By: Sunil Noronha
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Re enacting Johnny Cash would be never be easy. He is the ever-supreme king of country and it doesn't seem like he will be giving that place up soon. But Joaquin Phoenix deserves a pat in the back for donning his role of the late country crooner in Walk The Line. An equally deserving pat on the back goes to Reese Witherspoon who played his partner and partner in crime. The plot of the movie is the life of Johnny Cash and how he "walked the line". It documents the singer's life happenings right from his days as a young man through his drug abuse and infidelity period.
In the storyline, he loses his brother to an accident in a sawmill. His father makes clear his favouritism for his dead son, Johnny's brother, a mindset which Johnny lives with for the rest of his life. Then the movie shows how the yet to become singer joins the army, finalizes his nuptials and then doesn't really get his life going until a audition for Sam Philips of Sun Studios. The audition that he has with his band doesn't really impress Sam Philip. However, he is asked by the producer to sing one of his own special "close to the heart" numbers, which precedes his gradual rise to stardom. While crooning with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley, he meets June Carter with whom over time he falls in love with. Both of them being married are unable to really go the distance. The distance distresses him, which drives him into a drug addiction. June gets a separation from her husband after which Johnny tries to get her attention. She refuses to go the distance even then. He somehow convinces her to collaborate with him and go on the road with him. They eventually get hitched for life on promises of him stopping his addiction to toxicants, which seems to be more difficult than he thought.
First times that the film has brought forth are the musical talents of Witherspoon and Phoenix. The bass "quotient" of Phoenix's voice adds that magical touch to his role. It features a recapitulation of the singer's most famous concert ever- hid Folsom Prison performance.
The supporting cast include Ginnifer Goodwin playing Cash's First wife, Shelby Lynne and Robert Patrick as Ray and Carrie Cash (Johnny's parents),Jonathan Rice, Tyler Hilton and Waylon Payne (who play the roles of Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis).