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Philippines Vacation : Travel Guide And Memoir by [Rundell, Marina]

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Russell Crowe and Proof of Life

After watching this movie the second time on HBO, I was impressed at how much better it was this time around than the first time I watched it when it premiered.

Because of this reaction now, I kept wondering what it was about the movie, the first time, that made me not appreciate it more.

Many have given their reasons, and first on that list is the Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe relationship while the movie was showing in the theaters.

For me, however, the reason lies on the fact that this was the next Crowe movie after Gladiator.  I had just become a Russell fan and I had just seen him in Gladiator and we are all aware of the movie audiences’ reaction to this movie and Russell Crowe. 

So my reason for not getting excited about this movie the first time was the fact that it followed such a great film and no movie afterwards, that includes Gladiator’s star, would have stood up to such a standard.  The exception, of course, is A Beautiful Mind, which, if it had been Russell Crowe’s next, immediate movie after Gladiator, would, and has, stood up to Gladiator’s standards.

But Proof of Life is a different kind of movie and by watching it in this way, a few years later, I can appreciate the themes of the movie.  First, there’s the theme of the realities of life as exemplified by the kidnapping and ransom, corporate takeovers and layoffs, the “fake war” that was necessary during the rescue, and the political-drug-societal issues.  The “fake war” reminds me of Pierce Brosnan and the Tailor of Panama.  Second, there are the personal and human level themes as exemplified by the following:  1)  attraction of Terry with Alice, 2)  Alice’s husband’s survival instincts and the literal pain he is enduring, 3)  the kind of life of the individuals in the mountains, and 4)  the gap between the maid in Alice’s house and “Marko.”

Furthermore, where are those moments of Russell Crowe’s acting that are enjoyable?  One that quickly comes to mind is when he is squirting his eyes with fluid in the helicopter and then his split second facial expression as he looks outside of the helicopter.  Other scenes include the following:  1)  when he is talking about his son, 2)  when he finds out and hugs the maid after she reveals she knows who “Marko” is,  3)  when he tells Alice’s husband about Molly during the rescue, and 4) when he and Ryan are saying goodbye and he watches her car drive off.

Also, at the end of the movie, as the camera pans "over" the city in Ecuador which shows the buildings and cathedrals tucked away in hills and mountains, the camera seems to be like a “positive blessing” to all that the movie has just illustrated.

So I felt something at the end of the movie and would even consider buying a copy.

So if you are truly a Russell Crowe fan, give Proof of Life your time and open your mind to its themes and of course, enjoy Crowe's scenes. 

He has proven his exemplary talent in drama.  His rescue scenes in Proof of Life also shows he can excel in action/adventure films as he did with Gladiator.

The more I watch him, the more I see how he can join together emotional-drama and action/adventure.

Maybe Master and Commander will illustrate this once again?

Finally, whatever you think of Proof of Life, at least you get to hear Russell Crowe talk like he would normally talk!

Russell Crowe Ebook


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