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movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Fearless

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Rosie Perez
Director: Peter Weir
Rated: R
RunTime: 121 Minutes
Release Date: October 1993
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Isabella Rossellini, Tom Hulce, Spencer Vrooman, John Turturro, John de Lancie, Eve Roberts, Deidre O'Connell, Daniel Cerny, Benicio Del Toro

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1.  Dragan Antulov review follows movie reviewmovie review
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Review by Dragan Antulov
2 stars out of 4

One of the things that make psychology so fascinating is the fact that the same events create different reactions to different people. This is case even with the worst possible traumas, when the most experienced psychologists have difficulties dealing with psychological aftermath. FEARLESS, 1993 drama directed by Peter Weir, represents the study of one of such characters permanently altered with such experience.

The movie is based on the novel by Rafael Yglesias, who wrote the script. Max Klein (played by Jeff Bridges) has just survived the terrible plane crash, which left many of his co-passengers dead. Klein helps other survivors to leave the burning plane and afterwards simply wonders off, not even bothering to tell his wife Laura (played by Isabella Rosselini) that he is alive. Afterwards he is found, brought back to his family, but his wife can't fail to notice that her husband is a totally changed man. Max escaped certain death and now he thinks of himself as invulnerable and godlike. Airline-appointed psychologist Bill Perlman (played by John Turturro) can't reach him, but Klein, who became totally alienated from his family, finds spiritual connection with Carla Rodrigo (played by Rosie Perez), grief-stricken mother whose child died in the same plane crash.

FEARLESS, same as many other movies by Peter Weir, is hardly experience which could leave viewers with smiles on their faces. It is grim, uncompromising drama that deals with death and makes the audience think about arbitrary nature of that unavoidable fact of life. This is achieved through the sharp contrast between two characters who are differently affected with the same event, both in their soul and in the ways they communicate with outside world. Max, who is excellently played by Jeff Bridges, might see himself as a person who cheated death, but since he can't connect with the outside world anymore, his freedom is only superficial - for all the loved ones he might be dead, nothing more than a stranger dwelling in his body. Rosie Perez is also very good as survivor whose guilt and grief make her not only very alive, but the only person able to bring back emotionally dead Max to the world of living. Unfortunately, Weir has some problems in pacing of the film, and the large segments on the film being wasted on unnecessary subplots or characters, like John Turturro's therapist or money-grabbing attorney played by Tom Hulce. The hallucinatory ending doesn't answer questions about the nature of Max's experience, and although some films might benefit from leaving some questions opened, FEARLESS is not one of them. But it could still be recommended as one of those rare Hollywood examples of thought-provoking cinema.

Copyright 2000 Dragan Antulov

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