Clint Eastwood’s latest is a deliberate leisurely paced psychological crime thriller based on the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane. The screenplay is by L.A. Confidential‘s Oscar winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland. It’s a complex story that is an unraveling of a mystery that goes back several generations where all the characters are intertwined through family or neighborhood or criminal activities. Mystic River is set in the close-knit Irish-Catholic working-class section of South Boston’s triple-decker wood-frame houses (the film was shot at that location and that added greatly to the realistic mood). It tells the tale about three adolescents in the summer of 1975, Dave Boyle, Jimmy Markum and Sean Devine, who all become scarred for life when Dave is abducted and molested for four days before escaping from two men posing as cops. The boys were carving their names in fresh sidewalk cement after playing street hockey, before the men took Dave away in their car. The three boys can’t face each other after that traumatic incident and though remaining in the neighborhood lose touch. They are suddenly reunited by a murder some 25 years later when they are all approaching their forties. Jimmy Markum’s flighty 19-year-old daughter Katie is found brutally murdered in the nearby state park. Sean Devine is the investigating homicide detective from the Massachusetts State Police along with his black sergeant partner Whitey Powers. In the book Whitey is a white character, which should explain his first name.
The grief-stricken Jimmy loved his oldest daughter Katie, from his saintly deceased first wife, more than anything else in the world. Jimmy is now married to the supportive Annabeth and has two young daughters with her. When Jimmy faces Sean again after not seeing him for several years, the two once again become haunted by their bitter childhood memories. Jimmy has done a two year prison stretch 16 years ago and the guy with a large tattoo of cross going down the back of his neck now operates a convenience store in the neighborhood, though outwardly legit he remains a shady character. While Sean is all cop, he nevertheless has patience for his old pal even though he realizes they are operating on opposite sides of the fence. But old friendship or not, Jimmy warns that he better get the killer first or he will—an ode to sweet revenge. The Savage Brothers are the local thugs that help Jimmy scour the neighborhood for the killer, as the locals are distrustful of the police and talk more freely to their own kind.
On the same night as the murder, it was Dave’s hard luck to be the last person to see Katie alive at the local bar. When Dave came home in the wee hours of the night with his hand banged up and all bloody from cuts, he told his wife Celeste he was mugged. But when he’s consoling Jimmy, on his porch, he says his hand was damaged somewhere else, and when the detectives bring him in for questioning he gives still another reason for his injured hand and why blood was found in his car that was not his. —Ozu’s World of Movie Reviews
Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, and a living legend, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born on May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of a steel worker, Eastwood was a college dropout from Los Angeles College, attempting a business related degree. He found work in such B-films as Tarantula (1955), and Francis in the Navy (1955) until he got his first breakthrough with the long-running TV series “Rawhide” (1959). As Rowdy Yates, he made the show his own and became a household name around the country.
But Eastwood found even bigger and better things with Per un pugno di dollari (1964) (“A Fistful of Dollars”), and Per qualche dollaro in più (1965) (“For a Few Dollars More”). But it was the second sequel to “A Fistful of Dollars” where he found one of his trademark roles: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966) (“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”). The movie was a big hit and he became an instant international star. Eastwood got some excellent roles… read more
It seem like this is just a personal vibe but often times, when an actor directs things, I get this vibe that has a lot to do with idealized characters and for some reason I can never ever take it seriously and I spent the entirety of watching this movie, believing that the rest of the world disliked it as much as me because of how good the concept was, compared with how terribly it was executed. Guess I was wrong.
Besides an ending that I really didn't understand this film ended up being pretty damn good. Performances were awesome (obviously, with that cast!) and the script was pretty damn good too. Like I said, really really enjoying it up until the last 10 minutes, which really confused me. But anyway, gripping, dark and at times powerful.
the last 10 or 15 minutes are completely pointless... otherwise, the film is very good, some weird and unexplainable direction choices but it was really hard to screw a script like this. I wish they had focused more on Tim Robbin's character... One thing's for certain, in all Lehane's stories you start down and it only gets worst
Mystic River is a very American take on genres more usually evoked by Europeans, a sophisticated cross between the kitchen sink working class British films and the spare, family-style… read review