[Neo Ned] Jeremy’d outdone himself and got me down on my knees, again – Fangirl spirit :]]
For those who have been kind and patient enough to stick with my page would be certainly familiar with Jeremy by now. Thus, I will cut-off the introduction and go straight to the main point.
Yep, I just watched his Neo Ned few minutes ago, I admit that I’m on tears but that’s none of the matter. The matter is I’ve never thought i could find another film played by Jeremy that could possibly step in and sweep away my obsession of Dahmer. But I was proved wrong. Neo Ned has proved me totally wrong and I’m so glad about it.
The opening was a little bit weird. You got the feeling like being throw to the middle of the film. You’ll see a guy, which is Ned, driving a black girl, which is Rachel in such a hurry. They suddenly pull over a store and although the girl seems like she doesn’t want to show up there at all, the guy just go ahead into the store. The next thing you’ll see him shoot somebody in cold blood. Cut. And then, it starts right over from the very beginning of the story, leaving us clueless about what’s just happened. Cool, hah?
Yeah, I felt like I’d been thrown into iced water (VN idiom ^^). It was like “What’s the hell going on here???”. But, again, I told myself, “Be calm. This is not the first time you watch an indie. Dont react like a jerk.” Yes, I took my own advice and went on with the show, patiently and so very quickly, my patience was rewarded. Jeremy appeared as a crazy guy, throwing the toaster arround the room and pissing off the nurses and security. He was showed to be a really tough and mischievous patient and took 3 strong guys to knock him down to the floor while the nurse struggled to give him a shot. I was bewitched immediately by the acting. Of course, this is why I was there, Jeremy’s brilliant performance, which I expected for. So no more meaningless praises for him. Instead, I love to focus on analysing his character Ned Nelson.
My second thought for this guy was that, “Hey, he looks not so crazy, just big mouth and acting like a noisy child.” Yes, a big-bad-ass little boy who wants to mess up to get attention and get rid of boredom. His craziness was revealed when he told his story in a meeting with the doctor (or whatsoever he was). The story of the little Ned got adoted by a couple of parents who turned out truly crazy people that lately killed themselves and their daughter as well. Ned was luckily escape because he’d left to go to pee right before the suicide. The story itself was a terrible tragedy but Ned was acting like it was the most funny and interesting thing to say. Or at least, he tried to act cool like that, to cover up whatever he wanted to hide beneath the tough-guy shelter. It seemed the only person there feel to understand his intention of telling the story was Rachel. And just as fast as a flash, our guy found himself in a crush to this “wise girl”.
What do guys do when they like a girl? They flirt. And so did Ned. Even he was deemed to be crazy, he played the Mr. Charming game quite well. He got the girl talk to him. Ask her to play card with him. And finally manage to win a date at the zoo. How sweet to see how happy he was then. Jump on the feet like just winning a ten million dollar. No, not really like that. That was too mature. He was more like a kid having his parents promised to take him to Disneyland on Sunday morning. Oh gosh, you must watch the film to understand what I’m trying to describe here. To sum up in one word: Super cute! (yeah, 2 words, I know,but just let pretend that is one :]])
But life was never easy, especially for Ned. Right after he won the date, he got the news that he would be discharged of the institution for all the troubles he had done. Can you imagine a child was being taken away the promise of going to Disneyland? Must be very disappointed, and angry too. And probably throwing something at you and saying that he would hate you forever. Yeah well, that was basically what Ned did when he heard that he would not going to the zoo with the rest and being kicked out. Poor the guy!
The great thing about indie films is its way of presenting normal people with normal lives dealing with troubles at a very real level that we dont usually see in the cinema, where every character is turned into super assassins after painful experiences in childhood. Well, how surprisingly that those supernatural characters have so little charm to me now. Maybe, because they all surpass the pain too easily and survive as some revengers that hunt down bad guys. In real life, if we got struck by a tragic event, it would be extremely hard to get over it. It would become a scar carved into you heart and turn your world upside down. Rachel was a naive teenager when she was raped by a white middle aged asshole. She got prenant and become mother even before she could sign her name on the voting lottery. The horrified memory with man left her no choice but kept all oposite sex away from her. She claimed herself as Adotf Hitler’s ressurection and got into the hospital, leaving behind her new-born daughter. Her life then was so peaceful until Neo stepped in and asked to run away with him.
