Sunday, 27 July 2014


“If I made Cinderella, the audience would be looking out for a body in the coach.” - Alfred Hitchcock

For Movie Monday today, I am reviewing the 2001 Frank Darabont film The Majestic. Jim Carrey, Martin Landau and Laurie Holden are the leads and they are joined by a cast of other talented actors for this movie, which was very enjoyable. Not a great movie, we thought, but a very good one nonetheless and well worth watching.

Jim Carrey plays an aspiring scriptwriter, Peter Appleton, living in Hollywood during the 1950’s. Just as his life seems to be coming together, he is suspected of being a Communist as he had joined a leftist student group in his College days to impress a girlfriend. His whole life is thrown into disarray and his career seems certain to founder. Having had a few too many drinks to drown his sorrows, he gets into a freak car accident and suffers amnesia. He is washed up on the sleepy shores of a small Californian town. He is identified as the son of the local cinema owner, who is believed to have died in action in Europe in WWII. In his amnesiac state he adopts this identity and just as his life seems to be getting back to normal, he is confronted with an image that brings back his memory…

The film looks at the questions of who are we, as individuals and as a society. It deals with what we consider “appropriate” and “honourable” and whether we can hold onto the ideals that we set for ourselves as personal goals and how these correlate with the ideas of society. When is expediency and discretion better than heroism and standing firm on what we believe to be true. Is there nobility in self-sacrifice to uphold these personal ideals? Or should in fact self-preservation kick in and we stay silent and observe societal “rules”, conforming to what si expected of us? Sure enough, some of these are heavy concepts, but the film does well in dealing with some of them, while at the same time remaining engaging.

Darabont is an interesting director and he has some popular and well-reviewed films under his belt (“The Shawshank Redemption”, “The Green Mile”). With this film he also has quite a great deal to say, although in parts he does scrape the bottom of the barrel and panders to sentimentality and thinly veiled patriotism/chauvinism (disguised as high-flown idealism). Nevertheless, the film was entertaining and despite its length (150 minutes or so) was pleasant enough to watch.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this film and your review is spot on.