University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Reign Over Me Evaluation
Depression affects all people. Reign Over Me is a movie that deals with a character in a grave state of depression. In Charlie Fineman’s (Adam Sandler) case depression hits hard and leads to a major behavioral change. Fineman blocks out major parts of his life including his college roommate, Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle). After running into him on the street, it takes a while for this encounter to jog his memory of his best friend. We learn later that this depression is due the death of his three daughters and wife in a plane crash. The news devastates Fineman. He cannot function in society the same and loses purpose in life, as well as belief in himself. Instead of letting this distress out and working to recuperate, Fineman shuts everybody out and tries to hide from the truth. This can be a serious problem in today’s society. Many people are embarrassed or too hurt to try to move on and they let what happened dictate their individual future. In this film, directed by Mike Binder and produced by Jack Binder and Michael Rottenberg, the message of depression and its effects is relayed quite clearly. This movie relates to the real world very well; it also helps open up the eyes of many who do not understand what depression can do.
Reign Over Me deals with a character who has the biggest part of his life taken from him in an instant. While others cannot tell how much Fineman is suffering by his actions, the loss of his family crushes him. Instead of mourning he falls into a deep state of denial where he almost forgets their existence. An important theme throughout is Fineman trying to fix the wrongs he did to his family, like snapping at his wife about kitchen remodeling or not taking his shoes off. Although they are just little things he makes sure nobody comes in his house with their shoes on and remodels the kitchen several times. These small acts show that he still remembers. There is a scene in the movie where Fineman opens up to Alan, his former roommate. Although he would not open up to the therapist, he tells Alan all about what happened. It was in brief but in this scene you get to see how much recalling his past hurts. Just saying his daughters’ names makes him cry. This scene demonstrates how hard it is for Fineman to talk about his life. Throughout the film, we learn little by little the events that took place. Outsiders and even his in-laws think that he is disrespecting his deceased loved ones.
They do not understand why he does not carry a picture of his family with him or even have one in his house. They take it to the point of wanting to have him committed until he finally talks to them and explains how hard it is to live each day and how hard it is to see them or anybody because he sees his family everywhere. There are many critics and naysayer to this movie as well as supporters. Most of the reviews I read really concentrated on the part played by Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler shoulders a very dramatic character in this movie and this side of him is underappreciated. He is notoriously known for his funny facial expressions and antics. This leads people to believe he can’t play a serious role but in Reign Over Me he hits a home run. The same reviews were not so critical about Don Cheadle. He played a part he is used to playing combing a normal act with the occasional funny quote or joke to keep the viewers on board. The actors play out a very realistic scenario. Their parts are down to earth and don’t undermine or take away from the message of the movie. From my own personal judgment the movie Reign Over Me takes the viewer into a world many people don’t or won’t ever see. It combines excellent acting with a reasonable story-line that relays a meaningful message.
They story is not far-fetched and is very comparable to the realities of many people today. As far as the acting is concerned, both actors play a side the viewer is not accustomed to seeing compared to other movies Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle are known for. Other movies like, Billy Madison (Adam Sandler) or Brooklyn’s Finest (Don Cheadle), these actors have very different parts. This movie shows the talent in each of the individual actors. Both actors play off each other during the movie which takes much skill and created a wholesome and tasteful production. Many scenes are not verbatim and the skill of the actors to improvise makes for an entertaining movie watching experience for the audience. I personally recommend this film to anybody from young adults to the elderly and all of the above. Reign Over Me doesn’t only tell a story but will also tug the heart of the audience in a serious and dramatic rollercoaster ride. The movie may have many critics but I think both actors did a wonderful job throughout the film keeping the audience entertained for the entire two hours and forty minute movie. The debate is on! Go watch the movie today and take into consideration the many sides and create your own opinion.
Internet Source –
O., Scott. “Who Else but an Old Buddy Can Tell How Lost You Are?.” New York Times 23 Mar 2007. 1. 2/9/11 . Movie –
Reign Over Me. DVD. Sony Pictures UK, 2007.