Find the list here: The Top 250 Films List Total Films Watched: 250/250

Monday, 11 February 2013

#242 - 'Mystic River' (2003)

"Sometimes I think, I think all three of us got in that car..." - Sean Devine.
'Mystic River' begins with three kids playing hockey in the street. After losing the puck down a drain, they discover some wet cement on the sidewalk. The three kids - Jimmy, Sean and Dave - write their names in the cement. Before Dave can finish, they are stopped by a man who orders them to stop. Believing he is a cop - he isn't, he has disgusting ulterior motives - the boys stop and they are told to get in the car. Dave gets into the back-seat, while Jimmy and Sean do not. Fast-forward to present day and the three have grown apart. Jimmy (Sean Penn) is a owns a liquor store but has a criminal past. Sean (Kevin Bacon) is a homicide detective and Dave (Tim Robbins) is troubled with the events of his childhood. They are re-united after Jimmy's daughter Katie is found dead. Could the decision to get in that car all those years ago have any significance on the circumstances around Katie's death?
Don't get in the car.
There is a strong main cast, with a very good supporting cast. Penn, Bacon and Robbins are on fine form. The scene in which Jimmy learns of his daughter's death is particularly harrowing, as Penn screams in disbelief and mourning. Robbins' psychologically troubled Dave has an eerie air and looks like he could flip at any moment. Bacon is convincing as a cop and ticks all the generic boxes. Laurence Fishburne plays Sean's detective partner and although he doesn't have that much screen-time in the grand scheme of things, he portrayed the classic cop partner very well.
Jimmy is restrained after being told his daughter is dead.
The narrative was alright. At times I felt I was watching a TV drama rather than a feature film. There was a lot a of generic cop scenes and some bits that could have been cut without affecting the storyline. I was expecting a few more twists and turns than there actually were. The cinematography was nothing fancy which was good. It fitted the nature of the film and it would have looked out of place if there were fancy camera angles or anything extravagant. Then again, this did add to the TV-movie feel of it. 
Bacon and Fishburne. This still could be taken from a new cop drama on FOX. Or a new EE advert.
This was a good, solid drama with some great acting that just fell a little short on the storytelling side of things.

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