Handsome Harry (2009)

Handsome Harry Poster

An ex-Navy man carrying out the last wish of a dying shipmate renews contact with old friends to break the code of silence around a mysterious, long-buried crime.

Overview of "Handsome Harry"
"Handsome Harry" is a 2009 independent film directed by Bette Gordon and written by Nicholas T. Proferes. The film stars Jamey Sheridan as Harry Sweeney, a middle-aged divorced male leading a relatively ordinary presence as an electrician in upstate New York. The story is a deep, psychological expedition of regret, redemption, and the intricacies of human relationships. As Harry gets a call from a dying Vietnam War friend, the film takes the audience on a transformative journey, delving into the shrouded memories of his time in the Navy and a haunting event that happened.

The Protagonist's Conflict
Harry Sweeney, known as "Handsome Harry" throughout his marine days, is suddenly faced by his past when his old associate, Tom Kelly, played by Steve Buscemi, asks to see him on his deathbed. Kelly wants Harry to seek forgiveness on his behalf from a former fellow sailor, David Kagan, whom they viciously attacked years back in a homophobic attack driven by their own rejection and worry. Although initially Harry hesitates to dredge up the uncomfortable past, he eventually decides to honor his pal's last desire.

The Quest for Atonement
Harry embarks on a journey to locate the rest of his old Navy buddies and challenge the fact about what occurred to David. Each encounter with his previous pals, who have actually all taken various paths in life, peels back the layers of Harry's stoic exterior, revealing deep scars of regret and embarassment. The friends consist of Peter Reigert as Lieutenant Rheems, a hard-nosed officer during their service, David Wohl as Pauley, a basic family man, and Campbell Scott as Gebhardt, who has undergone his own improvement and recommends that Harry is seeking not just forgiveness for Tom, but for himself as well.

Discoveries and Reflections
Throughout Harry's journey, the film sprinkles flashbacks of the vicious incident onboard the Navy ship, slowly supplying the audience with a clearer photo of the occasion and Harry's participation. Harry's personal chaos is worsened as he faces his own complicity and the awareness that he has been living a life paralyzed by these unsolved feelings.

As Harry finally reaches David Kagan, represented by Aidan Quinn, now an effective and flexible guy, the intricacy of regret and reconciliation takes center stage. The conference between the two guys causes extensive psychological catharsis, not just unveiling the truths about their shared past however also requiring Harry to face his own identity and suppressed emotions.

Themes and Reception
Handling powerful themes such as masculinity, forgiveness, and the long-lasting impact of trauma, "Handsome Harry" challenges the audience to consider the ways in which unknown tricks shape our lives. Its evaluation of veterans handling post-traumatic stress and the long shadow of their actions during the war provides a poignant commentary on the long-lasting nature of such experiences.

The film was well-received by critics who appreciated its nuanced efficiencies, particularly Jamey Sheridan's deeply impacting portrayal of Harry, and the sensitive direction by Bette Gordon that intentionally unfurls Harry's psychological journey. The intimate cinematography and solemn rating support the movie's reflective and mournful tone.

In conclusion, "Handsome Harry" acts as an engaging narrative about the mission for redemption and the nerve it takes to face unpleasant truths. It is a portrait of a man attempting to make peace with his past and, in the process, discovering a new course towards self-acceptance and inner peace. The movie resonates with anyone who understands the long-lasting impacts of guilt and the redemptive power of concerning terms with one's past mistakes.

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