Mystic River (spoiler)

Yeah, I’m a little behind on the movies. Now this may have been covered in the book (that’s why I normally read them first), but I’m curious about the end.

Bacon gives the “hey there/ I’m gunning for you” gesture to Penn at the end. Was there supposed to be any more? Was he just saying saying, “hey, I know why you did it, but I’ll let you go anyway”? Was he letting Penn know he’d be coming after him?

If the book gave a better ending, please just say it does. I beg any other discussions of this be hidden in boxes.

Thanks all.

In the novel it’s very clear Sean is going to go after Jimmy. Kevin Bacon mentions (in one of the interviews included in the DVD) he specifically asked Eastwood how that scene was supposed to play in the film, and Eastwood deliberately wanted it left it open for interpretation.

The film is remarkably close to the novel, by the way. There was no dumbing down of the material in an attempt to portray the subtle psychological trauma the characters were going through; it was left up to the actors. Tim Robbins especially did very well with that aspect.

I wondered the same thing after watching it a few nights ago. Great movie but it should’ve ended about 5 minutes before it did.

Ah, good! I had been wondering about this question as well, and I watched the film twice. I figured that he’d go after his old friend. He’d have to.

That’s an interesting coment, I thought the last scene was perfect. To me, the entire story was about Sean. Dave (the Dave that could have been) had died 20 years earlier, Jimmy was still hiding, but Sean had come to a sort of resolution and was on his way to becoming whole again. When Sean looked Jimmy straight in the eye, Jimmy could only shrug and duck behind his sunglasses. Meanwhile the parade continued through the streets, regardless of both of them.
(I Didn’t read the novel)

I just saw this movie last night.

(I figured I’d just bump this … not like it’s that long of a thread anyway)

Loved it! Penn and Robbins certainly deserved their Oscars.

Here’s a thought I had, and I haven’t really read anything about it, nor heard any comment about it, but …

… was Dave abusing his son?

I got that distinct impression. First there was that speech to his wife about … “It stays with you …” and “Maybe some day you forget what it’s like to be human and maybe then, it’s ok.”
(By the way, I thought the symbolism of his name being incomplete in the cement all those years was perfect … he was never a complete person)

… and he told Jimmy something about being afraid he was becoming the man he killed (the pedophile) … and the last scene where Celeste is calling out for her son on the float and he just seems dead, lifeless … incomplete.

Was Dave wracked with guilt not only for beating the pedophile to death, but also for what he was doing to his own son? In which case that would almost make his ultimate fate more “justified”.

I thought a big part of the movie reflected the abuse Dave suffered and how it not only screwed him up, but screwed his family, his friends and his community up as well.
The end showing his son, desolate without his Dad as just another victim of the crime against Dave was powerful, as was the “guilty” Mom running alongside him. I didn’t take that Dave was abusing the boy at all, actually the over-protective Dad just barely ratcheting back smothering him was, to me, an understated and one of the best parts of part of Robbins performance.

Or I am sooo dense, besides being full of sh^t, and Dave was an abuser.

Falling back on the novel again (though I feel it’s fair to do so given the screenplay was a mostly faithful adaptation), Dave was not, in fact, abusing his son - but he was very worried of becoming a pedophile. He’s well aware of the history of pedophiles, and is acutely aware of his own psychological torment. His murderous rage is sparked by no little part of his own recognition of what he may become.

It’s my impression the key word here is “becoming”; that is, he wasn’t there yet, but also cannot deny he wasn’t (and never had) been dealing well with his past. Oddly enough, in the novel Jimmy does justify his actions by rationalizing Dave’s likely future.