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Tragedy reunites childhood friends Sean, Dave, and Jimmy when they're linked together in the Boston-based murder investigation of Jimmy's teenage daughter. While detective Sean works the cast, Jimmy launches his own quest for the truth. On paper, Mystic River has its moments but doesn't appear to be mesmerizing. The major component that makes the film what it is definitely is the execution. The dialogue is fine, but there are quite a few Hollywood clichés that pulled me away from the story at times. Some elements of the ending are a bit predictable, but the script is overall well-written.
The biggest asset the film has is certainly the acting. Clint Eastwood directs this cast flawlessly. Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, and Marcia Gay Harden are all absolutely stunning. Penn performs as Jimmy and deserved the Oscar he won for this role. He clearly poured his heart and soul into the character. Tim Robbins also received an Academy Award for his performance as Dave. I cannot imagine any other actor delivering this character as well as Robbins. Kevin Bacon is Sean is utterly convincing. This trio of characters truly immerse the audiences into the movie. Marcia Gay Harden performs as Celeste, Dave's wife. She expresses quite a bit of emotion. Harden's portrayal is near flawless. The acting couldn't have possibly been any better.
After hearing many comments regarding Mystic River, I never caught any major statements concerning the visuals. The lighting is definitely under-appreciated. This sets the tone and holds consistent from start to finish. The directional effects in the audio will come to life for those who have a surround system. Eastwood is a brilliant man and it shows once again in Mystic River.
For those curious or confused about this movie, it isn't meant to be a feel-good piece of cinema. It centers around a tragedy and tells a truly heart-breaking story. However, the film is worthy of the hype. The Oscar-winning/nominated performances are phenomenal and memorable. Both the audio and visual departments are impressive. Mystic River is best described as a potent drama definitely worth seeing.