Socialist Worker

Mystic River: their past is a river of no return

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 1874

Three young boys play ball in the street of an Irish working class neighbourhood in Boston. What follows will haunt them into their very different adult lives. Dave, in a great performance by Tim Robbins, has been left a broken man who won't let his own son out of his sight. Sean, played by Kevin Bacon, is a detective who is pulled back into the old neighbourhood to investigate a murder.

Sean Penn plays Jimmy, the ex local hard man, who has done time in prison but now runs the local family grocery store. Penn is outstanding as a man whose world starts to fall apart. As Dave descends into the private hell of his childhood memories, his wife Celeste faces growing doubt about his explanation for returning home in the middle of the night covered in blood.

This intense and gripping story is played out through the lives of three families in a few claustrophobic city streets. Mystic River is not a standard racy thriller. Instead director Clint Eastwood allows the camera to linger on the faces of the actors as the tragedy gradually unfolds.

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Sat 25 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1874
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