I have seen my father cry a few times in my life. The earliest memory I have of witnessing it is walking into his room as he sat on his bed staring at the television with tears in his eyes. He had just finished watching Field of Dreams. That was over five years ago. Tonight, I had the pleasure of sitting down with him to watch my first film of 2019. Here are my thoughts on it.
“If you build it, they will come”
Field Of Dreams tells the fantasy tale of a man who takes the risk of building a baseball diamond in replacement of his field of crops after hearing a voice whispering the iconic quote to him above. The film follows his process of mystery and eventual understanding of the reason for this voice and these instructions that center around the sport and his relationship with his father. What comes out is a beautiful tale of redemption and fulfillment.
One of my greatest enjoyments of the film was how imaginative the film was in its story-telling. I did not expect as many spiritual and mystical encounters as written and I enjoyed the suspension of disbelief as I searched for the same answers protagonist Ray Kinsella seeks. The score was also very lovely and accommodated the fantasy-nature well, adding to the mood of “family” and “home.” My only personal dissatisfaction with the film came from the somewhat lazy exposition and reveal of information to the audience at first. The beginning of the film seems to give us information/backstory about the characters as opposed to letting the audience subtly witness and interpret the information. However, the direct exposition obviously allowed for more time to tell the actual story which is understandable, seeing as the film eventually settles into comfortable storytelling. For example, the way the writing develops husband and wife Ray and Annie’s personality as a result of their experiences in the sixties is clever and comedic at the same time, becoming more relevant as the film progresses. Also, the gradual escalation of the major conflict, Ron and Annie on the brink of losing their land to foreclosure, is also well-executed in my opinion and provokes you to only further root for the underdog.
Overall, it was a nice experience being able to watch a film about a child and his father with my own father and witness something that touches him dearly. A pleasant start to the new year I would say.