...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

February 18, 2008

Gone Baby Gone - 7

Who determines what is right or wrong? Or do we simply aim at what seems better? This is one of the central questions this film raises in the context of an old, but poor Boston neighborhood surrounding a case of kidnapping. Patrick (Casey Affleck) and Angie (Michelle Monaghan) live together and work together as private investigators, following people and looking for missing person's- usually for dead bodies. The McCready family approaches them to help in the police investigation to look for a missing four year-old. In order to not spoil the film I'll leave it there, but this deep and disturbing search leads to Patrick having to reflect on the morality, consequences, and responsibility of his choices and actions. In asking the question what is the right thing to do, we cannot merely explain our decisions as a reaction in our gut, or rely on platitudes, but rather the choices must become a lived reality- as painful and hard as the consequences might be. The characters are as complex as the plot as they all struggle with knowing what is right, and how to make choices in line with what they love.
Based on the novel by Dennis Lahane, who also wrote Mystic River, this film was adapted (with Aaron Stockard) and directed by Ben Affleck. The film is beautifully shot, using real neighborhoods and some local people. My brother sees similarities of this story to recent events in Chad, but wait till after you see the film to read this article, as it may be a spoiler.

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