Sunday, April 11, 2010

City by the Sea

City by the Sea with Robert de Niro should perhaps be mandatory watching for all prospective fathers. The role of the father, especially for a boy, is so crucial that abandonment, as this film shows in painful realism, wreaks havoc with the life of the son left behind.

The story involves a detective in New York City (de Niro) who works on a murder case that eventually leads him to his own son, now a young man, whom he had abandoned long ago when he had divorced the boy’s mother. Left with a poor and demoralized woman, the son has since become a junkie, is in with a very wrong crowd, and is now, as the film opens, entrapped in a spiral of violence from which he is unlikely to escape.

What makes the film unforgettably poignant is its setting: Asbury Park, New Jersey (called Long Beach in the film), where the son roams the streets. Here at the boardwalk by the sea―where we would normally conjure up images of vacations, family fun, beautiful sunrises, sand, children playing, families frolicking and laughing in the water—here lies a nearly abandoned city. Once proud hotels reduced to ruins and gigantic boardwalk fun parlors scarily empty—the haunts of very lost children and the evil-doers that prey on them.

Such can be the inside of the child abandoned by a father.


Jodi said...

Hi Linda,

Never heard of this movie, but we'll check it out. Sounds very interesting.

Julia S. said...

I just wanted to say that I gave up blogs for lent, but I'm glad to come back and read your blog which I always come away with something thoughtful and enriching.
I hope your holiday was a peaceful one.

Linda said...

Julia, Thank you so much for your kind comment. I had a lovely Easter. Hope you and yours did too.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I was unaware of this movie. I also live in the state where the filming took place. Approximately five years ago, a relative suddenly ended his life. He left a 13yr. old son, 18 yr. old daughter, and a wife. As time passes, the effect of this tragedy seem to be more profound in the son than the daughter. It is very sad.

Mrs. M.

Honeymoon registry said...

Never heard of it either. But reading from your post it seems like a great movie. Pretty interesting. I will check it out.