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Two school kids who are best friends are drinking on the side of a river. One friend bets the other that he can't swim across the river and "Reach The Rock". The friend takes the bet and drowns halfway towards the rock. The entire town blames the the kid for his friends death, he runs away never to be seen again. He eventually comes back to his home town of Shermerville and goes crazy, and starts to trash the town (i.e. breaking store-front windows, stealing a police car). He also meets up with his old high school girlfriend. The majority of the movie takes place in one night. Written by
After having watched "Two for the money" and talked about Pacino and inspiration, I can't help but thinking how important something inspiring is in the film industry. Mostly in Hollywood, where inspiring films are locked in a shelf and only come out if the right people allows it and so on. There's still people who wants to leave a message to the viewer; people who has something to say.
A few years ago, a man named William Ryan directed his first and only film to date, called "Reach the rock". The opening shots of the movie and the movement of the camera let us know that we're going to see something common in detail; something simple but with a lot of meaning. "Reach the rock" can be a forgettable film if you don't pay close attention. Ryan cares for his simple environment, and he cares for the meaning and the message.
If you take a look at Ryan's producing credits, you'll see "Miracle on 34th Street" (one of my favorite films), a picture with message and meaning, listed. You are allowed to think that I'm talking a bunch of nonsense here, but I've got to make a stand for a movie like "Reach the rock"; a sensible, heartfelt tale that went completely unnoticeable when it came out.
At first I wanted to see this film because Alessandro Nivola was in it. Nivola, a talented but still not recognized performer (stole the show in the blockbuster "Goal!" and brought grace alongside Amy Adams to "Junebug"), stars as Robin, the most rebellious kid of a small town which is no longer a kid but still does the mischief a teenager does when he wants to get attention. Quinn (William Sadler), the town chief of police, blames him for the death of his nephew Danny, a friend of Robin who wanted more than the life expectations of a little town.
"No one cares about you no more, Robin", Quinn tells him as he puts him in a cell. Robin picks the phone and calls a girl, asking her to pick him up. This is Lise (Brooke Langton), the daughter of the most important man in town and once Robin's girlfriend. He loves her and she loves him too, but she went to the University and he never finished high school and still doesn't know what to do with his life. And what's the problem with that? Some people just don't know.
But he is clever, probably more than Quinn because he destroys various stores of the town and steals a police car in the same night as he is in jail without anyone being able to blame him. Lise goes to visit Robin and denigrates him morally. However, she still wants to do things with him but he is no fool. Meanwhile, Quinn looks at the pictures of his nephew's death. Robin remembers he was with Danny and he wanted to reach the rock; a big rock in the river that represented more than the small town life.
During that night, lots of revelations see the light of day and the viewer finds himself surprised more and more as the time passes. The screenplay by John Hughes is perfect, because there's a charm in the simplicity of the tale accompanied by Ryan's direction. There's a perfect mix of the drama and the comedy; there's a silence in the images that we get to hear because of the little number of actors and their more than good performances.
"Reach the rock" had a lot more to say A lot of movies these days have; it's just that nobody sees it.
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