Monday, May 25, 2009

"Game 6" (2005) - Movie Review

Teams the fans fixate on is a threatening and passionate emotion. Coming from a country where the game of cricket is tattooed when the babies come out, it does not take much to empathize with the baseball, football and basketball addiction in US. Especially the height of superstitious fun of Boston Red Sox not winning the world series from 1918, of course ending it in 2004. The film “Game 6” happens in October 25, 1986, the day of the Game 6 where Red Sox were playing Mets to be on the edge of pulling off the series leading 3-2. But that is a back drop or a metaphor of the central character in the film, Nicky (Michael Keaton).

Nicky has to stage up his play that night while anxiously waiting for the Red Sox to not win but lose. This idea of his explanation towards his team right from child hood not losing but losing with an effect of shattering hope with incredible wound to its devoted member is where you could understand the outcry of a true fan. During one of the team previews of the Cricket World Cup, I remember the veteran Indian cricketeer Sunil Gavaskar summarizing team India. He said when they are good, they are brilliant but when they are bad, they are pathetic. That remembrance of their superiority and pulling off the win from nowhere develops the hope. And when it is broken, it is a torture. Nicky’s life while busy and important is a life built up on expected failures. He has an affair which his wife now knows to make her talk to “prominent” divorce lawyer. And a young daughter in college whom he has time only to meet amongst the traffic jams than a casual lunch. He has missed out and this day of his play which will be tested by the unmerciful critic Stephen Schwimmer is building up to the pinnacle of the base ball game.

He goes in taxi cabs and always mentions his days of driving taxi in New York to his driver. All the taxi cab drivers are immigrants which is a cultural note of what the city entered in the late eighties. And without any surprise it halts in the traffic. When Nicky is going through the minutiae of driving the day to the night, there is an outcast moving his day in chanting Budhist hymns. In a loft which seemed to be abandoned in the shabby part of the town resides the much feared and hunted critic of the broadway play Stephen Schwimmer played here with the mastered corkiness and mannerisms by Robert Downey Jr..

There are characters Nicky meets which are brought on in an interesting perspective of regularity in which the protagonist meet them in his daily life. His fellow old time writer Elliott (Griffin Dunne) living an existence of homeless nature wondering where his creativity got shot. Oh, he knows the precise time it died. By the words in the reviews of Schwimmer. Schwimmer hides in the dark without electricity and toilet. This we know through an out of work actress (Shalom Harlow) when she begs him to write a little more gently. He is surprised why people are angry for the truth he writes.

“Game 6” is not a regular film with an agenda. It carries along the streets with the things Keaton as Nicky encounters before he confronts his failures in life. The failures are not extraordinary debacles of shambling him apart. He has a led a comfortable and considerably posh living. The thing is the comfort which has institutionalized him to be the man not believing in his self. His friend Elliott is a nightmarish reflection of his future after his possible electrocution by the reviews of Schwimmer. In the midst, his personal life going in drains and his favourite team, a representation of his success seem to swallow once again the pain of losing.

It may sound like a film of despair but it is a soothing film of a single day New York moment from start to finish. In a shiny day of sun and shadow from the tall buildings with cars kissing each other on the dreaded road of honks and shouts, “Game 6” is a film of passing lighter times pausing for its audience to see the film making in works with subtle emotions. It is all happening in that day and it is surrounding every member in the city directly and indirectly of their forthcoming expectations. For their team and against their team. They focus the spirit to that game and believe that winning would mean something to their otherwise scheduled fiascos every day. For Nicky, it has been easy to not hope but his team manages to titillate it when the time comes. “Game 6” is such a feeling but it does not disappoint as the team, rather gives its audience a smooth comforting experience in film and emotion.

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