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Friday, March 19, 2010

Bringing Out the Dead (1999), directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Nicholas Cage - movie did not do too well

After a couple of movies such as Casino and Kundun, Martin Scorsese returned to the same location that is a staple of his movie, the gritty New York areas where he takes people with deep emotional conflicts and shows up the progression of these conflicts. In 'Bringing Out the Dead', Scorsese made a movie where he depicts the life of a deeply traumatized paramedic working the night shift in a New York Hospital (he has been traumatized by some of the experiences that he has seen, especially that of a young homeless girl; and his job is one that exposes him to profound grief shown by others - typically the relatives of people who area admitted to emergency services and who often do not survive). He is what you would call a typical recipe for a person heading to a collapse, with his nerves and emotions driving him to a point of collapse.
He realizes that he is headed to towards burnout, already suffers from insomnia, and wonders whether he will, in his current condition, meet another victim whom he cannot save; and he attempts to try and get fired. And then he gets salvation.
The movie was based on a novel by Joe Connelly (screenplay for the movie by Paul Schrader); but even though the movie is now considered a pretty good movie, it was a disaster at the box office with the US box office collections only making half of the $32 million budget.

The movie is a frantic 3 days, where the main character has 3 different partners in terms of his work as a paramedic (and the 3 partners also portray their roles - with 3 entirely different types of characters, one being very engaging, the second being more of a stirring type of person, and the third being more crazy). The path to salvation for Frank Pierce (Nicholas Cage in a pretty fine performance) comes from his meeting with the daughter of a heart attack victim that Frank had helped save; he meets Mary (Patricia Arquette) when she often comes to visit her father in the hospital.
It is Mary who, in her interactions with Frank, passes on her compassion and her feelings of helping others, which finally takes Frank out of his depression; repair his feelings about the people he was not able to save, and finally cure his insomnia.

Bringing Out the Dead (1999), directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Nicholas Cage - movie did not do too well

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