Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Reservation Road Movie Review 33

This movie is based on a novel by a guy called John Burnham Schwartz and it is directed by Terry George. It stars Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo.

The story begins with a man, Dwight(Ruffalo) who is spending time with his son Lucas(Eddie Alderson). They are on the way home from a ball game when his ex-wife, Ruth(Mira Sorvino) calls him to tell him that he is late bringing the boy back. Dwight only has him on weekends. There is another family on their way home too.As Dwight is on the phone, he loses control of his car and hits a ten-year old boy, Josh(Sean Curley) and kills him. Dwight drives on and he flees the scene of the crime with his son who hits his head. Dwight tells the kid that they hit a log and they go back to his ex-wife's house to drop Lucas off.

The cops come and Josh's dad, Ethan(Phoenix) talks to them and he tries to answer their questions. He didn't really get a look at the guy. All he saw was his baseball cap. Josh's mother, Grace(Jennifer Connolly) and his sister are devastated.They are sent home as there is nothing else that they can do. They are in total shock. Meanwhile, Dwight is at home alone and he hears about the death of the kid on the radio. He knows that he is in big trouble now as he is a lawyer.
He feels intense guilt. He hides his car in his garage and he goes to work and tries to get on with his life as normal. He drives to where the funeral is being held and he watches the family of the dead kid. The cops come to Ethan's house and tells him that the car had a grill guard on it and that it narrows down the suspect cars. Ethan isn't happy as the investigation is taking too long.
He looks up the Internet and he finds out about hit and run cases.

Dwight is at work when his colleague introduces him to a new client, Ethan! He is unnerved by this. He agrees to take the case. Later, the cops ask him about his car and he lies. They are just asking routine questions and he escapes any trouble. Meanwhile, Ethan is on the Internet talking to other hit and run families who tell him to hang in there. He goes around taking photos of cars which he thinks might have been involved in the accident. He ends up at the police station, but they let him go. They tell him that they are doing their best. He and his wife begin to argue as he is acting strangely. Dwight talks to the cops and he finds out that they don't have a clue who knocked down the child. He is relieved. He hangs around their house and watches them.

Next day, Dwight comes to his son's play and he is wearing the baseball cap. He is seen by Ethan and Ethan realises that it was Dwight who killed his son. He doesn't know what to do. Ethan asks Dwight to meet him at the spot where the accident happens to discuss his case. He talks to Dwight about what happened and Dwight guesses that he knows. He asks his ex-wife if he can take his son for a week as he knows that he doesn't have much time left before he has to give himself up. She agrees and they spend a week together. Meanwhile, Ethan has bought a gun and he goes over to Dwight's house and tells him that the game is up and threatens him. He brings him out to some place and he threatens to kill him. Dwight gets the gun and he puts it up to his own head and tells Ethan that the guilt is killing him and that he is so sorry etc. Ethan walks away leaving Dwight a broken man. The movie ends with Ethan and his wife making up. Dwight leaves a video tape for his son explaining what happened...

This movie was thought-provoking. It was interesting and well-acted by the leads. I am giving this one a 6/10.


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