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In the Bedroom (2001)

In The Bedroom. Feature film. (2001, 130 mins) IMDB

...two stories written independently but similar--spooky...

T

here are many similarities between this story and my novel MY DEARBORN. It's scary. I wrote my novel without any knowledge of this film or story and likewise with the people involved in this film. Parallel development. It's spooky, yet, given the nature of storytelling, there are only so many characters and ideas and it's difficult to be truly original.

The story takes place in a sleepy village on the east coast of Maine. People aren't in a hurry. There's time to take a boat out on the water, pull up lobster cages and harvest the catch. You'd expect that from fisherman, but a local family doctor does it with his son. It's a different sort of place.

The doctor's son is looking at what universities to go to or even if he should go to school. He saw his father get educated and feels it didn't do him any good, but there's more than that. This young man became involved with a woman who left her husband. She's much older with two young sons. He's mad for her. She's mad for him. There's a new family in the making except her estranged husband is violent and jealous. His parents, particularly his mother, doesn't think it's a good idea. They are trying to steer him away from her and towards school.

There was a point when I asked myself how was this story going to end? The answer: not good. I expected this young man to die, I didn't expect it would happen by the end of Act I, but that's what happens. The explosive husband comes to the house with a handgun. He shots him in the face and kills him.

What follows in Act II is the surviving parents dealing with the fall out. The loss of their son. The lack of justice from the court system. The blame game.

When it seems likely the murder will result in nothing more than a short sentence for manslaughter, the friendly family doctor takes matter into his own hands. Along with a friend, he kidnaps the man, takes him to a remote cottage where the doctor kills him with a pistol. The two of them bury his body in the woods.

The film ends with the doctor returning home in the pre-dawn hours. His wife asks him if he did it. He says nothing as he climbs into bed.

The film fades to black.

It's odd how some will criticize DIRTY HARRY for its vigilante justice, but praise this film when a similar brand of justice is metered out. Go figure.

There is interesting lack of dialogue in this film. A great deal is said without any words. That's possible when actors can bring nuisances to their performances--particularly in their facial expressions.

This film is about loss. The loss of a son. The loss of a marriage because of it. The loss of potential for that son whether it be with the woman or in school. It's also about trying to recoup and recover from those losses.

Posted 2009/06/01 at 20h51ET in Movie Commentary.

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