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.
Oh man, I remember seeing this movie late at night and thought it was terrific, but had to go to sleep for work the next day. Only got as far as Jack Nicholson buying the bait shop… Your article reminded me to watch the rest, thanks!