He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge.
A sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Vietnam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old army buddy.
Francis Ford Coppola
James Earl Jones
Larry Darrell returns from the battlefields of World War I to America a different person. His fiance (Isabel) resigns herself to a delay in the wedding plans when Larry heads off to Paris. There he finds he prefers a simpler existence and begins to read. One book inspires him to visit India and on to Nepal where he finds spiritual help from a lama. On returning to Paris he finds Isabel and some old friends. Everyone has changed. Written by
Columbia executives wanted the film to take place in modern times but Murray insisted that the film stay true to the novel and be a period piece. In an 1993 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murray admitted "I was wrong and they were right." See more »
[of the man who just died saving his life]
He was a slob. Did you ever see him eat? Starving children could fill their bellies on the food that ended up in his beard and on his clothes. Dogs would gather to watch him eat. I've never understood gluttony, but I hate it. I hated that about you. He enjoyed disgusting people, being disgusting, the thrill of offending people and making them uncomfortable. It was despicable. You will not be missed.
See more »
I was prepared to hate this movie, when I first rented it. It was a 'curiosity pick': I liked the title, I didn't have anything else in mind, and my thought was, of course, "Bill Murray!?"
It turned out to be one of my all-time favorite movies in the 'character-transformation' genre.
It's a compelling story of choices in life and how those choices affect or disaffect perceptions of that life. Murray is perfection in this role, because we seem him change from something we recognize to something quite different. It is a palpable and comprehensible transformation - the movie draws us in, it allows us to change with him.
The rest of the characters are well cast and provide definitive counterpoint to the protagonist - the bon-vivant aristocratic uncle Elliot who simply lives his life appreciatively, the unthinking and manipulative Isabel concerned only with her own comforts and social standing, the uncertain Sophie that allows her uncertainty to trap and destroy her, the practical yet contemplative Raaz who challenges Darrell's notion of things, constructively, and leads him to further his quest. Good character development, all around.
Finally, I was impressed with the faithfulness to the book. It's difficult for a movie to be that, and still be an watchable movie.
31 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?