New on DVD: Reservation Road

Reservation RoadLosing a child is a terrible thing and it takes great actors to portray the grief felt by those concerned. In addition to the compelling portrayals, the film takes an extended look at grief and guilt.

A fatal accident leads two fathers on different journeys, as one is consumed by anger and revenge and the other is racked with guilt and fear. The former (Joaquin Phoenix) avoids dealing with the death by obsessing about finding the killer. The latter (Mark Ruffalo) is trying to maintain a stable life and relationship with his son. Ultimately, both will have to make a decision on how to deal with the shattering event and what kind of life they will lead after it.

This story is not simply pulling on heartstrings; it explores the grief process and the different paths two parents take when dealing with the heart wrenching tragedy. Phoenix and Jennifer Connolly give powerful performances as the anguished parents; if their pain had not been believable, the rest of the film would never have worked. Furthermore, Ruffalo convincingly expresses the torment his character experiences ensuring audiences do not unconditionally hate him.

The Deleted Scenes mostly involve the minute details of death and are still unnecessary to the telling of the story. The featurette is not very long but provides some insight on how the filmmakers and actors approached the interpretation of such a difficult subject matter.

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