Walk the Line Reviews
and i am just inspired and amazed
After a short scene at Folsom Prison, where Johnny Cash examines a buzz saw before his performance, the story begins with Cash's youth in Arkansas, where his brother dies in a working accident with such a buzz saw. His father implies that it was Johnny's fault and says that god had taken the wrong son - a circumstance which Cash never manages to overcome. Cash's feeling of being insufficient will remain the motor of his downfall throughout the movie and this probably also leads to his addiction to pills and alcohol. Finally, Cash manages to get clean with the help of June Carter, with whom he is, although being married to another woman and having children, in love with and to whom he proposes in the end. Towards the end, the buzz saw scene at Folsom Prison is shown again, which closes the circle.
No matter if performing on stage, adoring June Carter or breaking down high on drugs and alcohol, Phoenix manages to convince the audience by providing the viewer with raw emotions and uncompromising credibility. However, Phoenix' magnificent performance as a broken and pitiful man, is only made possible by an equally talented Reese Witherspoon, who manages to create an endlessly charming and lovely June Carter.
As this movie is concerned with the life and career of different musicians, it is not surprising that it is packed with diegetic as well as non-diegetic music. However, Walk the Line cannot be considered only appropriate for fans of 50's and early 60's popular music. With its exiting and tragic plot and Phoenix' and Witherspoon's great acting, this movie will leave every cineaste satisfied.
Another film that comes close to this will be the Joy Division frontman's biopic Control. Watch this because music biopics are rarely this good
Well acted, well balanced, perfectly timed and perfect execution of a biopic. The plot is developed at just the right pace for it not to feel too slow or too rushed. It ends before Johnny's low years in the 70s, where he did parts on television and his creative output was low, much like what happened to Elvis during the same period. Joaquin Phoenix does well in singing quite similarly to Cash. I was never a Johnny Cash fan, but this film exemplifies his iconic influence to bridging the gap between the early rock and roll and country musical genres.