‘The Majestic’ (2001)

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Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Really is Majestic

There are only a few Jim Carrey movies that I knew for certain to be in the nineties for the score. I like a majority of his films, comedic or dramatic, but there really is a precious few that I just love. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “The Truman Show” are a couple that easily made the nineties, but another fantastic, but sometimes overlooked film is “The Majestic”.

This film stars Jim Carrey as Peter Appleton, a movie screenwriter in the 1950’s. In that day in age, the whole country was in a communist frenzy, and on the list of investigations was people involved in the movies. Of course Peter was up next to be investigated, which sends him into a drunken depression. Taking a drive while drunk lands him crashing off of a bridge and into the water beneath. He was able to escape his car before drowning, but the tides carried him directly into one of the beams of the bridge, knocking him unconscious. He wakes up in a small town called Lawson with no memory of the events that led him there. Everyone in the town finds him strikingly familiar, and mistake him for a fallen war hero named Lucas Trimble, who was missing and presumed dead almost ten years prior. He must really look like him too, because everyone was so excited and believed whole-heartedly that this man was one of their own.

Doc Stanton (David Odgen Stiers) examines him and tells him that his memory may or may not come back, but it is best to go around doing things he used to do, to jog the memory. He is re-introduced to Luke’s old girlfriend, Adele (Laurie Holden), and they hit it off very well. The movie does an incredible job at making not only Peter think he is Luke, but also the audience. There is one specific moment in the film that goes something like this: “What if after the war, Luke lost his memory and lived his own life for the past ten years. What if he spent that time believing he was someone else”. That may make you rub your chin at first, but quit it, the film clearly states an event when Peter was a kid that he remembered. So anyways, people up in Washington D.C. think he left, fleeing the man, and it doesn’t look good for him.

The writing, you guys, is excellent. Top of the line. Each word spoken in the movie is done brilliantly, and that translated to the acting. The acting was also spot-on. It was believable, you felt for these characters, you wanted to know if he would remember who he was, and if so…what would happen when that occurred. The music is time-appropriate and memorable. It was also incredibly intriguing from start to finish. There was a lot about the movie that was just…done right. I will say that there were some things in the movie that surprised me that could have been done better, easily.

It’s long. Very long. It is two and a half hours in length and it doesn’t exactly make sense why that is. The story isn’t really complex, it’s actually incredibly simple to understand, so why does it seem that Peter Jackson directed it? Not only this, but it is also very slow. It takes too long sometimes, no matter how realistic that is. These things can really turn an audience away, as the critic score for this film is 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. I understand that, I really do, but I think everyone did an amazing job at the same time. I think it would have been very easy to make an hour and forty-five minute film, and just release an extended edition later.  That would have eliminated some of the slower moments, and obviously shortened it, ultimately landing it a (probably) better score. I, on the other hand, think it was great even though I understand why others would disagree. That’s a problem with execution.

There were scenes where Peter is sitting there staring off in the distance while producers gab on about what would make his next movie better. Take a listen next time you watch the movie…they are explaining “The Majestic”, in both the scenes. The first one had to do with adding a dog and the first thing you see in his life as Luke is a dog. The second one dealt with the producers saying “after he gives that big speech, he needs something more to show how great a person he is”, and in the end he does give a big speech. I personally thought that was genius, I love how movies add foreshadowing in like that.

So anyways. I think this film is underrated, I honestly do. I think people need to give it another shot before rating it so lowly, and look deeper into the movie, it has some amazing messages, great acting, incredible writing, and a story that keeps you interested. Check it out!

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7 thoughts on “‘The Majestic’ (2001)

    1. Well yeah, I notice that too. I personally like it better than the last time I saw it. I think the idea is great, I think Jim Carrey put on a great performance, and I just can’t believe the only copy I own is a VHS.

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