Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Favorite Characters Part 1- Sean Devine

To kick off the segment on my favorite characters in film and literature, we'll start with my favorite character from one of my favorite books, one of my favorite movies and played by my favorite actors. Sean Devine is one of three lead characters from Dennis Lehane's best selling novel Mystic River, which was in turn made into a film directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Kevin Bacon, so I guess this counts as both a book and film character.

Sean, as a young boy, witnessed one of his friends, Dave Boyle, get taken away by a suspicious looking car while they were playing with another good friend , Jimmy Marcus (Jimmy Markum in the movie). Years later, the boys have grown up and have followed down very different paths until the murder of Jimmy's daughter has thrown these three men back into each other's lives. Sean has grown up to be a state deteeective, Jimmy is an ex-convict who runs a local grocery store and Dave has not recovered from the horrific events that followed him being taken away in that car all those years ago. While each of these men have their own amount of baggage to deal with, it's Sean that has been able to keep it together all these years. Now part of that is due to him having to deal with different issues than the other two, but there is another reason and that is because of Sean's unwillingness to quit like the other two. There is a great scene where Sean is talking to his estranged wife on the phone and he admits that he doesn't really know why he does what he does anymore. It won't matter if he ever finds who killed Katie because it won't really fix anything. The scumbag that killed her will go to jail and then get to return to his life after doing his time, while  "the dead are still dead". It's sad because you know that he wouldn't like anything more than to give up or just crack and hurt somebody, which is exactly what the other two end up doing before the end of the story. In Sean's case, he decides to pull himself out of that ditch before it's too late and makes a silent vow to right a wrong that was committed by Jimmy. Of the three men, he is also the only one who things work out for in the end and in a story that is so darn depressing, it's nice to see at least one thing go right. In one of the final scenes of the movie, Sean confesses that he often thinks back to that day with the car and how in his mind "All three of us got in that car. In reality, we're still just ten year-old boys stuck in a basement wondering what our lives would have been if we had escaped". His actions throughout the movie prove that he was the closest to escaping that basement.

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