Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Connect Care Commit: The Fugitive

Yes, I’m trying out Connect Care Commit instead of Believe Care Invest, just to see how it feels! I can’t decide.

Why Richard might be hard to identify with:
  • He’s dour socially, and that’s never the most likable trait. He’s naïve and hapless in dealing with the police. He gives a fellow doctor advice on his golf swing, which is kinda Trumpy. He’s mumbly and never shows a lot of verbal skill in the movie. His wife is rich and he has a maid.
  • He feels human when he says about himself in a tux: “I always feel like I look like a waiter or something.” When he realizes they’re accusing him of killing his wife, Ford gives a great, very human reaction of “How dare you?” (but a lesser actor could have given a bad reading of that line.)
  • When he comes home, and doesn’t know his wife is dying upstairs, he calls out, “Honey I’m home—Who won the game?” Always have them planning to have another conversation.
  • The way the 911 call goes down, we can see how it would naturally create the false impression that he did it. This is a believable miscarriage of justice.
  • I love that even though we get a quick precis of the trial, we see more than one prosecutor, which is how it would be with a major case.
  • He has to work when he’d rather go home with his wife.
  • Always the ultimate “misunderstood” moment: He gets false accused, arrested, and sentenced to execution.
  • Just a bit. He certainly behaves heroically in the prison escape and train accident, but we don’t have much opportunity to commit before that.
Five Es
  • Eat: Not really. Gets some wine out of the fridge and brings it up to his wife.
  • Exercise: Not until chased, then nothing but.
  • Economic Activity: He’s at a work function, then he’s called in to the hospital on the way home. The news reporter tells us he’s a “respected vascular surgeon.”
  • Enjoy: He’s at a party, but doesn’t enjoy it. Nevertheless, he tells his wife, “You look beautiful tonight.”
  • Emulate: Not that I can tell. James?
Rise above
  • Well, he gets fired, but he never stops thinking like a doctor and relying on the hospital.  He pointedly never rises above his job.
High five a black guy
  • He saves a black guard’s life. “Give me a hand with this man!”
  • He tries to save the guard. He lets another convict escape along with him, but he says, “Hey Copeland, be good.”


James Kennedy said...

This movie has TWO protagonists, though! What about Gerard? How do we connect, care, and commit for him?

I don't buy that Gerard is the antagonist. When Kimble is onscreen, we're rooting for him, but when Gerard is onscreen, we're rooting for him (in a way that we don't root for, say, antagonists like Darth Vader or Hans Gruber).

For this movie, we need to consider connect/care/connect for Gerard just as much as for Kimble. They're complementary. It's a "two-hander," as they say. Indeed, perhaps the only way Ford is able to get away with being such a gruff, sulky, mumbly Kimble is because Tommy Lee Jones' Gerard is so colorful, funny, and bombastic.

These two protagonists complete each other, and indeed, they "emulate" each other: Kimble must become a Gerard-like detective to solve his wife's murder, and in the final scene, Gerard plays doctor when he takes care of KImble's hand with the ice pack.

That final scene makes me feel that "The Fugitive" is the only true love story of the 1990s.

Matt Bird said...

Well, y'know, Titanic was a thing...

Robert K S said...

Even if we can deny that "Titanic" was a thing that still leaves "The Bodyguard"

James Kennedy said...

Re-watch that final scene! Look at the way Harrison Ford gazes at Tommy Lee Jones, as a tender and grateful bottom. And Tommy Lee Jones, the giddy and appreciative top. They might as well be making out in that back seat!

Matt Bird said...

But what about the end of Titanic? "I love you, now let me share that door with you." "But then I wouldn't be able to stretch out..."

Matt Bird said...

Now that I think about it, I guess Kimble is emulating Copeland, his fellow fugitive, isn't he?

Friday said...

I would agree that Kimble is emulating Copeland.

This film is so good and it IS all about that relationship between Kimble and Gerard. I wish there were more well done "friend" love stories, to be honest.

Does this remind anyone of The Shawshank Redemption? A film in which the apparent protagonist has little to no character arc while the best friend/ally of the film experiences the real change? Gerard flips on his "I don't care" moment, and Red chooses to get busy living. Red doesn't necessarily act as an antagonistic force in the way that Gerard does, but he never believes Andy didn't kill his wife until Tommy shows up to prove it much later in the film. And Andy/Kimble both fight to overcome their respective miscarriages of justice.

Both much better love stories than Titanic.