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» iRewind Talk » Movies » « 90's Movies » Free Willy

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Author Topic: Free Willy
Chris the CandyFanMan
Those Ain't Pillows......
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Not sure if this has been brought up on here yet--after 17 years, one does lose track of what topics do come up--but I can recall how eagerly 11 year old me wanted to see it after I first saw both the iconic poster and the original trailer. And it did not disappoint in the least when I did see it, and from today's perspective, it still holds up pretty well. Beyond the argument of whether animals should be in captivity--and the film now looks quite accurate in its own assessment given what we know about whales' lives in aquariums today--it does have a good underlying set of messages, of trust and friendship and making your life count. I also like from today's perspective that it takes a refreshingly different view of (most) adults than many other family films; whereas often we end up with adult vs. kid civil wars in such films with the kids automatically right and the adults automatically wrong despite any evidence to the contrary we can see, here adults are friendly, are cool, are worthy of our respect. I like the way Jason James Richter played Jesse; he can be rough and abrasive at times, but he still remains sympathetic even in those moments, since we can understand where he's coming from. And it's also a positive that they take the time to gradually build up the character's relationship with Willy so that it feels like a real friendship building, so that when the still amazing climax hits, the iconic final leap to freedom--which you can argue is also Jesse's freedom as well, that in the moment he's letting go of the anger and pain that held him back before and can now be a better person--does genuinely mean something. If they'd had the courage to stop there, everything would have been more or less perfect.
Posts: 2557 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Aug 2004 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hiding behind the shower curtain.....
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Well you've sold me! Next time this is on tele I will give it a long overdue rewatch [Smile]
Posts: 3934 | From: uk | Registered: May 2007 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rewind Devotee
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Well, I've never watched the movie in quite this much depth and perspective before, but now I'm curious if I can. I actually remember being much more moved by the sequel in which the whales have to deal with a large oil spill. That was just a lot more life-threatening and thrilling to me than anything in the first movie.
Posts: 1771 | From: Planet Druidia | Registered: Jan 2009 | Site Updates: 3  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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