Random Hearts (1999)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 8, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 133 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Random Hearts is a strange, dark contemplation of the psychological scars of infidelity, intensified as they mix with grief, and it's got a surprising choice in the lead role: Harrison Ford, who sports a long list of spotless heroes on his resume. Ford's Dutch is an angry lost soul, violent and obsessive, who continues his twisted pursuit of evidence of his dead wife's affair long after it is accepted fact. Some might call Ford courageous for inhabiting the skin of such an anti-hero, but it's hard to applaud him when the project is such a relentless downer. Kristin Scott Thomas is typically graceful and elegant, displaying more emotional complexity than her counterpart, but it's never clear why she wants to get on the sinking boat with Ford. Director Sydney Pollack gives us over two hours of dour ruminations on bitterness, which occasionally warp into an uncomfortable love story without any justification for it all. The fact that it is also a watered down crooked cops story doesn't help -- it only gives Ford more people to grab by the lapels. Pollack gets the details right; the process of discovery that comprises the first act is especially skillful, and he earns points for going against standard Hollywood practice by making Thomas's Republican politician a generally sympathetic character. But the movie is ultimately too slow and ponderous, and it's most likely to be appreciated by viewers who want to wallow in their own sorrow.