This is a film that deals honestly and openly with race relations, especially as played out in America. We all harbor stereotypes, fears, judgments and yet a fascination with "the other" and we often do not realize just how this effects us and society as a whole. The movie digs deep into these emotions and draws them out brilliantly in a montage of triggers that are all woven together in a period of 24 hours in L.A.
Black, white, Puerto Rican/Mexican, Arab/Persian, mixed ethnicity, you name it, it's all in here and it's refreshingly in your face. It is for that very reason that the film is about hatred and hope, violence and redemption. Perhaps most poignantly, it is filled with all the complexity of modern life and provides no easy answers.
You will be left speechless. All of the actors, most well known, play roles that are against their "types" of roles and it is for this reason that it is perhaps so impacting and believable. It is a brilliant piece of cinema, one that should make us all realize that sanitizing culture in the name of political correctness is a time bomb.
Do not miss this film.
It begins with a teenage Michael Berg (David Kross) becoming ill in the alley and an mid-30's, Hanna, helps him home. This chance meeting sparks an affair. Hanna (Kate Winslet, "Titanic") shares her body in trade for Michael reading to her. The affair ends suddenly, but not in the heart and mind of Michael.
The movie travels 5 decades. An early 90's decade scene has older Michael (Ralph Fiennes) planning to meet with his daughter. Michael is obviously troubled, struggling within himself, but why? The movie tell WHY! It tells of multiple relationships with "The Reader." Kate Winslet's performance is the driving force and success to this thought stimulating story. It's why she won the Oscar and many other awards for her role in "The Reader." She stated in the bonus material, "It (this film) doesn't answer any questions." Another great summary line from the screenplay writer (David Hare), "How do you live in the shadow of one of the greatest crimes in human history?" "The Reader" asks questions, but lets the viewer think of possible answers, or why? After watching during an evening, my night was filled with pondering, dreaming, and my own inward struggle dealing with the issues of the film's main characters. This movie does that to you. Not exactly entertaining, but surely and hugely thought provoking. Call it a "sort of" masterpiece.
The police, sporting black leather uniforms and driving colorful high speed cruisers that are stationed at the Halls of Justice and are constantly under siege. The bad guys are a malicious motorcycle gang led by a crazed and psychopathic goon named Toecutter. After one of Toecutter's cronies is killed by Max, Toecutter is looking for some serious payback, but he's messing with the wrong cop...you don't wanna get Max mad.
The production design coveys a world that's gone to hell and captures the grim atmosphere perfectly. Brian May's (not the guitarist from Queen) exciting music score gives the film a larger than life quality. Director George Miller makes the most of his small budget. The chase sequences and editing is terrific.