Special (2006)

This was a movie I watched a while ago and it just popped back into my mind today. I discovered this film accidentally, and I am glad I did. I had my television on Reelz Channel and a show called Secret's Out with Leonard Maltin came on. I was about to change the channel when he began talking about this film. It intrigued me, so I looked it up.
Since I haven't seen it in some time you will have to excuse my brief and vague discussion of it.
This independent film is the touching story of bored meter maid Les, who is searching for something else in his life. In an attempt to perhaps make his existence a little less mundane, Les volunteers to take part in an experimental drug test. But soon after his first dose, Les discovers a shocking side effect to his medicine: super powers...sort of. Believing he was given these powers for a reason, Les goes around town dressed in all white walking through walls, reading minds, teleporting, and doing all the things that superheroes do. Even though his friends don't believe him, Les begins to feel that he has something he had never had before: a purpose. This is an inspirational tale about a simple man that appeals to all of us.

Main character Les is played beautifully by Michael Rappaport, who is mostly known for his work on television (you may know him as Donald Self from Prison Break, or the father on the short lived Fox series The War At Home). Rappaport portrays the everyman Les with ease and in turn delivers a deeply heart-felt, profound performance that truly resonated with me. This is the only leading role Rappaport ever had and he tackles the feat with the fluidity of a household name. It's just a shame that this film probably doesn't even exist in the mind's of 97% of Americans.

Sure the production value is low and I could have probably recreated the cinematography with a hand-held camera, but this was not a film to look at superficially. Who among us can say they have not felt utterly unnecessary in the grand scheme of the world? What are the chances that you can actually make a name for yourself and be known to even just a few people that you don't know yourself? There are people this fortunate, but it does not happen to everyone. It is this frightening thought that may act as a spark plug for many of us, causing us to do something that could make our future a little less predictable. Then again, some of us, actually most of us, may avoid the risk and simply accept the cards we have been dealt. Special shows the story of a man who represents the former, and after seeing it, you can decide for yourself if the decision was a wise one. Maybe Les' story will inspire you to try something new, and see where it leads you.

I implore you to seek out this film. I am not promising the greatest film you have ever seen, but just a simple film with a huge heart, which is something we all need to experience one day.

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Movies given a 10/10

  • Milk
  • In Bruges
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No Country For Old Men
  • The Shining
  • A Clockwork Orange