Review: The Sunset Limited (2011)
The Sunset Limited is an intriguing movie that takes place exclusively in a home. It is a dialogue between two strange men who are brought together by a quirk of fate. One had “plunged” to death but the other was destined to save him. The “savior” is ardent about his “personal God”, viz. Jesus. He holds that the greatest book ever written is the Holy Bible. He is aghast that the antagonist, the man who wants to die, is a University Professor, who must have read about 4,000 books in his 40-year life/career but had not read the Holy Bible.
The movie has very good dialogues. The protagonist, the ex-inmate, narrates a jail house story at the request of the Professor. He tries his best to talk the antagonist out of his desire to end his own life.
Practically every moment in the movie is intense, moving and meaningful. The ex-inmate is an uneducated man but holds forth very well as they debate God, Jesus, Nothingness, Cultural Annihilation, suffering which shadows you from birth till death, ineffectiveness of medicines against suicidal thoughts in this particular case, pointless group therapy and so on.
The narrative seemed to be tilted in favor of the “believer”. The obstinacy of the one who believes that Nothingness is the end of the eternal ennui has also been contrasted in a very sharp manner. The “ending” of the movie is very moving.
Whether you are an atheist, a believer or an agnostic, you will be gripped by the folksy and intellectual debate on the deep essence of the concepts of spirituality; and that by itself is an extraordinary feat for the writer, the Director and the actors.
This is a very unusual, wondrous and intensely stimulating movie which has great acting by Samuel L. Jackson, the ex-inmate. The background music is sparse, unobtrusive but relevant. Do not miss this movie and do “listen” carefully during its 90 minute duration. You will not regret the experience.
Name: The Sunset Limited (2011)
Type: TV movie
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Story and Screenplay: Cormac McCarthy