Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movie Review of A History of Violence (2005)

Movie Review A History of Violence

Let him no creatures kill and none incite to kill, nor sanction others taking life, but put by violence for all that lives.
- The Buddha,Sayings of the Buddha, William Wray

The movie begins with two opposite groups, a pair of cold-hearted killers and a loving family of four. While it seems obvious they will meet and the family will be damaged in some way, David Cronenberg never fails to surprise.

Viggo Mortensen, as Tom Stall, is a convincing protagonist. Maria Bello is perfect as his wife Edie. Ashton Holmes, as their son Jack, brings the question of violence into a different arena. Ed Harris makes a terrific mobster but William Hurt seems formulaic.

The movie raises several questions: When is it acceptable to use violence to solve a problem? Do we ever really know what anyone is capable of? Can a person change? Is it possible to escape the karma of past violence? Can love forgive grand lies and deception?

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