A History of Violence

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A History of Violence
As Reviewed by Nathan

The horror on the screen was only matched by the horrifying look on my fellow movie goers' faces. While I am not familiar with David Cronenberg's work watching this one film quickly acclimated me to his extreme methods of capturing reality. Many of the images projected on the screen evoked such a visceral reaction that the emotions of the characters seemed to live vicariously through the audience. What this movie lacked in plot it more than made up for in character development and excellent cinematography.

A seemingly quaint story about a small business owner from Indiana turns into a blood curdling expose about violence and spiritual rebirth. Ignoring the opening seen the movie begins with Tom Stall, his wife Sarah and son Jack comforting Tom's daughter who can't sleep without a nightlight. The movie maintains this pace until two criminals try to rob Tom's small-town café. At gunpoint Tom disarms and kills the two robbers and is crowned the town's hero. However Tom's publicity brings some shady strangers to town that seems to think Tom from Indiana is actually Joey from Philadelphia. The rest of the film tells a story of a man fighting to protect his family from his past and protect himself from a seemingly imminent death.

This film did a great job of telling a very simple story, it was suspenseful and genuine. It didn't confuse or distract the viewer in any way; it simply told the story of a man and his struggle to hold his family together. I have never seen a film which is so extreme yet still so believable.

However it did have many faults. The film possessed some very poor acting from some of its minor characters. Some of Jack's high school classmates would have fit in better in a movie like "Clueless" or something of that nature, not a movie about a small Indiana town. The movie also seems to leap from one thing to another without making a strong connection between the two, and keeping the audience...
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