Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mosquito Coast (1986)

Back in my younger days, I was obsessed with River Phoenix. I watched anything and everything I could get my hands on. But not only was I consuming River Phoenix films I was getting introduced to a slew of amazing directors. Nancy Savoca (Dogfight), Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), Sidney Lumet (Running on Empty), Peter Bogdanovich (The Thing Called Love) ...

Tonight I revisited The Mosquito Coast (Peter Weir). I have a lot of love for Peter Weir (Fearless, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Witness, Dead Poet's Society). I remember loving The Mosquito Coast when I brought it home on VHS as a kid and I loved it just the same tonight. But for different reasons. As a kid it made me wish my family lived in the jungle and built tree houses. But today, it makes me reflect a lot on family and fathers.

It's a funny thing as a kid trusting that your parents know what's best for you. Trusting that they have your best interest at heart. But when they did something or said something to misplace that trust ... it's a hard thing to resolve as a child. I'm not sure exactly how the line goes, but it's when Charlie (River Phoenix' character) talks about the lie his father told. And he knew good and well that it was a lie. And it sank his heart in every which way. And even though his father lied, he still loved him. But all of a sudden that lie that his father told made him feel really lonely. And the only thing he could hope for was that his father would take back that lie and own up to it.

Men and pride are a funny thing. Especially when there's a whole family involved.

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