The Majestic (2001) Directed by: Frank Darabont Starring: Jim Carrey, Laurie Holden, Martin Landau
The Majestic is known as the movie which tried to capture Jim Carrey, the actor unlike Jim Carrey, the king of histrionics. I had seen another movie which attempted a similar feat with remarkable degree of success, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But The Majestic amazed me with its brilliance.
I would say that Frank Darabont, director of the much acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, has created his own school/genre over the years. I see his works as morally uplifting tales of human endeavor amidst all odds. Some other director would have made it look preachy/pedantic but his depictions are true to life, convincing to the hilt. You do not remain stranded/detached from his stories and one can almost imagine him/her self in the kind of situations the characters get in.
The Majestic's Peter Appleton is an ambitious screen writers from Hollywood, who is finally trying to move in to the A league of films after battling senselessly with all kinds of films. And he believes that Ashes and Ashes would prove to be his redeemer. In midst of all this, he is charged for allegiance with Communists in a post-war America ripe with bureaucratic insecurity. Predictably, he laughs off the charges and finds it hard to fathom that he actually could be sentenced for disloyalty. He goes through a roller coaster ride of events that happen at the bat of an eyelid leaving him disoriented and confused, which finally land him in a relatively unknown small town called Lawson. It is here that the film really sets it apart from the predictable path it was on till now. There are lots of little moments set in emotional reality that make up a whole package that is full in content and rich with fine performances. However, the ones related to the entertainment industry or obsessed with cinema will have a special inclination for this film, just a IMHO thought. The film handles diverse themes ranging from amnesia, the love for ones country, the difference between past and the present of a nation, the world after war, struggle of a common man against the system to the magic of cinema, with a firm grip. You might be put off by the oft-repeated sweet tone/flavor of the film but except for that, you will be entertained.
IMDB Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0268995/
Review by Tushar k Shukla (29 March 2006)