27 May 2004 | liguan2000
Exceptionally brilliant performance by Aiello, Great Movie
The movie "The Closer" is about Chester Grant, a man driven to succeed at any cost. The movie opens with Chester giving a speech after receiving a business award. He opens with the question "What does it take to achieve this level of success?" Chester answers the rhetorical question with the word "Sacrifice". He urges his audience to dream and not to let anything stand in the way of their dreams. The movie then goes on to artistically lay bare the devastating effects of Chester's monomaniacal focus of closing sales on all those around him, especially his wife and children.
Chester, CEO and salesman extraordinaire, has wasted his body and his life in the pursuit of wealth and success and has reached the top. Now at the age of only 54 he must step down for health reasons. He decides that the man to replace him must be in his own image, a salesman, even though other members of the board are more qualified to run the corporation.
The evening is set where the final two candidates to replace him will have dinner with Chester at his mansion, with his family, on Thanksgiving night. At the end of the night one salesman will win the top job and the other will lose. The candidates are the two top salesmen of the company. One is a straight company man who says and does everything he can to please Chester. The other candidate is a smart, fast talking hustler type with street smarts who eventually sees through the whole charade.
Gradually another drama begins to unfold, a drama that exposes the flaws and emptiness of Chester's life and he descends upon a dangerous journey of self discovery.
The one precious image that Chester holds dear in his heart is that of his much beloved and recently deceased son, Billy (actually played by Danny Aiello's son in real life, Rick Aiello). These memories haunt him until his remaining son, Chet, finally exposes the terrible truth of even that destructive and fatal relationship. Chester loses is final comforting delusion and he is at last lost and alone. Chet leaves his father with one final question to ponder: 'was it worth it?'
In the end Chester is left to review the stark reality of his life. He instinctively goes to the top of corporate headquarters and he stands alone on the rooftop of his executive skyscraper in darkness. Here Chester gives an utterly fantastic and tragic monologue that should have received rave reviews for Aiello. Chester remembers his mother 'she never judged me, she just loved me'. He questions is happiness real 'nobody's really happy, are they? Are they?' In the end Chester answers Chet's last question 'Was it worth it?'
The movie closes with the penetrating question "What profit a man if he gain the whole world yet lose his own soul". Watch the movie and judge.