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Passed Away

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PG-13
1992

Passed Away is a 1992 comedic drama skillfully brought to life by director and writer Charlie Peters. Laced with a healthy dose of family drama, comedy, and sentiments, the film resonates with anyone who has grown up amidst the chaos and warmth of an eccentric family. The narrative is lent additional gravity and finesse by an electrifying cast led by Bob Hoskins, Jack Warden, and William Petersen.

Bob Hoskins, known for his intense character portrayal, dons the role of an unassuming school teacher named Johnny Scanlan. Johnny stands as the emotional pivot of the movie, easily winning over the audience with his subtlety and charm. Jack Warden, an American stage and screen veteran, steps into the shoes of the Scanlan patriarch, Jack, whose death sets the entire story in motion. William Petersen plays the role of Frank Scanlan, the politically ambitious black sheep of the family.

The film's premise opens with the sudden demise of Jack Scanlan, an old labor leader with a formidable personality. His death brings together his big, sprawling Irish-American family to bid him goodbye and remember his memorable life. This unexpected reunion propels the movie's plot, throwing into sharp relief the individual threads of the family's shared past while foregrounding the emotional undercurrents to create a cohesive narrative about love, affection, and implicit understanding.

Every member of the Scanlan family brings a unique personality and story to the table that adds to the plot's dynamism. As the convoluted family gathers, grapples with their losses and looming fears, uncovers past secrets, and attempts to reconnect, it results in a humorous and emotionally potent narrative that strikes a balance between melancholy and levity. Alongside the grief of their loss, we see the resurrection of countless memories, including old rivalries, unresolved debates, long-hidden secrets, and most importantly, the ever-present capricious love between them which paints an accurate picture of the complex dynamics of a typical family.

Comedy serves as an essential relief in this roller coaster of emotions, and director Charlie Peters does an excellent job interweaving it within the series of events. The humor is delectably situational, extracted from the inherent idiosyncrasies of the family members, their unique dynamics, and the awkward situations stemming from years of unexpressed emotions. This blend ensures that the humor is organic, often springing at unexpected moments keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

Moreover, what stands out in Passed Away is the multi-layered narration that essentially reveals the individual characters' depth. While Johnny is the quiet one, combating his own bundle of issues, Frank is the problematic sibling with a burning desire to stand out. Other family characters our eyes are drawn to include a nun, a lawyer with job insecurity, a wacko artist, and an eccentric old woman with a buried past. Each character interplays well with the other, creating a vibrant mosaic of personalities that add depth to the plot.

The film largely focuses on the different stages of grief the family goes through, by combining humor, drama, and an exploration of deep-rooted family dynamics, creating a relatable and appealing narrative. The dialogue in the film is sharp and intelligent, oscillating comfortably between sarcastic comedy and heartfelt poignancy. These dialogues provide a glimpse into the characters' personality and their relationships with each other, thereby driving the plot forward.

The setting of the story further adds to the familiarity and resonance of the narrative. Set within the confines of their familial home and the surrounding quaint town, the movie paints a picture of warmth and intimacy that serves as the comforting backdrop against the upheaval the characters are subjected to.

When it comes to overall performances, the cast of Passed Away deserves a special mention. With actors like Bob Hoskins, Jack Warden, and William Petersen leading the troupe, the performances are nothing short of riveting. Aided by a well-crafted script, the star-studded ensemble brilliantly portrays the dynamics of their intricately interconnected yet discordant lives.

In conclusion, Passed Away is a delightful family drama with a poignant center, ensuing chaos, dark secrets, and ultimately a journey towards understanding and acceptance. This film is a gratifying experience, leaving its audience with a feeling of warmth, akin to wearing a well-worn and comfortable sweater, a reminder of the beauty and chaos within a big family.

Passed Away is a Comedy movie released in 1992. It has a runtime of 96. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.8..

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Where can I stream Passed Away movie online? Passed Away is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Passed Away for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

5.8/10
Director
Charlie Peters
Stars
Bob Hoskins, Jack Warden, William L. Petersen
Genres
Also directed by Charlie Peters
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