After a terrible air disaster, survivor Max Klein emerges a changed person. Unable to connect to his former life or to wife Laura, he feels godlike and invulnerable. When psychologist Bill Perlman is unable to help Max, he has Max meet another survivor, Carla Rodrigo, who is racked with grief and guilt since her baby died in the crash which she and Max survived.Written by
None of us can view a movie objectively apart from the sum of who we are. Having a classical music background, I am always keyed into a film's use of music. Fearless reminds me that the combination of music and film is an art form which has been sadly neglected in modern culture and trashed by MTV. This movie is high art. The final sequence is emotionally and spiritually a transcending experience, illustrating the bittersweet reality of human existence. An experience not available through words, music, or images on their own. I cried like a baby. Movies tend to be built upon a setup and a payoff. Tension and release are the common currency for most art. I have never seen a better cinematic payoff than the one Fearless provides. And that's because the setup is flawless. There is endless brilliance here in the telling of the story. Don't miss the use of light. Light flashing across Max's face when death is at the door; in the plane and the car scene with Carla.(If possible, Fearless might have been even more effective in black and white.) The subtle transition to slow motion during the scene with Carla and the baby at the mall. Jeff Bridges is irresistible in this performance. His character has been translated out of the realm of corporeal perspective.(As demonstrated through his allergy to strawberries.) When he walks through the plane and assures the passengers that everything will be fine, I believed him. His appearance is almost a religious experience. But his serenity cannot last. He must be reborn into the frailties of human existence or he will be estranged from the world. And that is the payoff. The glorious payoff in which death in an airplane crash becomes a poetic vision of the human experience. We live, we die, but we imbue the universe with a greater purpose even if there is no god to acknowledge it. I hope history will judge this movie to be a classic, unappreciated in it's time. This is Peter Weir's masterpiece. It's hard for me to believe that he could follow this effort with the extremely banal and uninspiring "Truman Show" But I suppose even Mozart had off days.
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