The Mosquito Coast (20-Nov-1986)|
Director: Peter Weir
Writer: Paul Schrader
From novel: The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux
Review by George Capsas (posted on 17-May-2005)
"The Mosquito Coast" is a film I think very highly of even though it is not (in my opinion) your typical Hollywood fare. In fact, I think it is a ways off the beaten track, so for filmgoers who like something more out-of-the-way, this is a pretty good film to partake of. It is, I think, a film with a "message" in it, and while this is certainly nothing new in movies, I think part of the charm of the picture is that the message is very succintly understated (you do have to think about it). It is certainly well-acted by all the performers in it-- Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, and River Phoenix deserve special praise for giving very fine and probing performances to their characers (all three are very good in virtually anything they appear in--yes, I know that River Phoenix is deceased and that is too bad because he might have gone on to become a truly great star and actor, had he lived), and Peter Weir's direction ("The Year of Living Dangerously", "Dead Poet's Society") is masterful--especially because I believe that the subject matter of the story was not easy to convey. It is also beautifully photographed-- especially the sequences out in Mosquitia, which is along the Carribbean coast in Central America. But let the viewer be warned: This story is a tragedy, and the end of it does have a certain pathos to it. Essentially, it is a uniquely American story, even though it happens largely outside the U.S. It surrounds the Harrison Ford character, and is essentially a character-study of this strange and unique man and his angry dilemma, and his subsequent "fall from grace". I believe the "study" of the Ford character in this film is comparable to the roll that Humphrey Bogart had in "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" in that it is also a look at a person who is driven to great desperation not only by his own desires and weaknesses, but also by his own vanity. A must see!
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