An intensely sad film about two brothers who cannot overcome their opposite perceptions of life. One brother sees and feels bad in everyone and everything, subsequently he is violent, antisocial and unable to appreciate or enjoy the good things which his brother desperately tries to point out to him. Frank understands the atrocities of life as a big picture; Joe does not. Joe is content to enjoy smaller pleasures: children, family, routine. Joe mistakenly believes he can straighten his little brother out and convince him that life is good. Frank is a cursed man. He is cut between his love for his brother and his repulsion at self-indulgent contentment. The result is a painful story of heartbreak, heartache, disappointment, despair, and the tragic side of love. Written by
The prison tattoo on Frank's neck reads 'Christene'. This is presumably in tribute to actor Viggo Mortensen's wife at the time, punk singer Exene Cervenka, whose real name is Christene. See more »
During the "mirror" scene, the "from behind" shot and the "mirror" shot don't match. (This actually makes sense, given that the camera would have been visible from the angle the scene is presented.) See more »
I see a guy like that, I want him to look at me cross-eyed!
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TOUCHES YOUR HEART AND LEAVES YOU EMOTIONALLY DRAINED
The only reason I wanted to see The Indian Runner was because of the stunning multi-talented Viggo Mortensen. But I have to admit that this movie touched me. When it finished I sat for about half an hour just thinking 'why?'
The movie moves along quite slowly but I think it was meant to. Penn wanted us to see, feel and identify with the characters. To witness the bond between the two brothers and Frank's struggle to tame himself.
And we do. Viggo shows amazing range as an actor here and is easily one of the best films he has ever done. We see Frank go from relaxed to angry to livid to sorrowful and are drawn in to his tortured soul. Mortensen makes us want to feel for the character and we desperately want him to be happy. His emotions evoke a wide range of emotions in ourselves. His performance is nothing short of astounding. We never know if we are meant to hate Frank or feel sorry for him but we gradually begin to love him and want to understand why he is so angry with the world due to Mortensen's performance. Where was the Oscar this year???
The rest of the cast shine as well. David Morse is utterly convincing as a man trying to salvage the last remains of his disintergrating family and the actress who plays his wife is equally good.
All I can say is WATCH IT!
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