Monday, June 09, 2008

Brain-Bending Flick

Last night JeepMan and I took advantage of the kids being at MIL's for the weekend....Now, now, get your mind out of the gutter.

We rented actual grown-up movies and watched them without distraction or interruption.

The first one was SweenyTodd, staring the always-gorgeous Johnny Depp. Except, actually, he managed to be entirely non-gorgeous in this movie. The flick is pure Tim Burton, from the hollow-eyed characters (Depp and Helena Bonham Carter), to the smoggy setting, to the technicolor blood. I kept from JeepMan until the movie was actually in the DVD player the fact that this was a musical. He doesn't generally go for musicals. JM indulged me, however, and the movie was pretty good. I've never seen the stage version or read the book (is there a book?), so I had no idea what to expect. In the end I was left numb to the copious gore but satisfied wth the ending. Not a bad way to spend a couple hours with your hubs and no kidlets.

Then we decided to see the other I had picked out. Against my gut, I had chosen "Gone, Baby, Gone." Directed by Ben Affleck (or Matt Damon, I get them confused). I didn't know if I could handle it because it was about a kidnapping and had multiple twists. The film was engaging, and they didn't let us get to know the child too much before she was kidnapped...actually the bulk of the film revolved around her exceptionally dysfunctional family - crackhead mother, squalorous living conditions, etc. The film came to a sad conclusion, or so I thought. Then it kept going. Switched gears completely, which left me wondering what the point was of taking a hard left when the movie seemed to be essentially over. Turns out this veer uncovers a few twists to the original plot, and we are eventually back to almost where we left off.


So, the ending of the movie left me uneasy and conflicted. Essentially, the lead detective (engaged, no kids) uncovers a scheme that involves a crooked cop, the mother's brother, and the Chief of Police (Morgan Freeman), whose past includes the kidnapping and murder of his only daughter at the age of 12. The brother found out that his sister was a drug mule who had ended up with $130K after a police raid. The brother saw that he could expose his sister for the unfit mother she was, snag the money, and put the child into better hands all with a kidnapping scheme. The crooked cop saw an easy way to make money and do some good for humanity as well, and the Chief saw a way to rescue/raise a beautiful little girl, filling the void in the life of both he and his wife, and giving the child the kind of chance she would never get while in her mother's care.

We see the girl with her new "parents," she is clean, rosy-cheeked, well-dressed, and full of affection, kissing her "mother" and cuddling with her "father" on the porch rocker. She exudes a vivaciousness that we have not seen in any of the pictures her mother keeps. The chief's wife looks like any new mother, beaming at the child and lavishing her with attention. But somewhere across town lives the woman who carried and birthed this child, a mother who has already held a funeral for her and grieved as any mother, even a drug-addled derelict, would.

The detective has to make the decision on whether to do what he feels is morally "right," to return the child to her mother and expose the corruption in the police force, OR to do what his fiancee feels is ethically right, leaving the child with the doting, wealthy couple and just quietly walk away and leave well enough alone. What's more, his fiancee informs him that if he sends the girl back to her biological mother, she will leave him, as she feels that a moral/ethical rift of this magnitude is simply insurmountable.

What did he do? Ahhh, dear reader, I shall leave that for another post. You may actually want to see the movie and find out for yourself. The ending did not leave me easy. I am still thinking on it, unsure. If you can handle the intensity and unsavory subject matter, I would highly recommend this movie.

What I want to know now is, what would YOU do? And, what is RIGHT? (they may not be the same...)

Until next time...


SUV MAMA said...

I admire that you can watch those movies. I can't. I just can't. Deep End of the Ocean was on HBO and I started watching a few minutes of it and couldn't do it. Just couldn't. Anything where a child is in peril or that poses a threat to children... I just can't stomach it. I prefer to leave the "what ifs"... otherwise I'd go insane. (Well, more insane than I am now, anyway!). Ha!

MrsTSalazar said...

I really liked "gone baby,gone" the ending was a little much, but it made you think. I dont think I would have made the choice he did, especially after seeing the ending.
What about you?

Another good one is "Untraceable", its a little gory, as a thriller, but I was interested in the premise of online craziness! (Dont we all worry that we are actually talking to a 70 year old man?!)

Glad to hear you got a nice weekend!!


writtenwyrdd said...

I didn't like Sweeney Todd because I couldn't care about any of the characters, not even the workhouse boy.

The other one isn't my cup of tea, although Damon and Affleck are fellows whose work consistently impresses me (Gigli, okay, that's an exception).

JaneyV said...

I love Johnny Depp but knowing the story of Sweeney Todd - I'm staying well away! As for Gone Baby Gone - I might watch that one as it's more of a thriller although the subject matter puts me off. It's release was delayed over here because there was a big story in the press about a missing kid who was really similar. Ben Affleck actually pulled it so as not to upset the parents of the missing child. It's over a year and she's still not been found.
OK I'm depressed now!

I tend to watch sci-fi or thrillers for my non-kiddie viewing. I hate anything gratuitous (like slasher/horror flicks) but I do like suspense and I love a good Rom-Com but I'm pretty much on my own in my house on that one. Hubby watches with me but then his snoring makes it hard to hear the jokes!