‘The Mighty’ stands up for the weak

By The Columbia Chronicle

Benjamin Trecroci

Managing Editor

“Sometimes I go to a place where I can’t feel a thing; where I’m as light as a cloud in the sky,”— words from a child searching for his own identity.

For seventh graders, appearance determines well-being. Based on the acclaimed novel by Rodman Philbrick, “The Mighty” is a story of two boys and the issues they must deal with growing up as outsiders in the seventh grade. Philbrick’s story is based on the novel, “King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table.” The novel was about the quest for greatness and the common good that led to the discovery of the mightiest treasure of all —- friendship.

Maxwell Kane (Eden Hanson) walked through the early part of his life as someone else. Everyone stared at him; he was overweight, and he didn’t belong. Between his appearance and lack of intelligence, Max Kane was an easy target. He was living in fear of his father, who was serving a life sentence for murdering his wife. Max believed that one day his father would return and come after him. To add to his already tarnished well-being, he was given the same nickname his father received from the local the media: Killer Kane.

Then Kevin Dillon (Kieran Culkin) came into Max’s life, moving next door with his mother (Sharon Stone). He was a hunched over, paralyzed boy with an amazing mind. His intellectualism didn’t mix well with others and, like Max, he was an outsider. He walked with the aid of leg braces, and would sometimes wear strange equipment of his own invention. Like Max, he looked different from other seventh graders.

When the boys met, they didn’t appeal to each other, but soon they would become inseparable. People at school would call them, “Godzilla and Igor.” Max and Kevin would live vicariously through each other, Max using Kevin’s brain and Kevin using Max’s body. the Two of them made quite a team.

While the movie is based on the King Arthur novel, using the characters from the novel was not warranted. In his mind, Kevin would take everyday events of his life and turn them into scenes from the King Arthur novel. During several scenes, a fleet of horses adorned by knights would appear with no real connection to the scene in the movie.

For the most part, the movie made you think about why people pick on others who are “different.” It was made for people who may not be “perfect,” sending the message that they, too, are really just the same as everybody else. Who is perfect anyway?

I think that less references to King Arthur could have made the movie even better. Gillian Anderson of “The X-Files” plays an old strung-out friend of Max’s father. Also appearing are Henry Dean Stanton and Gena Rowlands.

“The Mighty” was the opening film at the 34th annual Chicago International Film Festival. The festival runs until Oct. 22 at the 600 N. Michigan Ave. Theaters and The Music Box Theatre, 3773 N. Southport Ave.

Regular screening ticket prices are $8.50 ($6.50 for members).