‘Mystic River’ proves director Eastwood knows his movies

Nancy Provod

Actor. Producer. Director. Clint Eastwood does it all in his newest directorial effort “Mystic River” proves Eastwood knows his movies. Based on the novel written by Dennis Lehane about three childhood friends being reunited after one’s daughter is murdered, “Mystic River” is a movie to be appreciated, but is not enjoyed as much.

Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, and Sean Penn all commit to amazing performances as the adult versions of the childhood friends who play different roles in solving the murder of Penn’s daughter. Robbins is a suspect and Bacon the detective, while Penn, the distraught father, goes to all lengths to find the murderer first and avenge his daughter.

But what happens when a man is misunderstood by his wife, the aunt of the murder victim? Friendship and sanity are not only questioned when Penn’s character is mislead to believe one of his childhood friends is the killer, but also when an innocent man that the audience sympathizes with loses his life.

Unfortunately, some of the plot has holes in it and appears to be half finished until later when they are explained. Throughout the whole movie you are left trying to figure out who the killer is with a surprise ending that leaves you saying “Ah-hah. It all makes sense now.”

The characters also leave viewers uncomfortable. From a man who was sexually abused as a child, to a retired hitman, to an annoying wife, you either love the characters or hate them. There’s not much of an in-between.

This film is Oscar-worthy, as is actor Sean Penn, but don’t expect to leave the theater smiling and laughing.