Plot: What’s it about?
Mark Brice (Ray Liotta) has just learned that his wife Ella (Gretchen Mol) has cheated on him, which causes him to crave intense revenge. It seems the indiscretion took place at a lush resort, where Ella met a cabana worker named Alan (Joseph Fiennes) and obviously, the two had chemistry and chose to act upon their desires. This of course enrages Mark, who is a businessman and politician, very ruthless in both professions. As he would handle any problematic situation, he relies upon violence, threats, and intimidation, which he hopes will ruin the lives of those who have screwed him over. But at the same time, Alan is obsessed with Ella and has decided to make her his own, no matter what the cost in the end. This seems all well and good, but when Alan begins to behave in strange fashions, it appears he might not be all there either, or perhaps just drunk with true love. In any case, there’s only one Ella to go around and in the end, it might take the death of one of the men, to deliver Ella to the other.
I am always ready for new projects from Paul Schrader, but when Forever Mine was announced, I was unsure of what to expect. It all seemed a little to simple for Schrader’s style, but nonetheless, I knew I would be going to see it. But since it never played near me, I had to wait for this disc, but I think it was well worth the wait. Schrader’s past work makes it hard to judge Forever Mine, as I can’t help but make comparisons, which isn’t fair. This film is not even close to his better works, but it is a decent movie, with some terrific moments. The story is dark as usual for Schrader, but lacks the attention to detail, which was a bit of a let down. Even so, this movie stands well in the current gush of cinematic offerings, so I have no serious problems. The cast is well chosen and includes good performances from Gretchen Mol, Joseph Fiennes, and Ray Liotta, as well as a solid supporting cast. In the end, Forever Mine doesn’t live up to the expectations raised by Schrader’s past work, but it still warrants a look, if you’re interested. I think a rental is in order in most cases, though Schrader fanatics will probably want to own this one.
This film was written and directed by Paul Schrader, who is known for his work in the darker areas of cinema. I don’t think this movie is as dark as some of his previous work, but Forever Mine does focus on the more vindictive side of human nature. If you compare this to some of his prior efforts, it falls short of course, but as a stand alone picture, I think it works just fine. I always have high hopes when Schrader’s name is attached to a movie, so this one has to work double time to fulfill my expectations. In terms of writing, his work here cannot compare to Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, but Schrader delivers when it comes to characters and events. In the end, Forever Mine is a more than solid effort, but it is tough to judge it, as Schrader has worked on so many powerful films, which blurs the lines here. Other films directed by Schrader include Hardcore, Blue Collar, Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters, Affliction, Cat People, and American Gigolo. The cast here includes Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare In Love, Stealing Beauty), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Unlawful Entry), Vincent Laresca (The Substitute, Flawless), and Gretchen Mol (New Rose Hotel, Rounders).
Video: How does it look?
Forever Mine is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a very solid image, with only a shade of grain at times to complain about. The grain has little effect on the other elements however, which is good news of course. The colors usually remain with a normal scope, but at times, wander into rich, vivid hues. But the colors never smear, even when they’re bursting with vibrance, while flesh tones look normal and warm also. The contrast is even handed, but often looks too light, due to the unique lighting schemes used. But I think this transfer replicates the intended visuals very well, which is all I can ask in this case.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is not the film to show off your sound system with, but the included 2.0 surround track makes sure it all comes through in fine form. The surrounds don’t see much attention outside the musical score, but that is the way it should be, so it sounds very natural. I’d rather have an effective, conservative mix in this case, since that is the audio dynamics the film demands. The dialogue is rich and clean at all times, no problems on that end in the least. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There is only one extra here, but it is a good one, in the form an audio commentary track with writer/director Paul Schrader. As always, Schrader offers insight into all respects of the film, from his writing sessions to the cinematography, almost all the aspects of the production are covered. He tends to discuss on screen action at times, but usually remains on track and has a lot of information to share here.