Luckily there was a movie worth seeing this week – there were two infact – and it was a toss up between the Bollywood offering HAIDER which had more stars and rave reviews than the Hollywood one THE JUDGE. It was a tough choice but I chose to go to THE JUDGE simply because the timings were more convenient.
THE JUDGE – As cliched as American Apple Pie
Starting out as a typically cliched movie of a dysfunctional American family – smart ass lawyer from a small town who makes good in the Big Bad City, so good that his sexy wife finds comfort elsewhere, his cute as a button daughter is wiser than her years – The Judge is the story of Hank Palmer who is brought to face reality with a return back to his roots in the corn belt of Indiana with a phone call informing him of his mother’s death. In the gloom of the funeral parlour, he meets his younger autistic brother Dale and his elder brother Glen and when he finally meets his father at his mother’s wake, he is given a cold shoulder establishing beyond doubt that he is truly the black sheep. For a man who hates his father so much that he didn’t return home for 20 years, it seems strange that this reception should rankle, but rankle it does and all through the movie Robert Downey Jr. who plays Hank yearns for his father’s approval. But Judge Joseph Palmer played by Robert Duvall is unbending in his attitude and is not ready to forgive easily. Hank would have walked out then and there and back to his life in the city were it not for the fact that the grieving Judge, his father has been arrested on a murder charge. Naturally, Hank turns back and confronts his father and the other ghosts from his past to finally come to closure with all all the loose ends that made up his life.
The performances were undoubtedly good with each one playing typecast characters with panache. The movie moves slowly at first but picks up in the end particularly with the courtroom drama where Billy Bob Thornton plays the tough prosecuting attorney Dwight Dickham. Romantic relief is provided in the form of Vera Farmiga who plays the old high school sweet heart Sam Powell. Hank’s daughter makes a brief visit to Indiana where we see a softer side of the Judge and thereafter a melting of emotions which finally leads Hank to accept certain truths. The movie ends predictably with a semi tragic ending but one where the prodigal son returns to his roots.
Verdict – Worth a watch but don’t expect the moon. If you are an occasional movie watcher check out the trailer and then decide .
After the movie we relaxed at home, did the Puja and went for a family dinner on a dark moonless night by the sea. The road home was a nightmare with everyone out on Marine Drive either to watch or play with fireworks.
The smoke of last night was evident in this morning’s sunrise which was a smoky pink tinged sunrise.
I’d like to share some of these morning pictures:
The sun has long since risen and half my day is almost done.
Soon it will be Saturday and then Sunday and another week before it is yet another Friday!