Antwone Fisher (2002)

Basically Denzel can do it all.

A young sailor, Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke), is ordered to see a Navy psychiatrist (Denzel Washington) who aims to help him get a handle on debilitating anger that causes many shipboard scraps — and that also led Fisher to a life of crime before he joined the Navy. Via therapy, Antwone seeks out the family that abandoned him as a child and experiences a catharsis that leads him to a career as a Hollywood screenwriter.

This is one of those films that no matter what you do when you watch this film you ave to cherish it. Since its Denzel’s directing debut, I was expecting one of those hard-thought films about race relations when really what I got was ten times better.

I had a couple of problems with this film though. At the end of the film we see that Denzel is having problems with his wife, but that is shoved off until the very end. I think the climax for his story should have been earlier, because it gets lost by Antwone’s climax return to his home.

Many people when their watching this movie are talking about crying towards the end, and I must say there was one part where I was emotionally effected, but that was only one part. Other than that a lot of the scenes had me quite close to tearing up but not what I was expecting.

The film is very bittersweet. We get this wonderful and beautiful story of a kid that has had problems with his child hood and is still deeply effected, and how and when he tells his story through flashbacks is such a beautiful thing. There are a lot of scenes that will leave you a bit disturbed by the violent nature, but its all for a good reason cause you felt what he felt. Denzel does an impressive job at the directing position and directs this film with enough flashbacks to the point where we don’t forget the story at all, and gives it time to keep going on.

The best thing of this movie is because of the two big performances from the cast. Derek Luke is amazing as Antwone Fisher, because he goes through so many phases with his character, but you still believe him. By the end of the film Luke makes a couple of speeches when he returns home and all of them are so effective, and at the same time sad. Denzel of course as usual is stellar as the psychiatrist who brings out this tough-guy look within him and gets soft, but he’s still Denzel.

Consensus: Antwone Fisher needs a bit of polishing, but is a emotionally effective drama, with powerful performances from Luke and with a impressive directorial debut from Denzel.


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