Sunday, November 23, 2008


Jacknife; Drama, USA, 1989; D: David Jones, S: Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, Kathy Baker, Sloane Shelton

Joseph Megessey, called Megs and "Jacknife", a car mechanic from Connecticut, arrives with car to visit his old friend from the Vietnam war, Dave, who is addicted to alcohol. They are connected by a memory of a murdered friend, Bobby, who died in Vietnam. Dave is cold towards Megs but accepts to go fishing with him. Dave's sister, biology teacher Martha, falls in love with Megs even though Dave is against that relationship.

Filmed in visibly humble production circumstances, "Jacknife" didn't succeed to get rid of the weak overall impression not even in directing standards. It's biggest virtue is the performance by Robert De Niro who is, just like in his better films, very interesting and while the viewers watch him on the big screen, they patiently await for something to finally appear that's worth of their attention, but just then does the movie end: the story revolving around Vietnam war veterans is honest but empty, deprived of a plot, humor or emotions, ending up boring and conventional, while the characters are bleak. Even though it should have been richer with events or at least some punchline on any kind of level, "Jacknife" is still a solid drama and lives also thanks to the performances by Kathy Baker and Ed Harris as the torn and lost veteran Dave, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe as best supporting actor.


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