Painted Red
The Majestic
Review by Ross Anthony

Set in post W.W.II America, during the dark days of the US cold war with USSR, B film screenwriter Peter Appleton becomes the next entree on the FBI list of accused Hollywood communists. Blacklisted, dumped by his girlfriend actress and downtrodden, Appleton drives the night away. As it so happens, a freak accident robs him of his memory and lands him in a town where he is mistaken for Luke, a war hero thought to be deceased.

Up to this point, Carrey's performances are below average and despite polished set design; the film simply doesn't float. However, once Appleton reluctantly enters the small town life of Luke, Carrey's performance rises above average. He becomes believable, earns our empathy, and compels us from then on in.

Despite breaking records for the number of outlandish coincidences ever compacted into a Hollywood film, "The Majestic" still climaxes strongly.

Purposely painted with classic Hollywood movie form and color, this dramatically uneven production has its moments -- and they are not all Carrey's. Kudos to Jeffrey DeMunn in a small role as the small town Mayor, always with a tear in the eye for his two boys and the too many other young men from Lawson, Cal that gave their lives defending American values.

A very curious mistaking of identities indeed. The confusion of this indifferent, politically-cowardice, commie-accused Hollywood bigshot for the strong-principled patriotic apple-pie legend that became Luke, makes for tasty contrast. Though I enjoyed the ending ... many other juicy possibilities came to mind.

  • The Majestic. Copyright © 2001.
  • Starring Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Gerry Black, Brent Briscoe, Karl Bury, Jeffrey DeMunn, Catherine Dent, Amanda Detmer, Shawn Doyle, Allen Garfiled, Hal Holbrooke, Laurei Holden, Martin Landau.
  • Directed by Frank Darabont.
  • Written by Michael Sloane.
  • Produced by Frank Darabont at Castle Rock/Village Roadshow/NPV/Darkwoods.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:06 PDT