"DON'T ASK YOURSELF THAT. I TRIED & THERE AIN'T NO ANSWER."
Soaring Heart | 05/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""PERMANENT RECORD" is the story of how a suicide affects OTHER peoples' lives. The first time I viewed this I kept trying to figure out WHY David Sinclair (Alan Boyce) killed himself. That is not the focus of the film and is barely even touched upon. I like countless other viewers I'm sure STILL really wanted to know WHY a bright, attractive, loving, popular, talented young man with EVERYTHING going for him would kill himself. We just aren't supposed to understand. LET GO OF THE "WHY?!" (very hard I know if you are at all like me! I want to know Why about Everything! Frustrating indeed!) and you will really enjoy this Amazing movie about Remembering but Moving On.PERMANENT RECORD opens at the ocean cliffs with all the teens hanging out together. I could sense the closeness of the entire group: David, Chris (Keanu Reeves), MG (Michelle Meyrink), Kim (Pam Gidley), and Lauren (Jennifer Rubin) and others from the school--no words needed. This movie contains one of the best casts I've ever come across; acting so superb it dominates all other movie components. Everyone was fantastic; however, Chris (Keanu) and Lauren (Jennifer) give the best performances humanly possible in my humble opinion.PERMANENT RECORD is about LIFE. (Ironic isn't it? Hmmmmm...) It's about fun and friendship, music and laughter, fear and anxiety, tension and tragedy, confusion and guilt, grief and anger, helplessness and regretfulness, acceptance and nostalgia, and finally after all those emotions have been taken to the extreme and exhausted, Then and ONLY THEN can you FINALLY MOVE ON...never forgetting though, mind you...just accepting--ACCEPTING IS SO HARD!!! I know but you can do it. You must. You must.Chris and David's relationship was very strong and deep but I think Chris doesn't realize how much he really loved David until he was gone--maybe that is the point. And although we don't see what happens to the others left behind, it is definitely implied, to me anyway, that they go on to become Extraordinary because of the Experience. Suffering is Very Painful but a necessary part of life that will make you stronger, you'll see. It may also inspire you to do Great things once the raging, torrential, bitter storm clouds have finally...Finally...Passed.I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE. PERMANENT RECORD is wonderful from start to finish and the ending couldn't have been better. The title of the movie says it all. It will leave a "Permanent Record" in your mind and heart that will not be soon forgotten. Please pay close attention to the song playing at the ending/credits. "Wishing on Another Lucky Star."_________________________________________________________________________Another awesome movie about suicide that I highly recommmend, maybe even more than this (!) is "TRAGEDY" with Molly Ringwald, River Phoenix, Paul Sorvino, Ellen Burstyn and Marsha Mason. Get your hands on both of these movies and go through every emotion you have inside you...Suicide isn't the answer. Kellye Joy"
Been through it...
R. Hunt | 07/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Right before this came out, I went through a boyfriend's suicide. The movie really hit home. It really explains the feelings that those left behind feel. Sure, as I look back it is corny in the 80's way but the questions everyone had and the wonder of why is so true for the survivors. The one thing the movie focused on is really the most important issue. Once the person has committed the suicide, they are no longer the problem. It is the recovery and coping of the survivors. A group of kids with no one to talk to or go to. Very much like it is today, 16 years later. I would suggest that if anyone knows of someone that is thinking of suicide, make them watch the movie. Show them what their friends and family will feel once they are gone. It may be a movie but it is very close to the real life feelings we survivors feel when we lose someone we love and don't know why and feel guilt because couldn't stop it. Remember, suicide is a permenant solution to a temporary problem.Keenu Reeves really takes the emotion and makes it real. Anyone could have played the part but he put such a realistic feel to the sorrow and anger, I really can't see anyone else in the roll. The song is beautiful and I had it at one time on cassette, now if that doesn't date me then I don't know what will. The whole movie is represents a process and the actors/actresses did a very good job of portraying it to the viewer.The scenes in Portland and the surrounding areas are a nice change to a sound stage. I think it brings a touch of reality because it doesn't take place in LA or New York. How many normal people live outside of those 2 cities? I would say a lot and this movie shows that problems exist in all walks of life."
