19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Antwone Fisher (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)
I believe today's society is too reliant on counselors, therapists, and an abundance of Dr. Phils who tell us how to act and feel. But ANTWONE FISHER mellowed my opinion of couches and shrinks--made me better understand how a caring professional can make a positive difference in another person's life.
I was fascinated to learn this movie is based on a true story; I was even more impressed that newcomer Derek Luke, who plays the title role, is an actual friend of the real Antwone Fisher. Luke brings a plethora of range to his character: anger, resentment, confusion, forgivness, integrity, dignity. Portraying a young sailor trying to come to grips with his painful past--trying to control his violent outbursts--Luke flawlessly stays in character, whereas other newcomers have a tendency to overact. Antwone Fisher, as it turns out, is a remarkable human being; Derek Luke effectively brings this fact to the forefront.
Denzel Washington, portraying Navy psychiatrist Jerome Davenport, is superb. Davenport doesn't belittle, belabor, or browbeat his young patient--he gains Antwone's confidence through soft-spoken empathy and compassion. As the relationship between the two men evolves, Davenport becomes a surrogate father to Antwone. Yet Davenport also has problems in his personal life; his friendship with Antwone gives him the additional insight and strength he needs to confront them.
The chemistry between Washington and Luke is extraordinary; the scenes featuring just the two of them are spellbinding. ATWONE FISHER is also Washington's directorial debut; if Washington can furnish such exceptional storytelling right out of the gate, one can only hope he'll decide to go behind the camera again and again.