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History in The bar of the good people we follow the point of view of a boy who looks at the world with great sensitivity. After the departure of his father, JR is raised by his mother, whose life – to say the least – has not worked out. Therefore, the protagonist is looking for someone who, to some extent, will replace his father. His role model is Uncle Charlie, a confident man who runs the local bar. New movie George clooney adapts the autobiographical novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times journalist JR Moerhinger. It’s a story about dreams and the pursuit of professional dreams.
The hours spent at the bar are an opportunity for a teenager to absorb all the life advice given to him by his uncle and the clientele there. Dickens not only becomes a symbolic signpost, but also the home the boy never really had. Clooney opted for clarity and simplicity over fireworks and attractions, which doesn’t work very well from a screen perspective. It is a pity that more could not be learned from the bitter theme of growth.
The bar of the good people is an idyllic and very decent production which, however, could have offered more intense experiences, confronting the wisdom of bars with the banality of life and sketching more drama. The story unfolds like a thread, quoting selected pages from the book, without delving into the meaning. I haven’t had a chance to read the original, but the feeling of being faced with an uncreative synopsis shouldn’t be misleading. Lyrically, it’s just fine. The whole thing is mediocre from a formal point of view – an odd color palette has been chosen, and the pinnacle of possibilities turns out to be the off-screen storytelling and the young JR’s encounter with his slightly older incarnation. The sincerity flowing from one man to the next may have slowed down the more detailed treatment of individual themes, which, of course, is not necessarily a flaw – pathos and melancholy in a story are not , after all, the only way to achieve it. In my opinion, however, this approach to Clooney fails to hold its own off-screen – the lack of grit or vibrancy robs us of the ability to experience the whole thing in a more tangible way.
To my surprise, the entry into the local pub culture is not very strong. Alcoholic libation isn’t the only purpose of Dickens’ visits – rather, it’s a form of doping to build up not-so-simple thoughts more pleasantly. There are no people who color reality with alcohol, because their experiences are extremely colorful anyway. But it’s not an interesting place. Maybe there wasn’t enough time, or maybe there wasn’t an idea to make Dickens live more strongly in the viewer’s consciousness.
The bar of the good people meticulously outlines for us the various characters that influenced JR. In the foreground, of course, is Uncle Charlie. Ben affleck creates a warm and very interesting performance that goes well on screen and definitely draws the viewer in. We also have Dorothy’s mother (Lily Rabe), grandfather (Christopher Lloyd), an ex-girlfriend and friends from college. Clooney lets us know that they shaped the character of the protagonist. He does everything not to destroy their authority. There’s not a shred of pathos, drama, or trauma in the film, and the whole thing is earthy and likable. This is both a plus and a minus, as a good feeling doesn’t exhaust everything particularly interesting in this story.
The search for a male model, his mother’s illness and his failed romantic relationships form an abbreviated portrait of JR’s cinematic life which unfortunately does not keep all its promises. Most of the wires are conducted quite decently. The theme of the transition to adulthood is very little addressed and the main character’s quest for identity gives very little flesh. It’s hard to get involved. Despite the sincere intentions of the directors, my sensibility did not find points of contact with the vision of the director.
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The Good People’s Bar – film review