Director: Gus Van Sant
This film is another beauty available on Amazon Prime. The full title of the film is Don’t Worry: He won’t get far on foot. The title would suggest this film to be a comedy, but it isn’t. It is an incredibly deep drama showing how people deal with disability and abandonment.
Therefore, in this film we meet John Callahan (Joaquin Phoenix) who ended up in wheelchair after having a car accident. He had a car accident because he and his friend were drunk and they had a car accident when attempting to go from one party to the other, while completely plastered. Therefore, John deals with sudden disability and the fact he needs to accept never to walk again. This is expressed through anger and driving the wheelchair too fast and thus crashing and requiring the help from the public.
On the other hand, he also needs to deal with alcoholism which put him in the wheelchair in the first place, but there is more. He is also an abandoned child who never saw his mother and who was neglected and abused by his adoptive parents. Therefore, the film portrays his struggle to deal with alcoholism, sudden disability as well as the life-time pain of abandonment. However, we also get to see everyday struggles that disabled people no longer able to work face. John is a talented cartoonist and since he ended up in wheelchair he found passion in drawing cartoons mocking his own condition, as well as religion and society in general. He managed to publish some cartoons but instead of joy and pride he gets a visit from the social worker who warns him he may loose his welfare benefits. Thus, one immediately asks what is a disabled person supposed to do, just sit and wait to die when they can be perfectly functional and fulfilled members of the society?
The film is very deep, based on a true story of John Callahan’s life and well made. Conversations are really good, and acting is impeccable. The only thing that could have improved the film would be to shorten it. In other words, it would have been better if film was half an hour shorter because the story would follow faster. At the present state, the director risks some viewers discontinuing watching, which would be a shame because this is really worth watching.
Thank you for reading.