Sunday, January 04, 2009

Rails & Ties

Watched this movie, Rails & Ties on cable today. It's about a woman who drives her car onto the railroad tracks to commit suicide with her adolescent son in the passenger seat. He survives, she does not. But what sets this film apart is that we get swept up into the world of the train engineer, played by Kevin Bacon, who has to decide whether to hit the emergency brake, thus endangering his passengers, or to slow, but keep going, thus killing the people in the car.

So, right, bummer of a movie concept. Tear-jerker, no doubt.

But what surprised me is that the engineer, a working-class man who is proud of his skills, becomes a focus of this story.

When does this happen in pop culture? When does a working person become integral to the plot? When does his life become important, valuable and respected?

Although the movie is implausible and tugs at the heart-strings, there is some honest portrayal of people who love, but are hurting. There is honesty in the pretense of family when none actually exists, followed by the true sense of family that doesn't follow modern stereotypes.

I know some people will not like this movie. I think the opportunity to see loving people trying, and sometimes failing, to show their love for one another is fascinating and worth seeing.