Even though he isn’t in front of the camera, director Clint Eastwood somehow conveys his dynamic on-screen presence in Mystic River.
The film, Eastwood’s fourth effort as a director, is a complex tale that examines both the human condition and more importantly, the twisted side of the human psyche.
The film is full of star power, with appearances from Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, Laura Linney and Laurence Fishburne.
Penn stars as Jimmy Markum, an ex-con whose daughter’s murder reunites him with his childhood friend, detective Sean Devine (Kevin Bacon).
Devine’s life soon begins to unravel, and the plot is further intensified by the emergence of Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins) as the main suspect.
We find out that Boyle returned home the night of the murder covered in blood, a fact that his wife (Laura Linney) hides from police.
This tragic situation creates an inevitable conflict, heightening the already intense plot.
Eastwood deftly brings the story to life, making the characters intertwine despite the seemingly otherworldly situations in which they find themselves.
Like many other films that are adapted from novels, there have been many questions of whether this film can hold up the integrity of the book and pull off the difficult transition from print to screen.
Unlike some other films, Mystic River does so flawlessly.
The emotion that is poured forth in this film is something that not many directors are able to convey these days.
Eastwood proves he still has something left to contribute to film.
This film is definitely an Oscar contender.
Mystic River is a brilliant film, and its brutal honesty and perfection make it the best film to come out this year.
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org