Ever since the Academy awarded his role of Colonel Frank Slade in Scent Of A Woman with an Oscar most movies Al Pacino has put out since then emphasize on that role on after another. His rants have become legendary, but the quality of his movies has declined. While always amusing to watch movies became the Al Pacino Show and we were watching Al Pacino giving the same performance over and over again elevating movies that were otherwise lackluster at most. And it worked because he is such a fun actor to watch. His voice, mannerisms and everything. Like Christopher Walken he became an actor whose characters might have different names, the way they were portrayed on screen was interchangeable.
You Don’t Know Jack actually brings back the actor Al Pacino rather than the personality. Here he disappears into the character of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, (in)famous for assisting in suicides of terminally ill suffering people and one of the most well-known right-to-die activists in America. Were it not for his voice than most people wouldn’t even recognize him. He carries this movie with a role that might even have his political and/or religious opponents sympathize with him. Although I’m not sure whether any one will be change his or her beliefs against euthanasia.
The movie makes no secret of it that it is in favor of giving people a painless death after having a painful life by their choice and shows us how Kevorkian pushed the boundaries of what was legal and what not step by step until he took it one step too far in trying to legalize it completely. It also shows us the other side on occasion as politicians and religious activists try to stop Kevorkian from helping people end their life.
A movie like this is a political pamphlet for euthanasia and whether you will like it or not depends partially on you point of view on this subject matter. But I must admit that the comments made Kevorkian on how we apparently think it’s morally right to just turn of life support machines and let our loves ones starve to death as opposed to giving them an injection which puts them out of their misery should have any one who is against euthanasia scratch their head.
Most people against it are portrayed as religious groups or religious politicians which once again proves to me that state and church should be separated as much as possible. Isn’t it weird that because someone else believes in a invisible entity I shouldn’t have the right to a painless death because his or her God wouldn’t approve of that?
The comments supplied by people against it seem ridiculous to a person who is actually living in a country where euthanasia is legal. Comments like how we act like we are God, something we do every day actually, and how they are afraid that doctors will put patients down just because they feel like it. While the way Kevorkian handles his assisting with video-documents, witnesses, family consent and a detailed file on every patient’s suicide shows that people should not be afraid that doctors will “kill” every one who is in a wheelchair or something like that.
You Don’t Know Jack is a strong movie about an activist who felt he was untouchable by the law and ended up doing some hard time. It is well acted by the entire cast which next to Pacino consists people like John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Danny Huston and Brenda Vaccaro. Especially the interviews were very strong and made me wonder if they were authentic and Pacino’s was digitally added to them replacing the real Dr. Kevorkian.
While it sometimes feels more like a documentary than a movie it is compelling and will give people something to debate afterwards.