International Writers Magazine:
There are all clichés
you would expected of this kind of film painful conflicts of normal
and subnormal world, emotionally offensive monologs, wild altercations,
sudden deaths, loving and tears wringing gestures. There are also great
actors performances, good directing and it its way clever script.
Basically it is a good although somewhat calculating film with a clear
message there is something wrong with the world and people in it.
Over Me (DVD review)
Directed and written by Mike Binder in 2007, starring Adam
Sandler, Don Cheadle.
Johnson (D.Cheadle) is a well-situated dentist, loving and loved
father and husband. He meets his friend Charlie (A.Sandler) whose
family died in one of the planes on September 11th 2001. Medically
speaking he suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder, in effect
he seems to be very... subnormal. Alan wants to help him, he tries,
tries, tries and somehow he succeeds, realizing during this journey
his life is not as perfect as we and he thought.
There are terrible things happening around; the planes are crashing, people
dying, couples getting divorced, impacted ones getting mad, relationships
are emotionally empty, families can fall apart after one innocent interference
from the outside, people dont share their feelings and needs, money
rule. This is the world Reign Over Me is about, this is the world
everybody knows very well, if not from experience than at least from TV
or cinemas. And this is also the world where ordinary people cant
be really happy without help from another world (meaning somehow unordinary
people). Rich ones live their lives in invisible emotional emptiness,
fulfilling their duties as parts of the society, waiting for some innocent
soul which would show them how to be really happy. Poor ones... live their
lives in other films but in contemporary cinematography there is a very
little difference. We are no longer in fairy tales where happy poor peasants
show aristocracy the true path to happiness. The poor are not innocent
anymore and if they really want to show someone the true path they have
to be retarded to be taken seriously (I am Sam for example).
But lets go back to Reign over me and to the way it shows
the society. Western society. American society. There are just two problems
shown in it terrorists and emotions. And because the terrorists
work here as fuse and background for the main story about frustrated or
unsatisfied lives, one could say there is just one problem people in the
west have. And they are not able to deal with it anymore, not even a shrink
can really help them. T
here is a need for some innocent soul. It could be child but you know
how spoiled the children are nowadays. It better be autistic (Rain
Man), mentally retarded (I Am Sam) or our from posttraumatic
disorder suffering man to show us the real importance of the family, love
and friendship. There used to be fairy tales to tell us that. But it seems
they dont work anymore. Todays stories have to be much more
persuasive to have some effect. No more E.T.s, no more dwarfs,
no more talking animals. Normal abnormality is now in great
demand. People probably dont trust each other.
Maybe words about feelings coming ordinarily from ordinary mouths would
be considered insincere. It is sad if it is true. But Reign Over Me
and other similar films claims it is. So be it. At least we dont
have to wait for aliens to give us absolution. We just need to find ourselves
someone really innocent and honest to show us the path.
© Josef Fisher Nov 2007
Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)DVD
Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck 2006,
Josef Fisher review
There are different ways how film-makers from formal satellite states
of the Soviet Union deal with their communist past.
Joseph is visiting the UK and the University of Portsmouth from the Czech
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