Reign Over Me - A Movie Dialogue

Reign Over Me is the story of a dentist who is miserable in his life, a former dentist who is wallowing in depression from the loss of his wife and children on September 11, and a society who refuses to love.

***Spoiler Warning Galore***

Reign Over Me attempts to inspire us to be patient and love those who are struggling with mental illness. The case portrayed in the movie was such an extreme case that it is tough to draw a comparison to my real life in which I need to be loving to someone who is temporarily mentally cracked. The point to be taken is that I need to handle everyone with love and gentleness.

The shadow of the colossus (a terrible video game but one that is used throughout the movie to portray a theme) will never go away. For Charlie, his shadow was the plane hitting the World Trade Center, engulfing his wife and three lovely daughters. The scene where Charlie teaches the dentist how to play Shadow of the Colossus is actually reflective of the dentist teaching Charlie how to live again, but it also reflects that they both had a good time doing it. Having friends around to show us how to live in the shadow of the past and become victorious once again is the way to learn how to live again when tragedy hits. That victory only comes when we let love reign, as is shown through the movie by playing the Pearl Jam remake of The Who's Love Reign Over Me throughout the movie. The director was a little overt in using other media to portray the themes with "Love Reign Over Me" and "Shadow of the Colossus" repeated frequently, but it was a good theme and excusable. Charlie was healed through a relationship with a friend who did not view him as a project but viewed him as a friend. Charlie brought his own brand of healing to the dentist as he brought healing to him. They were friends helping one another out.

The saddest moment in the movie is when state held a hearing to see if Charlie should be put in a mental hospital. The mental hospital was cold and heartless. This is probably unfair to many of the fine mental hospital doctors out there who plug away day in and day out to try to bring healing to the people in their hospitals, but the major point of the movie is that our society does not treat its mental patients with love and patience. That might generally be true. The conflict between love and punishment rose to the top when Charlie was at his hearing. He was so close to recovering, yet the process of recovering was making him fall apart. Society wanted to throw him in a hospital while his doctor and friends wanted to let him "find his own way." In the end, a wise judge places the decision in the hands of his n-laws. They decide right, and Charlie is on his way to recovery.

The most inappropriate storyline in the movie was the messed-up woman who eventually fell for Charlie. The relationship was contrived and undeveloped and really dampened an otherwise great movie.

Reign Over Me was a good movie, and I am glad I watched it. May we will deal a little more lovingly to those who are challenging to us. The reason they are more than likely challenging is because they are hurting.

Entertaining: 4/5
Inspiring: 3/5
Ethical Thinking: 5/5