Mon December 17, 2001
Darabont must have been counting his money from "Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile"; Jim Carrey must have been remembering he pulled off "Truman Show."
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
Director Frank Darabont commented that the movie within the movie of "The Majestic" starring Jim Carrey was the best part of making the film. He said, "I got to shoot it in black and white, the dolly bumped when it was moving, and the set looks a little cardboard . . . . It was perfect!" Only if the rest of the movie had this charm.
Darabont must have been counting his money from "Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile"; Jim Carrey must have been remembering he pulled off "Truman Show." Probably distracted by these successes, neither director nor star apparently read this insipid screenplay closely or watched the sophomoric daily’s because they surely would have known they created one of the worst films this year, and maybe ever.
Darabont presents Carrey as a writer in the '50s accused of being a communist. After he has recovered from amnesia and started a new life in an idyllic town, Carrey gives a courtroom speech at the end about the constitution, probably inspired by Jimmy Stewart’s patriotic Capracorn in "Mr. Smith goes to Washington." But Darabont plays it all for the syrup, where Capra deftly showed the underside of American freedom while he praised it.
All issues in this movie are telegraphed by way of the most cliched stereotypes ever assembled in one film, from the blonde, blue-eyed childhood sweetheart and her benevolent town doctor father to the cynical, disabled misfit who finally turns good. You could guess every plot moment and predict every character move.
The chance that the profiling of innocent people could have special meaning after 9/11 is lost amid the simple flag waving of a movie that has no universal appeal but the disgust of patrons who have to sit through the escalating 2 ? hours of posturing piousness.
An artist friend of mine shouted at the end of the film, "Let me out of here!"
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time" and vice-chairs the Board of the Film Council of Greater Columbus.