When I was asked if I would like to review a DVD
starring Tom Hanks I accepted without hesitation.
I kind of feel that any film which he stars in or has some
connection to is always a winner in my opinion.
Ever since I saw him in Big I have been a ....
well, 'big' fan!
Having now watched Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
I was not disappointed and Hanks did not let me down
once again. The narrative is extremely compelling
and unfolds through the clever and imaginative mind of eleven
year old Oskar who finds a key hidden inside a blue vase in his
late fathers closet. Immediately, the boy's
mind goes into over drive as he starts to wonder
significance of the key is.
Will it reveal details of his dad's life that will unravel some
strange mystery? Where there is a key, there is a lock and Oskar decides
that he needs to find it - he has to find it
and sets about devising an ingenious method of tracking it down.
He has a name - Black - which was written on the envelope containing
the key so he searches the phone book and makes a list of all
the 'Blacks' in New York and works out how long it will take
to visit each one, which covers five boroughs of the city,
using calculations he creates himself, which I couldn't
possibly try to explain here!
Nevertheless, it is a very clever method and one which comes from the mind of a
boy who possibly could be placed on the autistic spectrum did to his eccentricity and
ability to retain random facts that he is able to recollect and relate in an instant. Asides
from the usual reasons why any child would grieve the loss of a parent, Oskar misses
his Dad more so because he helped him to overcome his fears and anxieties about the
outside world and understood him and how his mind works.
The film is also set against the backdrop of how Oskar's dad died which is referred
to throughout the film as 'The Worse Day'. This 'day' being September 11th.
Through a series of flashbacks we learn of the build up to his death due to six
telephone messages he left on an answer machine which only Oskar has heard.
The scenes near the end of the narrative as we learn about the last answer phone
message and how it made and indeed still does make Oskar feel are very emotive
and I did well up at this point.
As our protagonist hunts down the elusive lock he meets so many people from
different walks of life, who are all connected not merely by having the same
surname but because they are all survivors. Not only have they survived
personal issues like illness, relationship troubles, parenting troubles etc but
as with all New Yorkers they survived 9/11.
Oskar needs to solve the mystery
Oskar needs to solve the mystery
of the key so that he can move on and lay the ghost of his deceased father to
rest and build a relationship with his Mum (played by Sandra Bullock) now
I found Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close to be a very moving and emotive film
and very intriguing too. Thomas Horn who plays Oskar is a brilliant young actor
who engages the audience very well and makes the complex yet amazing
character of Oskar very believable. This is a wonderful film about loss, relationships,
determination and survival and I really enjoyed it. It isn't the happiest of films,
although it is amusing in places but it is so compelling and having 9/11 in the
background of its plot makes it very poignant and feel very real.
The film is available to buy on DVD now
I was sent a copy of this DVD for the purposes of this review.
All opinions expressed are my own.