I don’t think there’s anything more tragic than a young child losing a parent. So when a story uses that kind of scenario to tell a moral tale, I feel like… it’s cheating. It’s too easy to manipulate the audience’s feelings. Almost like killing a cute dog in a movie. Now when one throws in the tragedy of 9/11 into that scenario than it becomes almost borderline offensive.
But that’s the premise of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It tells the tale of a 10 year old boy who is dealing with the death of his father who was killed in the tragedy of 9/11. I’m sure for the sentimental readers out there, just the mere description of that synopsis makes one misty-eyed.
I’m sure there is a touching and profound theme present in the film, which would explain the participation of box office stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. I also think that films can be a healthy therapeutic way to deal with loss. There were many kids who were left fatherless after 9/11. Maybe this film is dedicated to them. I suppose one can even argue that it’s a story that needs to be told.
But something about this movie just hits me wrong. It feels…opportunistic.
Admittedly, I’m probably not the target audience here. I don’t like tearjerkers. I find them melodramatic. Maybe it’s just the cynic in me that doesn’t like the idea of this film or maybe I’m in denial and it is affecting me more than I’d like to admit. It’s doubtful though. I could be wrong though. Perhaps it’ll be the best film of the year.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, Max Von Sydow, Viola Davis, John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright and James Gandolfini. The screenplay is written by Eric Roth. The film is directed by Stephen Daldry. It is scheduled for release on December 25, 2011. It is based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” tells the story of one young boy’s journey from heartbreaking loss to the healing power of self-discovery, set against the backdrop of the tragicevents of September 11. Eleven-year-old Oskar Schell is an exceptional child: amateur inventor, Francophile, pacifist. And after finding a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, he embarks on an exceptional journey–an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. As Oskar roams the city, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity, who are all survivors in their own ways. Ultimately, Oskar’s journey ends where it began, but with the solace of that most human experience: love.