R. Hunt | Poplarville, MS United States | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the movie in 1989, and it really left a lasting impression on me. Too many movies glamorize suicide. This one shows the aftermath and the pain that is caused for those left behind. I think it should be shown at all high schools. Too many teens think that suicide is such a romantic thing to do. The reality of it just doesn't sink in with them. What I like so much about this movie is that it shows how very selfish suicide is. Keanu is amazing in this movie. I also fell in love with the song, Wishing on another Lucky Star. I wish J.D. Souther would release this as a single. I'd buy it in a heartbeat."
J. Riesenbeck | California, USA | 12/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long before there was The Matrix, before there was a Bill and Ted, Keanu Reeves starred in Permanent Record, a movie that inexplicably has gone unnoticed. Permanent Record is a wonderful, moving, touching film about how one deals with those tragedies in life that have no explanation, and no matter how much we ask Why?, we know there will never be an answer to that question.
If you have never seen this film, my recommendation would be that the first time you view it, you watch it cold without knowing anything about what is to take place. That would mean not reading this review or any of the others posted here. After you have watched the film you will understand. The film begins as if you are watching any other film about teenagers, high school and their day to day lives. The two main characters are Chris (Keanu Reeves) and David (brilliantly portrayed by Alan Boyce), who are good friends. They play in a band together for which David is writing the music. David is a straight A student whom seems to have everything going for him. He is popular, he has been accepted into a major music college, he has a very loving, caring, wonderful set of parents (played by Barry Corbin and Kathy Baker), a younger brother who looks up to and admires him and a beautiful girl friend. Yet, we begin to see little things that hint there is something wrong in David's life. The first time you watch Permanent Record, like his family and friends, you may not even notice that things are not as perfect for David as they seem. We see the signs, but we ignore them or overlook them.
It is not long until one fateful night a tragedy occurs that will forever alter the way Chris along with his friends and classmates view their lives. We are there when it happens, along with Chris, yet like Chris, we don't actually see the event occur. At first, as Chris does also, we are sure it must have been an accident. We soon find out it was not. Instead David's family and friends are only left with questions How could this happen when David seemed to have everything going for him? Why did it happen? Couldn't they have seen it coming? Shouldn't they have been able to stop it from happening? They are questions for which there will never be any answers, not for us not for them. They must come to terms with what happens, without ever understanding. In the end that is what Permanent Record is about. There are so many things that happen in life which will be beyond our understanding or reasoning. We may look back angrily when we think about it, as Chris and his classmates surely will, as they learn their own lives are changed forever.
Keanu Reeves gives an emotional depth to his character that I have never seen him bring to any film since Permanent Record. He has all the characteristics of a typical High Scool boy down, yet we are able to see the pain he is going through, and we feel it as much as he does. Alan Boyce as David, plays him with such perfection, that even when he is no longer on the screen, that we miss him along with Chris, his parents and his classmates.
The last five minutes of this film are five of the most poignant minutes I have ever experienced in any film. It is a scene that will touch deep into your heart and soul. Though we may never understand many of the tragedies that occur in life, we remember those we have lost and the things they brought to us while they were here. Then, in the end, we must move on. Sometimes there just aren't any answers."
Permanent Record: Worthy To Put In Your Permanent Collection
Kelley A. Maginnis | Albany, NY United States | 10/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would consider this movie one of Keanu Reeves' best performances.At the time of this movie, as well as "Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure", Keanu had an innocence about him that made him endearing; no doubt one of the reasons for his enormous popularity. This movie, we see a combination of innocence, yet at the same time, a wisdom. The wisdom develops as a result of his friend's tragic suicide.I agree with a reviewer that the question of why this young man, brilliantly played by a very handsome Alan Boyce, would take his own life, when clearly he had a life worth living. There is an implication that everything going for him became too much of a responsibility, which in turn, became a perceived burden. But the movie doesn't tell us that; no answers are given.The movie focuses more on the aftermath. Everyone that this one life and death affects. From Chris (Reeves), his best friend, to his brother Nicholas, who goes into his dead brother's room and smashes everything. We see how it affected his secret lover, a perfectly understated performance by Pamela Gidley, who can be seen in "Little Vampires" (I think that's the name of it!)One of the most touching and heart-wrenching scenes is when Reeves' character, drunk, nearly hits Nicholas with his car. The confrontation that takes place is a scene not to be missed.The message: Life goes on and MUST go on. Suicide affects everyone. Not just the one committing the act, but everyone around them. But through the ashes, a Phoenix of knowledge wisdom and hope can emerge."