When Edward Cole died, his eyes were closed and heart was open.
When this dialogue repeats in the movie “The Bucket List” for the second time, I m sure your eyes will get rinsed. At least mine were. I sometimes am surprised at myself regarding the way I get emotional about movies. For instance, when “Viktor Navorski” enters the exit of the Airport in “The Terminal” and touches the American soil – that he has been longing to touch for months together, I got goosebumps. Some movies captivate me and prepare me for a climax that’s as scintillating as it can get. “The Bucket List” is precisely one of them. It has a very simple story and a very simple climax. Flat, in my terms. But it is spun around two characters, very deeply and very emotionally. Touché
Two top actors who are occasionally definitions of great acting – Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are together casted in this movie, not without a reason. The movie is directed by Rob Reiner – the director of my all time favorite “A Few Good Men”. This is enough reason for an Academy award. The problem would be “Who would get the Best Actor award?”. If I run the Academy, I’ll give them both one each and decommission the “Best Actor” awards, for ever. Cole, a millionaire, is very adamant about his hospitals having twin-sharing rooms. He insists every room in his hospitals should have two beds accommodating two patients, and that Hospitals are not health-spas. Carter is a car-mechanic, affected by cancer and one day gets admitted in the hospital for a treatment. As fate would have it, Cole shows symptoms of cancer and is admitted in his own hospital, alongside Carter – in a twin-sharing room. Both of them discover that they have only a few months before they “Kick the Bucket”. They, in the course of time device a plan – a list of things they like to do before they die and that Ladies and Gentlemen is “The Bucket List”. From then on, they are out on the loose. They go around the planet, fulfilling their wishlist.
Two men at different strata of life, both of them at the verge of completion, look at life in different ways. But they get to understand from each other something that changes their life – a very little – towards the end. The director cuts out poetic endings to every item on their bucket list. So, poetic and touching. You would be smiling and griming all along the movie, without you realizing. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson dwell in their realms with the depth their character needs. The other elements in the movie are simply ignored. Despite a wonderful cinematography (esp. for these genere of movies), the entire focus is sprung on the dynamic duo. The climax is not a surprise. Only we are preparing ourselves for this throughout the movie. I want you to let me know, if you weren’t impacted at the climax (Note : not by the climax).
Sometime back, in 1999, David Lynch’s “The Straight Story” left such an impact in the climax. I wouldn’t want to write any spoilers and screw up your fun, in case you would want to watch the movie. I just wish the movie screens here.