Thursday, 14 April 2011

A Simple Plan

1998 by Sam Raimi

Two brothers - Hank and Jacob - and Jacob's friend Lou accidentally come across a downed plane. To their shock they find a bag with 4 million dollars inside. On the insistence of Lou, Hank didnt want this at all, they decide to take the money and wait to see if somebody come for it. If not, they will divide it between the three. Hank is the only univeristy graduate in the locality and has a peaceful life with his Expecting wife Sarah. Jacob is not a normal person, kind of dim witted, and Lou lives with his wife. It all looks quite simple but then surprises unfolds and the three end up killing a villager to protect their secret. And to make things even worse, Hank and Jacob kills Lou and his wife too. Finally, the local police officer too is killed. By this time Jacob gets quite fed up of all the made up stories he has to live with, upon Hank's insistence, and feels he have had enough and wants to kill himself if Hank doesnt do that. Hank escapes the law, but he is told by the FBI officers that they are waiting for somebody to start spending some of the marked bills from the 4 million. This shatters him and he burns the whole money and continues with his normal life, but without any peace of mind.

A very interesting plot for a movie and it has been developed into a good watch. The way money can change human nature, characters and relations is well brought out. But still one wonders about the lack of common sense among the characters, not always but at least a couple of times, especially for Hank, his wife and Lou. Since Jacob is portrayed as special, he can escape this though. And that, I thought, was the only major negative for this nice portrayal of human characters going mad, lured by the prospects of easy money.

If I had not watched 'Bowling for Columbine' , I would have also wondered about how easy it is for Americans to use guns. But that is how it is in America and this movie, I think, also points to the dangers that are just around, just because everybody can have a gun. Human beings can act terribly in split seconds and the availability of a gun makes them bloody killers, un intended. The scene where Lou and his wife are killed is very well shot and points to this aspect.

The performances are quite good, but I especially liked Billy Bob Thornton as Jacob. Excellent performance.

It is the setting and the photography which takes this movie to a different level from a normal good Hollywood experience. So many beautiful frames with the Whites. Excellent.

A Simple Plan is a very good dramatic thriller from Hollywood, quite different from the normal ones.