Gabrielle Union also gave a great performance as Rachel. She was equal with Jeremy on the scale and together, they delivered a kinky but sweet and heartbreaking love story. To be honest, i’m not fond of love b/t black and white. Not because i’m racial or what, but I just find it’s really weird to have love b/t them or at least when seeing this kind of romance on screen. But Jerry and Gabrielle had managed to remove my prejudice and made me totally in love with their characters and their love story. This is also an exception.
Back to the film, I just knew that things would not work out for them. There were so many problems got in their way. Rachel with her past and her daughter that would pushed her away sooner or later. And Ned, he was the biggest issue. Obviously, he could not fit into the society right the way just because he fell in love and decided to be a better man. Insides, Ned was no more no less than a big boy. He could not manage to take care of himself, not say that build up a whole family. He had a job but he threw it away in seconds to join his “old buddies”. He said he loved Rachel but he gave it up to sleep with another girl, than he walked home and said he wished he could “un-f**ked” her. No women could accept that. Rachel just knew that she could not go on this way. She had to leave him to start her own life.
The scene when Rachel broke up with Ned is just heartbreaking. Jeremy just simply burned the screen with his outstanding performance. No matter what he’d done, he still needed Rachel in his life. When he said that his happy story was Rachel, we realized how desperate he was. Like any human being on Earth, he was just a lonely soul that desired love and be loved in return. He’d never had any one until he met Rachel. But he just didn’t how to love a woman and instead, he hurted her. In the end, he just had to let her go. He didn’t know how to make her happy, so he tried to do one last thing for her: free her from the haunted memory. Ned drove Rachel to the asshole that raped her when she was young.
Came to this point, everything seemed to be so clear. I thought “So this is it. He comes to kill this guy and he will go to prison for real.” Well, you know. I was right about the last thing but I missed one detail. He didn’t bring the gun with him when he went in. I didn’t realize that until Rachel came after him. And instead of Ned, it was her who pulled the trigger. Wow, what a twist I’d never expected.
In one second, I realized what Ned was going to do. He took the gun, and shot the body several times to replace her fingerprint by his. He persuaded her to go before the police arrived. Because Rachel had a daughter to take care and he he had none. So this might be the best and only happiness he could manage to give her: a change to start over again. He didn’t but she knew how to do that. What left for him in this free life but lonliness and lost. Ned decided to go back “home”, where he could finally be happy his daddy, once again.
I always believe that love can take many forms, but it is sacrifice the most beautiful and noble. Maybe this is the only thing Neo Ned didn’t prove me wrong.
I sincerely feel grateful towards Mr. Tim Boughn, the most Oscar-deserved writer for his brilliant script and also the director Van Fischer, who managed to make a great film with so low budget. I truly hate the fact this film was not released public or be given a dozen of Oscar Awards for Directing, Writing, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for Shelly Kirkland (who played Ned’s mother). What a shame that while an average film like The Blind Side and Sandra Bullock could win The Oscars and this one could not (Trust me, I have watched the Blind Side too and it was not that good).
My last words on this post. I think I might never have a chance to see again Jeremy appears in such films like this. I know now at the 40+, he has turned his career path into big budget films. Dont mistake that I dont like him in those movies. I do as he still put heart and soul in every piece of his work (I’ve just seen the BTS of The Bourne Legacy and been overwhelmed with the all the dangerous things he did all by himself with a spirit of steel. Amazing guy!). But I wish that in the future Jeremy would go back with indie films b/c this is where he truly shows off his over the top talent.
P/S Bài TV của donghae vẫn chưa có kịp. Ai ngờ là viết cái này lại mất hết cả ngày như thế. Xin lỗi bồ tèo nhé. Đền cho bồ sau :-*