Top 20 favourite movies of all time (#12)
#12: The Crow
I think the most difficult part about this movie is which perspective I want to look at it from. Do I look more into the symbolism of death, the crow, the atmosphere of night-time, the rain?
Or do I just go straight for the theme of vengeance and how strong the theme of love is conveyed through the main character of Eric Draven?
Or would one look at this movie from the perspective of the comic book reader who felt that there was a lot missing from the book that could have been added to the movie? Perhaps add a few scenes to bring the length of the movie over the two hour mark?
I’ve never been much of a fan of the overused swearing in scripts, I think an R-rated picture can just as easily be effective without the need for coarse language and ultra-violence. But mostly the coarse language was used a bit too abundantly throughout the movie and brings the level of empathy down a notch for the characters. I don’t even know what to make of the villains of this movie given the weirdness of Top Dollar (they don’t say his name but that’s what he’s credited as) and his female companion with an eye-fetish. I’d rather he be more straightforward without the odd macabre vibe, otherwise you’re not sure what to make of this guy.
What draws me the most to this movie and makes me watch it over again is Brandon Lee. His controversial death during production of the movie evokes a stronger sympathy towards not only Brandon, but to Eric Draven as well, since the role is elevated and immortalized even more given the tragedy that happened. You see him still live on in the movie even though he never lived to see the movie completed and I feel that enhances the quality of the movie overall and you believe in the character even more.
However, I still feel the character would have still been believable if Brandon was still alive and carried on the franchise of the character in future movies, because out of all the actors to portray the character, Brandon hit the right notes on what the Crow is supposed to be: a tortured soul seeking to right the wrongs committed against him and avenge the love of his life and the afterlife. Pivotal moments such as how much he remembers Shelley and how much pain it brings him is reflected through the performance of the actor and I couldn’t see anyone else pull it off quite as well as Brandon could.
It also brings different aspects of love to the viewer, two people in love, a mother’s love for her child, a love of two friends, a connection between man and animal through an inseparable bond, all able to convey the theme of love throughout the movie.
You could also look into what sort of symbolism the bird itself brings, a mythic symbol known throughout history in various cultures that are mostly overlooked because we normally see these birds every day acting as any other bird would, gathering food, flying around, surviving, reproducing. When we can look past the superficial and delve deeper into the mysticism, the crow is a powerful symbol that is a representation of many things. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re evil, sometimes they’re necessary to understand the human condition, who knows?
Brandon is still missed by all of us, his career had yet to hit its peak with this movie and sadly that is how he went out. But for what it’s worth, he still lived on.