Movie Recommendation- The Pledge
THE PLEDGE (2001)
Sean Penn’s The Pledge seems like it could be a very conventional story. It is about a retiring detective who becomes obsessed with his last cast, which he is convinced was not properly solved. Played by no less a reassuring screen presence than Jack Nicholson, we get a strong sense of control and confidence from our protagonist, but he slowly begins to lose himself in a case that seemingly never ends. By bringing his usual intensity to the story- and a willingness to go deeper into the protagonist’s psychosis- Sean Penn manages to craft a tale that is both engaging and very frustrating. It is a film that explores what we have come to expect from movies. “A good man commits his life to catching a killer and eventually he does, and we all go home nice and satisfied.” But, like Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, The Pledge isn’t interested in wrapping things up in a nice bow. It toys with our expectations of an easy ending and finally commits to the fact that obsession can get very ugly; even if it is well-meaning.