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October 2002                                                SITE MAP   SEARCH
The Majestic
cast: Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, David Ogden Stiers, Laurie Holden, and Bruce Campbell

director: Frank Darabont

146 minutes (PG) 2001
Warner VHS retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Amy C. Adair
Though most critics panned this movie at its inception, causing it to get little media attention other than the negative variety, this movie deserves much more credit than it has been given. The story is about Peter Appleton, a fictional Hollywood screenwriter in the early 1950s, who is falsely named as a communist by the Council on Un-American Activities, costing him his movie, his girlfriend, and his clout in Hollywood. He decides to drive up the coast and ends up crashing his car through a wooden bridge into the water.
   Hitting his head in the accident, he loses his memory. When he washes up on the shore of a small California town, a local man recognises Peter as his son, Luke, who was lost along with 62 of the town's young men in World War II. The town, along with Peter, starts believing that he is actually their prodigal son. No matter what Jim Carey does, it seems that people want to remember him more for his silly faces and body humour than his serious acting roles. But, with Golden Globe Awards for The Truman Show and Man On The Moon, he has proven that he has the ability within him to take on serious leading roles. This part is no exception, and Carey is very believable. The supporting roles are also well acted. M*A*S*H fans will get a kick out of David Ogden Stiers (Charles Emerson Winchester in the TV series) playing yet another doctor part. The part of Luke's former fiancée Adele (Laurie Holden) shows a strong woman who inspires the theme of fighting for justice that makes this movie stand out. And, of course, Martin Landau gives a stellar performance, as Luke's overly optimistic father.
   This movie manages to be both political and uplifting at the same time. It tackles the issue of the American government violating its own constitution by condemning people for what they believe and forcing them to lie in court. It is difficult for me to believe that incidents like the Hollywood blacklist ever happened. But these incidents are not condemned to the past. It is a good thing for people to see films like this because, for a country to have rights, there have to be people willing to fight for the principals behind them. The only fault this movie possesses is that the plot comes off as a little contrived at times, and the morals are so clearly stated that some people may tend to view them as preachy. Still, it raises many important issues and entertains at the same time.