Monday, March 10, 2008

Gone Baby Gone thoughts - SPOILER Alert!

Okay, now that abrightfuture has given me permission :), I'm going to go ahead and talk about this film. I can't discuss it without giving it away, so move on if you don't want to know.

It takes a while to get to the real point. What starts off as a semi-thriller/semi-drama turns into a mind-bending question about what is "right" in the situation of a child being born to a drug-addled mother, and when people take the law into their own hands.

Morgan Freeman plays the mastermind of the operation; a decorated officer who lost his own daughter that becomes the head of the missing persons unit. When the brother of the addict decides she's no longer fit to be a mother, Freeman decides to take the child. Casey Affleck is caught in the middle, and eventually figures out what has occurred. It is then his decision whether or not to return the daughter (a 4-year-old) to the mother, or let her be with Freeman and his wife.

There are valid arguments on either side of this. The child is shown happy with Freeman, who is ready to give her all that he could not give his own child. A real home, vacations, sleep-overs, etc. Why should this child have to pay for her mother's mistakes?

Then again, why not go about it in the right way? Why did the brother not call Social Services, and let the laws in place deal with it? The brother called a cop he knew, and this cop felt that Freeman deserved a second chance at fatherhood instead.

Again, if that's the case, then why not do it through the system? Yes, the system has cracks. Yes, these things can take a lot longer than we'd like. But, once we stop paying any attention to the line, then where does it stop?

I can certainly relate to not wanting a child to be raised around drug addicts. This is why I left my husband!

At the same time, I can't support this type of vigilantism, because what's to say Angelina and Brad won't decide that, gee, I have it real tough as a single, working mom, and my kids would be better off with them?

This need people have to interfere with other's lives because of holes in their own can be incredibly destructive. I've been put in a similar situation. Without getting into the nasty details of it all, I have experienced the very long lasting effects of other people's interference. I know they meant well. Still doesn't make it right.

Having said that, I think the brother should've done something to help this girl with this strung out "mother" who wasn't really a parent. I think he could've petitioned the court for custody, called Social Services, talked to counselors, hired Supernanny! Any myriad of options other than how he handled it. And Freeman could've adopted a child - an older child that has little chance at their "advanced' age of 10 or 12 to be adopted. A child that has gone through the very difficult trials and tribulations of the system, and still doesn't have a place to call home or people to call family. Yes, their hearts were in the right place. But a true sense of morality and justice should've been possible without breaking about a dozen laws.

I'll put it this way: if kidnapping, murder, and lies are involved, it's probably not the right thing to do.


Anonymous said...

You didn't need my permission to write about this! ;-) But I'm glad you decided to!!

It is always painful to see children in situations that are harmful/unhealthy (especially as a parent) but I agree that the choices the brother/Morgan Freeman's character made were not the best way to go about it.

I thought it was a very powerful film...really well done.


Kori said...

Well, gee, I don't need to watch it now...though truthfully, I have never heard of it until you posted about it, LOL. But there is alwys a right way to do things, even if we don't like the outcome or the results or even the way it comes about.

Melissa said...

We thought she was better with morgan freedman, but they need to go through the right channels! It was horrible to see the end with the horrible mom, but if people had done the right thing she would maybe be in a better place. The brother-in-law and wife could have taken her. It was an interesting and very sad movie. But we liked it in the end

FreedomFirst said...

I haven't seen this, because I could tell from the previews that I wouldn't like it. Now I know I would hate it. I think kids are much better off with their biological family, even if their actual parent is a waste. Unless there is no relative able or willing to care for the child, they should not even be put into our foster care system. And the idea that someone would just steal a child because they think they can be a better parent... Well, I can't think of anything more heinously arrogant and out of line. Not to mention the gross violation of not only the mother's human rights, but her child's as well. The child has a right to be with their family if at all possible. That's why we have laws; and there are too many loopholes in the law as it is. Our current welfare state loves to take over people's lives in the name of looking out for us. It is really disgusting.