Things that Go Bump in the City

We saw an early screening of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last week. Though I was excited to see the movie because it stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, two of my favorite actors, I had little knowledge of the story beyond the previews.  It was one of the few cases where I hadn’t read the book first, though because the plot starts with 9/11, I knew the general direction of the film. Even as it was rooted in reality and a day that all of us remember, it had an air of fantasy in that this 11-year-old kid could wander the streets of New York City (always the streets, since he was afraid of the subway), overcoming his fears.  These quirks included being afraid of planes, tall buildings, elevators, and bridges, so he carries and therapeutic tambourine, which becomes the constant heartbeat to the film.

The young actor rightly becomes the center of the film and gives a stellar performance that captures hearts and minds, making me think about the parts of the city that I’ve adjusted to since living here – the constant planes overhead, the public transit system, the sound of sirens from the nearby fire station.  The sounds can take over at times.  Which is why it’s ironic that the other starring character of the film is an elderly man who never utters a word at all.  He communicates by paper and pen and a simple yes/no written on alternate hands. It’s the relationship that forms between the two of them that provides the narrative to the movie.

 

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1 Comment

  1. I read this book awhile back and can’t wait to see the film. Glad to hear you liked it.

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