"THE MYSTERIES OF HIS PAST"
I was never a Mel Gibson fan, although I didn't dislike him. Most of his movies were guy things, larded with violence, which didn't appeal to me, although I did like Conspiracy Theory (1997). However, he was great in (2003) The Singing Detective (check out the trailer):
"The Singing Detective" tells the story of crime novelist Dan Dark (Robert Downey Jr.) who, languishing in his hospital bed, occupies his time by mapping out a screenplay in his head about a cynical private investigator who doubles as a singer in a dance band. His lead character is slowly drawn into a web of intrigue during the murder investigation of a prostitute in 1950's Los Angeles.
Heavily medicated, the border between reality and fiction starts to blur in Dark's mind. The plot is woven together with his own painful childhood memories, and soon he is living in a fevered film-noir hell constructed by his own twisted psyche, where everyone is his enemy and no one can be trusted. Mel Gibson co-stars as the enigmatic Dr. Gibbon, the hospital psychiatrist who dares to take on Dark's tortured mind.
The movie was recommended by Rodger, who is afflicted with the same severe psoriasis (plus severe arthritis) which Robert Downey Jr's character suffers in the movie. The movie is both funny and gut-wrenching as Downey's character slowly begins the healing process, both physically and emotionally: “In order to put the pieces together, he’ll have to revisit the mysteries of his past.” At one point, Dr. Gibbon (Gibson) tells Dan Dark (Downey), "It's tempting to believe that the poisons of the mind erupted onto the surface of the skin."
I'm hoping that Mel Gibson has reached his rock bottom and can find help. I wish him well. It's reassuring, not to mention about time, that some of his friends are coming forth with their support.
They Didn't See This in Gibson's Script: "I have been with Mel when he has fallen off," says producer Dean Devlin, who had spent the afternoon before the arrest with Gibson, "and he becomes a completely different person. It is pretty horrifying." … The day this happened, my wife had gotten this long letter from Mel full of congratulations [for the birth of the Devlins' first child] and talking about the joys of being a parent," Devlin said. "She's Jewish. I'm Jewish. If Mel is an anti-Semite, then he spends a lot of time with us, which makes no sense. But he is an alcoholic, and while that makes no excuse for what he said, because there is no excuse, I believe it was the disease speaking, not the man."
Though not known for having a wide circle of friends, Gibson is fiercely loyal to those close to him. He produced "Paparazzi," the big-screen directorial debut of Paul Abascal, Gibson's former hairstylist. Gibson jump-started Downey's career. After a jail sentence had left Downey uninsurable, Gibson cast him in "The Singing Detective" and later persuaded producer Joel Silver to give him a shot in "Gothika."
"I just hope some good comes out this," Sherak said. "I mean, besides the fact that he didn't kill anyone, driving 85 miles per hour on PCH, which he could have. He's a smart man. I think he knows his life needs a change. I hate what he said, everyone should hate what he said, but maybe this will get him to think through whatever's in his head and work it out."
Robert Downey Jr said that he tapped into his own past troubles to portray Dan Dark, whose illness brought out a vile personality, not unlike Mel Gibson and his alcoholism.
What has always bothered me about the faux outrage over Mel Gibson's drunken tirade is the hypocrisy. He has lived 50 years without developing a rep for such language. Nor has he been known as someone who treats Jews unkindly. As I've said before, Gibson's greater sin to some people is his sobering movie "The Passion of the Christ." As Brent Bozell points out, Hollywood has been denigrating the Catholic Church for decades.
I hope Mel is able to overcome the mysteries in his own past. What he said was bad, but we all harbor vile thoughts, things we don't necessarily believe, and we even verbalize them occasionally, too.
In the meantime, watch "The Singing Detective." It's a great movie.