The world has made us extremely cynical and already we distrust the least when we see acts of apparent kindness. Our skin has hardened after seeing how evil intentions or people could hide behind these acts or people putting up a friendly facade and being really terrible inside. It is a bit what motivated the approach of Zack Snyder in ‘The man of steel’ that questioned the acceptance of current humanity in a figure like Superman.
It is a bit what leads the protagonist of ‘An Extraordinary Friend’ to be suspicious of a figure as accepted and apparently unimpeachable in his goodness as Fred Rogers. The film, recently arrived on Amazon Prime Video, will bring him and us, the viewers, closer to one of the public figures with a reputation for being light that he could just be a good person.
Too good to be true
Who better to play such an institution than an actor who has become an institution in itself for playing simple, everyday men with inherent goodness inside. Tom Hanks as a star has played many virtuous men, and when he has moved away from it he has met with various flops or criticism. Here he faces the challenge of interpreting the kind man par excellence.
Director Marielle Heller creates, in a similar way to ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’, a biopic around people who are too amazing, for one reason or another. Here he opts for the external perspective of the journalist character of Matthew Rhys to get closer to the figure of Rogers, leaving conventional biopic woods but done with extreme taste so that his tricks are not abhorrent.
It is, without much room for doubt, a comfortable film that warms your heart. And she’s good at it, because Do not confuse making a nice movie with a simple movie or complexity free. The dark nuances in the journalist’s life add another color to the palette of a film that wants to question whether such an exemplary person is really possible.
‘An extraordinary friend’: warm biopic
Hanks is really great to be able to play a man who is partly inscrutable but, at the same time, believable in everything he’s doing. The film is a wonderful approach to a figure that has no real analogue in Spain, capable of approaching children face-to-face to entertain and educate them always with respectnever looking at them as something inferior or to whom you have to give everything chewed.
A wonderful double feature would be this film together with the beautiful documentary of ‘Do you want to be my neighbor?‘, which fully enters into the cultural importance of Rogers and his philosophy of life. ‘An extraordinary friend’ does not have such a great ambition, but he manages to explain the latter through a development of the story very careful and elegant.