movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

inside KEANE

KEANE is the story of a man (William Keane) who suffers for a form of schizophrenia. When we meet him, he is in the process of searching for his daughter, who was kidnapped at the Port Authority bus station six months earlier. From what we can gather through the film, this search has dominated his life since the kidnapping occurred. From the moment that we meet Keane, there is something that is not quite right. He mumbles incessantly to himself, repeating lines over and over again. He is paranoid, frantic, scared… crazy. It doesn’t take long before we ask ourselves if his daughter ever existed? Could she just be a figment of his warped mind?

KEANE is one of the more unique films that I have seen in the last few years. It is less of a “typical” film and more of a fascinating portrayal of a disturbed human being. It puts the view in the mind of Keane. He is in every frame of this film. There is not a shot that does not have Keane in it. That essentially puts us in his head. We see the world as he does, and share all of his confusion. At the beginning all that we know is that he had a daughter that was kidnapped and that he is looking for her. WE are caught up in a matter of seconds with our character and what he is doing. We don’t know what, if anything, is wrong with Keane, because Keane does not know. There are times where he cannot control his emotions and reactions. These moments are incredibly uncomfortable because we are trapped with him and have no idea what he is capable of. These out bursts lead to even the moments of sweetness and quiet being filled with tension and unease. He can snap at any moment.

This film belongs to Damian Lewis, who plays the title role. There is not one moment where I felt a false moment or reaction. With just a single look, we are in his head. Feel his pain and share his frustration. Keane is a damaged person, but a good one. Immediately I liked him and that is because of Lewis’ portrayal. All of his motivations are pure and for a good cause, but because of his confusion and lack of control, he is capable of as much bad as he is good. There are two moments in the film that illustrates the performance that Lewis delivers. The first is in the bus station restroom, where Keane is cleaning himself off in the sink. He takes off his shirt and starts to rub himself with the cold water from the sink. All the while, he stares into space; fear filling his eyes, repeating to himself that, “They aren’t looking at you. They don’t care about you.” In this scene, he captures the fear and the paranoia and fills his entire life. There is no quiet place in his mind. There is nowhere he can go for peace. He is trapped in his own head and is scared to death.

The other moment is a really sweet and tender moment with a young girl, Kira. Keane has been asked to watch this seven year-old girl for the day. They are in the bathroom, getting ready for bed. We know by this point that Keane has a daughter and that he cares about Kira very much, but we have also been trapped in his head with him for days and know that anything can happen. Lewis is nothing but sweet and caring in this scene, but we know him and know that he can do anything. He would never want to hurt her, but he is more than capable.

KEANE was written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan. This is a bold film in many ways. First of all, we are put in a story, where our guide is crazy and potentially dangerous and then we are sent on a journey that might not have any point or plan to it at all. There is very little actual plot in KEANE, but it is filled with atmosphere and a tone that is remarkably well handled. He is a fascinating character and Kerrigan knows how to make us not only identify with him, but fear him as much or more. One of the many things that he did in the creation of this mood and tone is remove all sense of a “movie” from it. There is no film score or sound effects anywhere in KEANE. We are not in a movie, where the music can rise up and tell us how to feel or think, we are in his head, a part of him. By being trapped with Keane, we can only then really know and feel what he is going through and understand why.

This is a really good movie and one that I highly recommend checking out. Go in with an open mind and let yourself be taken to a place that is not very pleasant, and comfortable, but it is fascinating and will keep you captivated. Afterwards, you will be asking yourself if Keane ever had a daughter or if she was just a construct of his imagination. For me, it doesn’t matter. In his head, she is real, she is his daughter and she was taken from him. Because it was real to Keane, it was real to me.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Skid said...

I have to say, I didn't get from the movie that his daughter might not have been real -- I only got that from the liner notes, and frankly, I found that to be a little planted, because there's nothing in the first hour to suggest his missing daughter is anything but real. I only gave it two stars on my Netflix (although I'll agree that the Keane performance is powerful).

9:21 PM  

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