For Jimmy, a Native American Blackfoot indian, looking forward to come back home would have made any man happy. But what he did not realize, the real war was about to begin in his mind. From director of such films like, The Christmas Tale and The Beloved, Arnaud Desplechin brings the true story of Jimmy Picard, an army soldier who suffered from psychological fits of delusions and headaches due to social repression that happened in his past. As doctors mistakenly conclude Jimmy has schizophrenia, he sits in a dark room in a military hospital wonders if he will ever be cured from the constant headaches, flashes of light, blindness and deafness.
The story depicts a man named Jimmy, played by Benicio Del Toro, who suffers from nauseating headaches shortly after serving in the Army during World War I. Staying at his sister’s house Gayle, played by Michelle Thrusher, discovers how much pain her brother is suffering and arranges to see a specialist. On a train bound for Topeka, Kansas, Gayle and Jimmy hope the doctors from the military hospital will diagnose the cause of Jimmy’s illness and treat him. After many tests, doctors failed to find the reason why of his condition. In a last effort of hope, Dr. Karl Menninger, played by Larry Pine, summons a French Anthropologist, George Devereux, played by Mathieu Amalric for help. After just a few sessions with Jimmy, George rules out any mental disorders and concludes it is a psychological dilemma. George, who studied for two years with the Mojaves and their culture, can relate to Jimmy’s background and begins to interpret and unravel Jimmy’s dreams, a friendship forms.
The chemistry between Benicio and Mathieu looks as though as they were on stage live in a playhouse together, simply flawless. No one could imagine to see how two people from different cultures and worlds apart connected with one another to form a heartfelt friendship. Though I found the film lagged on more than it should, the story written by both director, Kent Jones and Julie Peyr was somewhat sound but compelling. The film missed the opportunity to bring more of the culture of the Native American, especially during post war time, Though audience will connect with Jimmy’s turmoil and guilt regarding his relationship with his daughter, the ending leaves one wondering if all will be forgiven. Production Company, Why Not Production and Worldview Entertainment produced the film and is distributed by IFC Films. The film is recommended for adult audiences and is currently available for purchase. Rated 4 out of 10.
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