DVD review: “Flag Day” (2021)

“Flag Day” (2021)


Running Time: 108 minutes

Written by: Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth based on Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life by Jennifer Vogel

Directed by: Sean Penn

Featuring: Dylan Penn, Sean Penn, Miles Teller, Katheryn Winnick and Josh Brolin

Jennifer: “My father… he died a hundred times poking holes in his veins, like so many rehearsals for our ultimate rejection.”

Released recently on DVD is the Sean Penn directed drama “Flag Day” (2021) that takes a true story about a criminal and concentrates on the father-daughter relationship which is interesting to a point. The film features a star-studded cast, including Sean Penn, his real-life daughter Dylan Penn, and Josh Brolin. While the film’s pacing can be slow at times, the overall story is engaging and thought-provoking.

“Flag Day” tells the story of Jennifer Vogel (played by Dylan Penn), a young woman who struggles to reconcile with her father, John Vogel (played by Sean Penn), a master counterfeiter who is constantly on the run from the law. The film begins with a young Jennifer living with her father, John, who is a charming but unreliable father figure. As she grows up, Jennifer begins to realize that her father is not the honest man she believed him to be. John is a master counterfeiter and is constantly on the run from the law. Jennifer is forced to move from place to place with her father, causing her to miss out on a normal childhood.

As Jennifer reaches adulthood, she begins to distance herself from her father, who has become increasingly erratic and unstable. Jennifer is a journalist who is trying to make a name for herself in the industry. She meets a man named Jerry (played by Hopper Penn), who she falls in love with and starts a family. John becomes jealous of Jerry and their life together, and his erratic behaviour reaches new heights.

The film’s exploration of the complex relationship between Jennifer and John is the heart of the movie. As Jennifer struggles to come to terms with her father’s criminal past and erratic behaviour, she begins to see him for who he truly is, a man who is flawed but still trying to do right by his family. Sean Penn’s direction is commendable, as he manages to create a gritty and realistic world that feels true to life. The performances in the film are also strong, particularly Dylan Penn, who gives a nuanced and heartfelt portrayal of Jennifer. Sean Penn is also excellent as John, capturing the desperation and pain of a man who has made many mistakes but is still trying to make things right.

The use of flashbacks in the film is effective in showing the audience how John became the man he is, and how his actions have affected his family. The film does not try to excuse John’s behavior, but instead shows the impact it has had on those around him. The flashbacks are expertly woven into the narrative, providing context and depth to John’s character and the events that have led to the current state of affairs.

The film’s pacing can be a bit uneven at times, with some scenes feeling a bit slow and others feeling rushed. However, this does not detract from the overall impact of the film. The film’s climax is particularly moving, as Jennifer confronts her father about his past and they both come to terms with the reality of their situation. The film ends on a hopeful note, as John tries to make amends for his mistakes and Jennifer begins to find peace in her life.

One of the standout features of the film is its depiction of the consequences of a life of crime. John’s criminal activities have not only impacted his own life, but also the lives of those around him. Jennifer has had to deal with the emotional scars of a tumultuous childhood, while John’s criminal activities have left him with a criminal record and an uncertain future. The film does not shy away from the harsh realities of a life of crime, but also shows that there is hope for redemption and forgiveness.

The film also explores themes of love, forgiveness, and the importance of family. Jennifer’s relationship with her father is a complex one, but it is clear that she still loves him despite his flaws. The film shows that forgiveness is a difficult but necessary process, and that family can be a source of strength and support in difficult times.

“Flag Day” is a well-made crime drama that features strong performances and solid storytelling. While it may not be a ground-breaking or particularly original film, it is still worth watching, particularly for those who enjoy character-driven dramas with a touch of suspense.


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