Friday, July 08, 2005
  DVD Review: A Perfect World

I briefly remember when A Perfect World was in the theater. I remember seeing the movie poster, but that was pretty much all I knew about it. That is until the other week when I finally had the opportunity to see the film.

The story is that of an escaped convict, Butch(Kevin Costner) who takes a young boy hostage as he drives across Texas. It is also about the search for him headed by Clint Eastwood’s character. However, that is just the surface story. There is so much more going on in this movie.

This is one of those films that unexpectedly draws you in. It’s one of those films that gets you gradually attached to the characters. Yes Costner plays a convict, but soon that aspect of his character becomes secondary to who he really is. He is a man who had a rough upbringing. His mother was a prostitute. His father left when Butch was just a young boy. Butch got into trouble as a boy, and was put in jail. He got out as a troubled young man, forever changed by life behind bars.

Red, the Texas Ranger played by Clint Eastwood, has a connection to Butch that goes beyond the current manhunt. Red played a role in the arrest that sent Butch to jail as a child. To what degree is Red responsible for Butch’s current state? Red struggles with that question, with his mind answering one way and his heart answering another.

Butch’s young hostage also grew up without a father in the home of a strict religious mother. When he gets taken as a hostage, his life changes forever. The relationship between the convict and the young hostage is a strangely beautiful one. They both need each other in a way that fills a void in their lives. For the first time they have someone who understands. They act as a father and a son would act.

A Perfect World is an extremely surprising film. At times it is very emotional. At other times it is very tense. And at other times it is very funny. There is a scene in A Perfect World where the two stay at the home of a field worker that is one of the tensest and hardest to watch scenes that I have ever seen.

I cried so hard while watching A Perfect World. It’s the hardest that I have cried since I first saw The Color Purple. It’s also the closest I have felt emotionally to the main characters since both The Exorcist and 21 Grams.

A Perfect World is about as perfect as a movie can get. Therefore, I am giving it the highest rating that I can give a film. This is truly an exceptional film.

I agree with you that this film was overlooked for the most part. There is plenty to recommend this film - in particular I really like the script. The writer John Hancock did some great charater work between Butch and the kid.

Love the site. Thanks for the work you put into it.
Good review for a good film - not worth a five out of five, but very good nonetheless.

This is a very underrated movie. And the soundtrack is awesome, as well.
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