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Mel Gibson stars as Justin McLeod who is disfigured. He moved to a new town to get away from his past and make a fresh start but the towns people have spent the seven years which he has lived there making up stories and spreading rumours about him.
Chuck Norstadt is a young boy who dreams of going to Military Academy, the same one which his father attended years ago. The only problem being that he has already failed the exam. He s desperate to get away to school so he can get away from him family which consists of 2 sisters, his mother and an endless amount of step-fathers. Chuck is spending his summer holidays trying to revise for the exam but things take a turn for him when he encounters Justin by his house.
Chuck learns that Justin used to be a professor and he manages to see past the scars and ask him to teach and help him with the exam. The relationship does not get off to a good start and Chuck spends his days digging holes!
Will Justin be able to help Chuck pass the exam and just what will the town make of their friendship and will the rumours ever stop?
I really did not have any opinion of this film before watching and the only reason I did was because it starred Mel Gibson. Gibson played the role of Justin to perfection. The makeup and effects which ere used for the side of his face and torso were excellent and did actually look quite gruesome. I think he managed to put his characters loneliness and sadness across very well and he did have me feeling so many different emotions. He worked very well with young Nick Stahl who played Chuck and they did have a wonderful on screen chemistry.
The storyline was excellent and I liked how the film also managed to send out a message to the viewers and I liked how the writers put this across. It showed just how shallow people can be and the consequences of their rumours and storytelling on the person involved and how much it can damage their lives. I think more people should be made to watch this film and then it might stop some of the prejudice which goes on today.
There were a lot of supporting actors and actresses in the film who all did great job. I found that I hated Chuck's older sister and really just wanted to smack her but as this is what was intended then it was done well. There was not much of a story with the extra characters apart from the Mother who was planning on marrying again as the films story was solely centred around Justin and Chuck.
One of my favourite characters in the film was Justin's dog, Mickey, he did a great job and I loved how he was supposed to be big and aggressive but he was a big softy really and ultimately Justin's best friend. He showed the soft side of Justin's character.
The film was set in the 1950's/1060's in America and the settings and scenery looked very authentic and good. I did enjoy the views over the lake and river which did bring a nice relief to the film. The costumes and cars were all good and fitted into the film very well. The soundtrack was not very memorable but I do remember thinking that it was all appropriate for the places which it was used.
The DVD which we have does have some bonus material which includes:-
Interviews with Mel Gibson and Nick Stahl
Remembering The Man Without a Face Featurettes
Have not watched these bonus features as I have no interest in them.
The running time of the film is 114 minutes and the certificate is a 12 as there is one use of strong language and think this is an appropriate certificate as the scaring on Justin may be a big 'scary' for younger viewers.
We paid just £3 for this DVD from Tesco which we felt was a complete bargain. It is also available on Amazon for around the same price.
I am going to recommend this film as it has wonderful actors and a great story and it brings home the message that just because people are different or disfigured they are still human and not monsters.
Mesmerising...based on the exquisite book by Isabelle Holland, this move truly exceeds the boundaries of poignancy entering the realms of tear-wrenching, heartfelt captivation. Under the direction of Mel Gibson (his first effort) this ambitous emotional movie evokes the feelings of the viewer that such a sentimental script deserves. For, the performances of both Mel Gibson as Justin Mcleod and Nick Stahl as Chuck Nordstadt portray vividly the touching and vigorous storyline with dynamic reality. Since a tragic accident left him hideously scarred seven years previusly, Justin Mcleod, a teacher, has hidden, secluded away in his cliff side retreat. Meanwhile we are left in amazement as the locals show pleasurable delight in painting him as a man with an extremely horrific and murky past; whilst an outsider twelve-year-old Chuck Nordstadt, alienated from his family awaits the day he can go to boarding school. Drawn in, we are enticed into a world of his to discover his true mentality, and the developing teacher pupil relationship which evolves. Essentially, this movie is an enthralling, alluring, captivating and dynamic story exploring how a unique companionship develops in the face of harsh adversity. 'The man without a face' is tragic, but touching. I strongly suggest that you open your mind to this heartfelt experience!!!
This is a magnificant movie from start to finish. It tells of a man who has hidden himself away since a tragic accident left him hideously scarred and a young boy who is alinated from his family. Gradually they manage to discover a friendship. This is a very interesting and enjoyable film, but watchout as it is a tear jerker in many places! Mel is absolutely fantastic in the role, as convincing as ever and helps to make the film a success. It has a great storyline, great acting and Mel Gibson, what more could anyone ask for?!