Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Antwone Fisher

We’ve had a DVD on the shelf for some time which my wife has seen, but I’d never got around to. Antwone Fisher, written by Antwone Fisher and directed by Denzel Washington.
It’s a small scale movie with no ‘action’ except a bit of fisticuffs early in the piece, but it’s typical of the best stuff that Washington puts his hand to: warm and full of integrity. Derek Luke plays the title role with ease and performs well in his many scenes with Washington.
It’s about a young man in the Navy with an anger problem; Washington is his psychiatrist, and through the course of their conversations we hear of the abuse the young man has suffered, and the way in which he’s been abandoned by his mother. After some time he decides to go looking for his family, and even though his mother remains distant and unable to come to terms with this stranger who’s her first-born, his father’s family welcomes him with open arms. There’s a wonderful scene after he’s gone off with his uncle to meet his mother for the first time in twenty or more years. When they return to the uncle’s house, instead of there only being his aunt and the other uncle there, the whole family has gathered to welcome him, from the youngest to the oldest. The matriarch greets him personally, holding his hands in hers with great tenderness. And they’ve put together a feast for him as well. It’s a great moment, and echoes the dream that opens the movie, when the child Antwone walks into a great barn full of not only his living relatives but his ancestors.

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