I don't know what to say about this biopic film about Johnny Cash except that I don't see the hype and the appraisal that people are given to this piece of film. This movie is boring, lemme tell you right in front. Maybe I don't share the same nostalgic theme or connection with people whose actually like this movie. Either that, or I simply just don't care about this movie. And...I hate country music.
A chronicle life of country music legend Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley (Tyler Hilton), Jerry Lee Lewis (Waylon Payne), Roy Orbison (Jonathan Rice) and Carl Perkins (Johnny Holiday). During their tour, he met country singer June Carter (Reese Whiterspoon) and falls in love, while both of them already married. They are having an affair and Johnny Cash has to battle his addiction to drugs with nobody but June to help him overcome it.
A pretty straightforward biopic with a strong performances though not extraordinary. It's a strange exercise in rose-tinted bias. Johnny Cash is portrayed as a good, if slightly intimidated young man who makes good following his dream. The bulk of the film follows his morally tortured love affair with his touring partner, June Carter. The film suffered from the typical fate of the biopic, stating that important events are distilled into meaningless and unrealistic circumstances which stretches and dilutes the core story until it resembles less a great man's life than a TV movie of the week. I've seen a better biopic movie about famous celebrities and they're much better than this. The only thing biopic in this movie that I liked is about Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis cameos and their friendship with Johnny Cash before they went separate ways and became famous on their own. Elvis and Jerry Lee's biopics are much more interesting to my taste. Ultimately, the film never resonates -- maybe due to the film's insistence on passing over glamorization and scintillation in favor of loyalty to biographical facts. What the film does have a lot of time for, however, is a lot of after-school special, daddy problems and a broken domestic drama.
I hate the way they portray Johnny Cash as this ambitious man who doesn't care about his family and yet he's very obssessive with June and willing to sacrifice his own family so he can be together with the 'other' woman. I dunno what kind of moral message that they're pulling here; that is okay to reach for your dreams and forget about all of those who opposes it? If he's not happy with his life, then just leave and start fresh -- instead having a destructive life and numerous affairs. Instead of being empathy, I felt nothing towards him. Compare to Ray which also I think it has the same problem, the difference is that Ray redeemed himself and try to be the best whilst Johnny Cash...well...*shrug*. We have the unexplained inspiration scenes, the death in the child scenes, the breakdown scenes, the "daddy you never loved me" scene. Get it? The Southern accents also are killing me, folks. Too many country singing. Yes, the actors gave great performances especially Ginnifer Goodwin as Vivian Cash, Johnny's first wife and Dallas Roberts as Sam Phillips who deliver a memorable quote about death and faith to God. Interesting tidbit; I was the only younger audience who watched this movie in the cinema. The rest of the audience were older than my grandparents. Go figure.
Due to my hectic schedule, I will not be able to review all new movies every week. I apologize. I will however review some older movies from DVDs from time to time. Thank you for understanding.
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