a dark monologue near the films
end. Eli Wallach also stars in a cameo role as a liquor store owner,
the first time he and Eastwood had worked together since the 1966
western classic The Good, the Bad and The Ugly.
One of Eastwood's best, Mystic River also features some of
the best work by Penn, Robbins (who both earned Academy awards for
their performances) Bacon and Harden.