A partially handicapped man named Karl is released from a mental hospital, about 20 years after murdering his mother and another person. Karl is often questioned if he will ever kill again, and he shrugs in response saying there is no reason to. Now out of the mental institution, Karl settles in his old, small hometown, occupying himself by fixing motors. After meeting a young boy named Frank, who befriends him, Karl is invited to stay at Frank's house with his mother Linda, who views Karl as a strange but kind and generous man. However, Linda's abusive boyfriend, Doyle, sees things differently in the way rules ought to be run- normally insulting Linda's homosexual friend Vaughan as well as Karl's disabilities, and having wild parties with his friends. As Karl's relationship with Frank grows, he is watchful of Doyle's cruel actions.Written by
I remember first watching Sling Blade and thinking, "Oh no, here is a Forest Gump copycat." After all, the main character, Karl (Billy Bob Thornton) was mentally challenged and they were in the South. In reality, that's where the similarities stopped, but I didn't know that at the time. The second detractor for me was Billy Bob Thornton. I had only seen Billy Bob in one movie before Sling Blade and that was Bad Santa (yes I saw Sling Blade for the first time that many years later) and I thought that movie was dreadful, hence my impression of Billy Bob was also negative.
Sling Blade was a welcome surprise. Billy Bob did an excellent job with the role and of course I was doubly surprised to see that he had written and directed the movie.
Sling Blade was terrific in its simplicity. Karl was a simple man, he lived with simple folks in a simple town. That's not to say that they were without problems. Karl's mental handicap, Linda Wheatley's (Natalie Canderday) man issues, Frank Wheatley's (Lucas Black) fatherless issues, Doyle's (Dwight Yoakam) drinking problem, et al. For the simplicity of it all it was simply perfect.
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