I watched the movie Walk the Line last night, and I loved it. Believe me, I’m not saying this because I’m a Cash fan. I love cash, but didn’t love Cash.
I’ve always thought his voice terrible, albeit unique — quite like Leonard Cohen, another singer whom, for me at least, is an acquired taste. I remember the song that changed my perception of Cash. That song was Hurt (a Nine Inch Nails cover); I actually surprised myself by liking it.
Perhaps it was the apparent depth of feeling he portrayed in the song, or the fact that he had passed away not too long after releasing that song, that made the song that much nicer to my ears than his earlier stuff. But still, it wasn’t until the movie that I was truly Cash converted.
So when I decided to watch the movie, I went into it with low expectations. I didn’t know what the movie was about, except that Joaquin Phoenix was acting in it, and that I knew him from the movie Gladiator, which I thought was quite good; (and it was also from that movie that I learnt, from my sister, that he was the brother of River Phoenix, whom I now know died of a drug overdose in 1993; I surmised from the fact that her talking about Joaquin Phoenix as the brother of River Phoenix that River was, at that time at least, the more famous sibling)
I used to dislike biopics, generally because I thought truth could hardly be as dramatic as fiction. But, as I was to find out, not all lives are made equal. And to base life in general on my own thus far would be a great disservice to the possibilities that lay ahead. What I mean to say is, my life may thus far be boring, but life itself, is not. And certainly not Cash’s.
I would also like to mention the great acting of the two main leads (Joaquin Phonix as Johnny Cash, and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter). If anything, just to watch these two act would be worth the price of admission; and this especially for Witherspoon, whom I had only seen in comedies or lighter-hearted shows, and put in a sublime performance as June Carter here.
If you haven’t watched it, watch it. DVDs out in stores now. ;)
PS: This movie is a love story as much as it is a biopic. And the dramatic parts are absolutely gripping. It has everything you’d want in a good movie. Really.