Benny & Joon

1993

Action / Comedy / Drama / Romance

45
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 71%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 52

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM

1080p.BLU
1.44 GB
1920*800
English
PG
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S 10/18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by saska-3 9 / 10

whimsical and affectionate, like its characters

BENNY & JOON seems, at its heart, to be an allegory about the different ways people can be out of touch with their fellow human beings, and the ways in which that dischord can be healed.

Benny owns an auto shop and takes care - both financially and physically - of himself and his sister Joon after the death of their parents. Other than weekly poker games, Benny's is a life of servitude, and this is the source of his isolation. He longs to be free to have other relationships, but is wracked by guilt at the idea of leaving Joon in anyone else's care.

Joon is an artist and is also mentally ill, a schizophrenic who has good and bad days and who depends on Benny to provide routine in her life. She has run out every housekeeper to be found in town, but cannot function without assistance and supervision. The film does a superb job of differentiating between mental illness (from which Joon clearly suffers) and stupidity (which is not a problem she faces).

Into their lives comes Sam, a cousin of one of Benny's poker buddies. Through a clever conceit, Sam moves in with Benny and Joon. Sam is undereducated, partially illiterate but a comedic genius who studies Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, knows catalogs of old movies, and has perfected the art form (kudos to Depp for the grace and conviction of this part of his performance). Like Keaton and the great silent film stars, Sam rarely speaks to communicate, and this combined with his illiteracy condemns him to be considered stupid as well. The great sneaker quality of Depp's performance is to show that Sam is always watching, always listening, and that he's no dim bulb by any stretch.

In Sam, Joon finds a person who makes her laugh, lives by his own rules, and cares for her deeply. In Joon, Sam finds a woman who appreciates him as he is, but he also knows a relationship with her is taboo. In a particularly revealing scene, he asks Benny, as one man to another, "How sick is she?" We know he is wrestling with his feelings for her, but Benny does not, and his offhanded answer comes across as callous and almost mocking.

While the handling of Sam and Joon's budding relationship may seem trite, and the humor applied to Joon's illness might seem cruel, in my experience the people who make those judgments know little about living day to day with a mentally ill - not to be confused with unintelligent - human being. There is deep and abiding truth in the idea that laughter and love can cure the incurable; people who seemed unable to function before can make great strides when they are shown trust and respect. And although the psychiatric issues were glossed over in this film, it has at its core an honest message of hope. One of my favorite films, for Depp and Masterson's outstanding performances and a true depiction of imperfect people on the journey to becoming whole. 9/10

Reviewed by moggy-4 9 / 10

Warm, engrossing film about real people

I doubt that I can add much to all the good things said about this film. Acting is superb, as is writing and direction, which keep the story from ever seeming "cute". It is never condescending about mentally ill; I love line where Joon corrects Benny's score keeping of a ping-pong game:" the mentally ill can count, you know". Both serious and comic, like life. Imagine, a good film without violence, drug life, car chases or sex. See it.

Reviewed by blackitty2 10 / 10

One of Johnny's best

I have to say that I think Benny & Joon may be one of my favorite Johnny Depp films, along with Edward Scissorhands and Cry Baby. Unfortunately, you don't hear too many people talk about B&J the way they do Johnny's more high profile films, like Pirates of the Caribbean. This film is wonderful because it manages to tell the story of two mentally ill characters and never make them helpless victims. Instead, at their worst they're merely troubled and interesting characters, and at their best they're absolutely charming and heartwarming. Of course, Depp shines with his spot-on Chaplin impressions, and Masterson and Quinn are in top form as well. The real miracle of this film is that it is able to tell a story laced with realism through a whimsical lens, and it walks the tightrope of making one feel good without blatant reassurance. You believe Benny and Joon love one another without a gratuitous sex scene, (only a beautifully sensual one), and the viewer subsequently falls in love with everyone because this is a fine example of the way characters should be developed. Bravo to all involved!

Read IMDb reviews

0 Comments

Be the first to leave a comment