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Mystic River

We bury our sins, we wash them clean.  

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Mystic River

'Mystic River' opens with three boys; Jimmy Markum (Penn), Sean Devine (Bacon) and Dave Boyle (Robbins), playing in the street in 1960's Boston.  But all is not quite right when Boyle is taken by a couple of child molesters posing as police.

Fast forward 25 years and we see how things have panned out for them.  Boyle is now a handyman, Markum is an ex-convict, married for the second time to Annabeth (Linney) and owns the corner market and Devine is now a homicide detective.

When Markum's daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) doesn't come home, police investigate and find her body, beaten and shot.  Meanwhile, on the night of the murder, Boyle comes home very late and bloody.  His wife Celeste (Gay Harden) asks him what has happened and he tells her that he was mugged and that he might have killed the assailant when he fought back.  Celeste doesn't see such a story in the newspaper and starts to think that her husband may be involved in Katie's murder.

During Devine's investigations, it's revealed that Katie was dating a boy named Brendan harris (Tom Guiry) and they were planning to elope to Nevada.  But this line of investigation does not lead anywhere and Markum gets impatient, taking the law into his own hands.  With the help of some neighbourhood thugs, he discovers who the police are questioning...

There are strong performances all-round, in particular Penn, who puts in a heart-felt performance as the father who has lost his daughter and is out for revenge, and Robbins, who renders his abused character to great effect.  But this film is also about Clint Eastwood's continuing rise as a director, and this is just another great example of his ability to masterfully craft a thrilling tale of suspense that keeps you enthralled.  One to definitely watch!

Alex Coe

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)