13 February 2006 | shark-43
Slow & Powerful
I had rather low expectations for The Pledge - even though I've admired Penn as an actor (Dead Man Walking, Racing With The Moon, etc.) I really didn't care much for his writing/directing attempts (Indian Runner and The Crossing Guard) so I finally got around to watching this on cable and I was not prepared for how intriguing, intelligent and emotionally powerful the movie was. Yes, obviously, from other people's comments, this isn't every one's cup of tea. Fine. You want quickie thriller, wall to wall action - go watch Con Air or something. Popcorn movies are fine. People need to turn off their brains and escape every now and then (Unfortunately for big budget movies - its more NOW and very rarely THEN)> So that is why I really enjoyed the slow pace and the ambiguity of the plot - it left things out there for you to find, to discover, to ponder. Nicholson - who is so capable of just phoning it in lately or just doing a gig for a paycheck (Anger Management - YIKES!!!) - but here he really delivers a strong, aching performance. He is surrounded by excellent actors (especially Del Toro, Eckhart and a very impressive tiny scene from Mickey Rourke). I know there are huge fans of the German book and the movie - I will seek them out. But I have watched this film twice and it is even more powerful the second time. One CAN be driven mad by NEVER knowing something so ghastly, something so important.