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|Movie Review by Jesse |
August 12th, 2007
Strawberries more Terrifying than Plane Crashes?
One of the most interestingly eye-opening films of the 90s. With director Peter Weir, I always know I am in for a different kind of film; one that has more poignant issues and other existential themes incorporated into it. With Fearless, Weir shows us the upsides and downsides of what it's like to survive a traumatic event like an airplane crash.
Based slightly on the airline crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in 1989, this film is very detailed in the crash itself and has many sad scenes that can compare in sadness to those of United 93. Max Klein (Bridges) is a survivor of an airplane crash. Many die, including his business partner, and the trauma transforms his life. He enters an altered state of consciousness; soon after the crash he even thinks he is dead, and begins rethinking life, death, God, and the afterlife. Existential questions start to preoccupy his life. He moves away from his wife (Rossellini) and son but, encouraged by an aircraft company psychiatrist (Turturro), he tries to break the depression and apathy of another survivor, Carla Rodrigo (Perez), who lost her baby son during the flight. Eventually Max's increasingly dramatic attempts at pushing the boundaries between life and death succeed in jolting Carla from her uncertain state.
Amazing performances highlight this film. Rossellini and Turturro are good, but it's Rosie Perez that steals the show. She received an Academy Award nomination for her role in this film, but lost to Anna Paquin. Her role as a grieving mother may be one we normally see in films, but the way she portrayed her character was something I will never forget. Her spirited performance made the character very memorable.
The anchor of this film, however, was Jeff Bridges. He is an underrated actor and is overlooked by the Academy on many occasions. His performances in The Fisher King and this film are some of the best examples of well written and well acted intimate portraits on film. The chemistry between Bridges and Perez is also something truly remarkable. The scene where Perez has to say goodbye to Bridges so he can get on with his life and get back to his family is one of the saddest goodbyes I have ever seen.
The cast was great, but I do believe that Tom Hulce's character was quite annoying and totally unnecessary in most scenes he was in. Maybe if they had recast that character it would have been different because Tom Hulce slowly got on my nerves.
Overall, this film is very satisfying. It's inspiring, really. It'll make you happy and sad and it will make you realize that you have to live your life to the fullest. This film is unfortunately underrated mainly due to the impossible to find DVD, but if you do find it, I suggest that you see it because it's a great movie that should be seen. One of the best of 1993.
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