Thursday, April 03, 2008

We Own The Night

Brothers Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) and Joe Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg) are the sons of a larger-than-life father, big city Police Chief Bert Grusinsky (played by Robert Duvall). Both struggle in how they respond to their old man's expectations: Bobby is drawn to the thrill of the night life, while younger Joe follows in his Dad's footsteps and becomes a respected police officer.

Set in 1988 New York City, We Own The Night tells the story of brothers estranged by ideology and interest who become united by a common--and urgent--crisis.


The relationship between them can be so complicated. Many times, the complications are driven by pride. And needlessly so.

Several years ago my sister divorced from her first husband. As a result of the divorce--and for reasons too personal to go into here-- my brother became angry at my sister and for quite a long time refused to speak to her.

One night, after a family get-together, I recognized that our sister's children were beginning to notice our brother's behavior. As the oldest sibling I felt some obligation to help solve the problem, so I told my brother his rudeness was affecting our nieces and nephews, and it should stop.

He immediately cut me out of his life, and has spoken to me only a couple of times since, when I've initiated a conversation. I think the last sentence he said to me even ended with the phrase:

"I'd like to take you out back and beat your ass."

I found out that he was in the hospital a few weeks ago, with a sudden bout of pneumonia. So I called him up, and wished him well. I was sort of hoping the call I made would jump-start the relationship, sort of like what happened in We Own The Night. I ended up talking to him by telephone a couple of times while he was hospitalized, but haven't spoken to him since he returned home.

I'm kinda waiting now for him to call me. Like I said: needless complications driven by pride.

It's a shame, all around.

At least things turned out well in We Own The Night. Too bad it was just an average movie.


Hoyt said...

I hope your brother will call you. Your post really hit home with me because I have a similar issue with someone. I've made overtures in the past to try and remedy the situation to no avail.

You're right. It really is a shame.

The Film Geek said...

Thanks Hoyt. I fell ya, my friend. It shouldn't be this complicated.

The Film Geek said...

Or, "Feel."

I hate it when I typo while trying to sound hip. :)

Capcitykitty said...

I'm sorry, too, FG. That kind of thing always just feels like such a waste of life. I hate it.

At least you've done your part to make amends.