Meet Joe Black might not rank anywhere in the '100 best Hollywood movies of all time' list, but it does exactly what a good film should do — celebrate life and create wonderful moments while doing it.
Meet Joe Black movie cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani, Jake Weber
Meet Joe Black movie director: Martin Brest
Meet Joe Black movie rating: 3.5 stars
Some films are not really meant to be dissected scene by scene, but are just supposed to be taken in whole, consumed like some wonderful dish. Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins starrer Meet Joe Black is an example in case.
The Martin Brest directorial had been received averagely upon its release, however, with time it has grown on me. I remember watching the fantastical drama as barely a teenager, and after years of the movie’s release, Meet Joe Black is sweetly nostalgic and wise in doses.
The plot of the movie revolves around one successful and ageing business tycoon Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins). And in truly The Lord of the Rings’ Bilbo Baggins’ fashion, he discovers on his birthday that he has to depart. The character gets a visit by death (a devilishly charming Brad Pitt). Death must take Parrish, but before their departure, death decides to live a little as Parrish’s guest in his very house. What follows forms the rest of the narrative.
English actress Claire Forlani also stars as Hopkin’s wise, scared-to-love doctor daughter. Of course, eventually, she falls for death. And who can really blame her as death is extremely attractive, both in appearance and demeanour. Hopkins as the worried father and the flailing man is credible, as usual. On the other hand, Pitt’s performance could have been improved upon. What really makes a huge chunk of the film entertaining is the screenplay by Bo Goldman, Kevin Wade, Ron Osborn and Jeff Reno.
Hollywood Rewind: Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles
Filmmaker Matrin Brest, who is best known for delivering the successful Al Pacino starrer Scent of a Woman, does his job well. He lingers where he should, and doesn’t waste time on creating unnecessary drama and giving big dialogues to his actors. And considering the subject he is dealing with, doing that would have been the easiest thing. But thank god, he spares us. Instead the filmmaker gives us delicate moments of romance between the characters of Pitt and Forlani, which leaves us asking for more.
Meet Joe Black might not rank anywhere in the ‘100 best Hollywood movies of all time’ list, but it does exactly what a good film should do — celebrate life and create wonderful moments while doing it.
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