Apr 29, 2012

The Other Sister, 1999

The Other Sister, 1999
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Tom Skerritt, Juliette Lewis, Diane Keaton, Giovanni Ribisi

: home stage, evening TV selection

The Other Sister in short:
When Carla Tate, now a young woman, is 'graduated' out of the training school where she has resided for many years because she is mentally challenged, her hope is that she will be accepted for all that she can now do for herself. But Carla's family is wealthy which permits her mother, already blinded to her daughter's rather high-functioning abilities, to try and provide for Carla beyond her needs or desires, bringing forth the inevitable confrontations... for what Carla may lack in mental ability she certainly makes up for in her insistence on being independent, even to living in her own apartment. But if this isn't enough, into the mix comes a young man, equally challenged mentally, who moves Carla beyond anyone's control...

Preps: I have seen this already, a touching drama with a mentally challenged person in so called perfect family. I am in the mood to see it again. Plus, I remember superb Keaton and Lewis inside their skin.

Reality: What curse the mother of the so called perfect family, must feel, to have a mentally challenged daughter in her cherished portfolio of members in the family. How to handle her, if she wants the same as all the others, to be independent and have her own life, own appartment, own boyfriend. How dissappointed is she when the daughter somehow succeeds to have everything she wanted. She pretends not to want this burden, on the other hand I think she loves the idea she is the rescuer of the day and she needs to be in control. Anything else drives her to anxiety and rivalry with herself. The father is proud, though, it's a shame that in this perticular relationship he isn't exactly the one carrying the pants.
The mother hardly leaves the daughter alone. Worries all the time. Burdens all around her with this. Leaves the "to do" list to her daughter what to do before she leaves the appartment. Obviously she is the sane voice of the audience, saying - hello, you cannot leave a girl like that to live independently. Maybe this girl only wants to live without prejudice. Like Nell in a movie I looked before this one.
Now, Miss Tate finds a real boyfriend and it's touching how she interacts with Daniel. In sense, how this kind of relationship works, because they are both mentally challenged. The movie increases the tension with the couple wanting to live together and parents trying to find the right path inbetween. Should parents (or public) even get involved into this relationship? In this piece, everything we perceive "normal", is a challenge, or is viewed from another perspective. Sex, for instance, the couple doesn't realize what is happening to their bodies. It is refreshing how they describe the anxiety and really show it. No act, just pure honesty.

It is hard to imagine living like this. On the other hand, I believe the people that are mentally challenged, can live a happy and completely normal life. I don't think anyone should be the judge in this, and I am aware of the issues that come in place in these cases. In the piece, some of them are named, and I know it's the tip of the iceberg.

The piece will make you grateful for the "normal" state you are in and grateful for all the things you can do without any fuss. Juliette Lewis is brilliant, truly remarkable cast in this piece. Diane Keaton, on the other hand, also brilliant, shows an anti-dose of the optimism and desire Juliette is showing. Keaton's role is to be the "sane, smart person" in the show and run it safely. Not entirely sure it's the right thing to do. Keaton is.

My personal rating: 6,0 ( a good vibe about "special" persons we need to acknowledge and let them breathe)

The Other Sister on IMDB

No comments:

Post a Comment