Mystic River

Jimmy: Sean Penn
Dave: Tim Robbins
Sean: Kevin Bacon
Celeste: Marcia Gay Harden
Patty: Sarah Silverman
Annabeth: Laura Linney
Katie: Emmy Rossum

Warner Bros. presents a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Brian Helgeland, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Running time: 137 minutes. Rated R (for language and violence).

Central Theme
Without redemption your past is your future;but where can you find redemption in this life?

When they were kids growing up together in a rough section of Boston, Jimmy Markum (SEAN PENN), Dave Boyle (TIM ROBBINS) and Sean Devine (KEVIN BACON) spent their days playing stickball on the street, the way most boys did in their blue-collar neighborhood of East Buckingham. Nothing much ever happened in their neighborhood. That is, until Dave was forced to take the ride that would change all of their lives forever.

Twenty-five years later, the three find themselves thrust back together by another life altering event – the murder of Jimmy’s 19-year-old daughter. Now a cop, Sean is assigned to the case and he and his partner (LAURENCE FISHBURNE) are charged with unraveling the seemingly senseless crime. They must also stay one step ahead of Jimmy, a man driven by an all consuming rage to find his daughter’s killer.

Connected to the crime by a series of circumstances, Dave is forced to confront the demons of his own past. Demons that threaten to destroy his marriage and any hope he may have for a future. As the investigation tightens around these three friends, an ominous story unfolds that revolves around friendship, family and innocence lost too soon.‚© Warner Brothers.

Mystic River is a tight and brooding exploration of sin, guilt, pain, loyalties, revenge, remorse and injustice, playing the present against the secrets and suspicions of the past. Stellar performances. A masterfully paced script probes the disturbing grimness of life in a fallen world.

The first communion of one daughter is juxtaposed on the discovery of the other daughter’s dead body. The confession of the real killer is juxtaposed on the exacting of perceived, but incorrect justice of the suspected killer. One wife justifies her husband’s evil deeds while another fails to defend and even accuses her innocent husband. Jimmie feels God is watching hims commit evil deeds, but this God does not seem to take action. One of the ‘molestors’ is wearing a ring with a cross. This has prompted some ‘cheap shot’ complaints. Eastwood seems attracted to stories that beg for justice and find it slow in coming, if at all. Eastwood seems to be saying that without God’s intervention, or a more effective criminal justice system, it is inevitable that humans will take the law into their own hands.

Beliefs num
–God is there and will exact justice, but is silent and when will judgment right the wrongs?
–Religion provides structure for life, but is not necessarily useful when it comes to the things that matter most.
–Incomplete information can lead to injustice.
–Revenge is not sweet
–Pity the tortured soul, bearing burdens of an abused childhood past.
–One small moment can change a life for better or worse

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What are the artistic merits of this film?
–What elements common to human experience did you resonate with in this film?
–What elements in word, deed, theme or behavior created a dissonance with who you are or want to be spiritually?
–What does this film tell us about who God is? Who humans are? What we are seeking in life?
–Where is God when injustices take place?
–Without God’s administration of justice, or an effective criminal justice system, where are people to turn for justice?
–What, if anything, does our universal longing for justice indicate about the existence of God? What is the origin of this longing?

Provocative Quotes byline
–I know in my soul I contributed to your death. But I don’t know how.
==Jimmy about daughter.
–You ever think how one little thing can change your whole life? What if you and I had got into that car instead of Dave?
–You know what I think about? Vampires. Maybe one day you wake up and you forget what it is like to be human. Maybe then it’s OK.
–I’m going to find him. I’m going to find him before the police do. I’m gonna find him and I’m gonna kill him.
==Sean to dead daughter at morgue.
–The whole time I could feel God lookin’ down on me.
==Jimmy about his first murder.
–God said you owed another marker, and he came to collect.
==Sean (Bacon)
–We bury our sins. We wash them clean.
==Movie Poster
–The movie is about more than the simple question of guilt. It is about pain spiraling down through the decades, about unspoken secrets and unvoiced suspicions. And it is very much about the private loyalties of husbands and wives.
==Roger Ebert
–‘God said you owed another marker, and he came to collect.’ This grim theology is as close as anyone comes to faith, but Mr. Eastwood’s understanding of the universe, and of human nature, is if anything even more pessimistic. The evil of murderers and child molesters represents a fundamental imbalance in the order of things that neither the forces of law and order nor the impulse toward vengeance can rectify.
==A.O. Scott, NYT reviewer on Clint Eatwood’s theology in
Mystic River, NYT October 3, 2003.
–I am a second generation Bostonian, and although I am not religious I can assure you all that Catholicism is a HUGE part of life in the Boston area. I think the communion scene was a touching and important addition to the film providing juxtaposition between the beauty and sactity of the community’s values and the same community’s lust for justice (these small Boston neighborhoods are notorious for their distrust and dislike of the police and their implicit sanctioning of street justice). The only aspect of the film that I felt went over the top in terms of religion was the inclusion of the religious ring on the hand of one of the molestors. I thought that was a little over the top (espiecially in light of the recent abuse within the church) and uneseccary and distracting to the message of the film. bulletin board.

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