The Majestic (2001)

logoDirector: Frank Darabont

Writer: Michael Sloane (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey DeMunn, Hal Holbrook, Laurie Holden, Martin Landau, Brent Briscoe, Ron Rifkin, Amanda Detmer, James Whitmore


Plot: Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Entertaining Drama

Story: The Majestic starts by showing us a movie plot discussion meeting with our protagonist Peter (Carrey). We learn how he is about to break out as a screenwriter with his first film being shown. This goes next to the communist hunt that flew through America in the 1950s. Peter becomes the next victim in the hunt leading him to get blacklisted in Hollywood, after losing it he gets drunk and tries to drive off into the sunset, but things don’t go well for him when he crashes his car on a bridge going over and bumping his head. Peter awakens with no memory of who he is or why he is where he is. Peter is taken into a small town that have lost most of their young generation of men in the war. The town’s people all seem to recognize Peter and one man in particular Harry (Landau) thinks he is his lost son. His appearance in the town makes Harry want to reopen the Majestic cinema to give the people of the town some hope.

It is not long before the whole town is welcoming him home and he gives the whole town inspiration to move on with their lives and the man’s lost love Adele (Holden) tries to rekindle what she once had by taking him around town to the memories they once had together. While his attachment for the town grows we are left to wonder what will come back first, his memory or his past.

The Majestic is a very powerful story about a town struggling to move on while one man who could be one of their own lost ones inspires them to move on with their lives. Where the story shines is by showing how small towns would be suffering to cope after the war and how America panicked through the communist investigation just pointing figures and never getting real answers. On its negative side I find it hard to believe that the amnesia got almost shrugged off by the town’s people and how easily they just assumed a man who couldn’t remember anything would just turn up home. The Majestic does come off giving a very warm feeling after viewing and is easily enjoyable. (7/10)


Actor Review

Jim Carrey: Peter Appleton a screenwriter who gets blacklisted when people believe his is a communist. While trying to escape the problems he ends up in a small town where he has a striking resemblance to a man thought to have died in the war. He gives them all inspiration but once he figures out who he really is he has to learn to stand up for a new cause. Jim gives one of his best performances here showing he can give serious performance. (9/10)


Martin Landau: Harry Timble the man who believes Peter is his son returning after the war and once he sees him wants to reopen the family business. He gets to see his cinema reopened and spend time with what he thinks is his son before passing on before the truth gets out. Martin gives a good performance of a man wanting one more day with his lost son. (7/10)


Laurie Holden: Adele Stanton the romantic interest of the lost man, she is not sure about Peter but does fall for his charms all over again before finding out the truth. Laurie gives a good performance. (7/10)


Support Cast: The Majestic has two main groups of supporting characters; we have the studio people and the men investigating the communist in Hollywood. While the second group are the members of the town who believe Peter is a lost member of the town. Both sets make the story flow well giving us the solid idea between the loss of loved ones in the war and the witch hunt for communists.

Director Review: Frank Darabont – Frank does a good job directing this film even though it doesn’t reach the levels of some of his previous work. (7/10)


Drama: The Majestic uses the sense of drama to tell the heart breaking story of loss of the young men during the war in the small town and how it has changed the people’s lives. (9/10)

Settings: The Majestic uses the settings really well to give an authentic feel for the time period the film is set in. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Majestic is a film that could be enjoyed by everyone but may not appeal to everyone due to its character driven story. (Try It)


Best Part of The Majestic: The Commission Speech.

Worst Part of The Majestic: Slightly too long for the story it tells.


Believability: Forgetting the chance of the character happening to look like another person the two storylines focus on very real effects the war had on two different areas of society. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Jim Carrey could have got a nomination but the film didn’t get any.

Box Office: $37 Million

Budget: $72 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes your life comes into focus one frame at a time


Overall: Carrey’s Best Was Not A Success But is Must Be Seen By His Fans



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