Sean Penn recently showcased his unbelievable acting skills as Cheyenne in Sorrentino’s This Must Be The Place, but it has been five years since he last took on the director’s role and it seems like he’s doing it now with two films set to be released in 2013. The Comedian and Crazy For The Storm are his two upcoming projects and it’s difficult to choose a favourite. For those who loved Into The Wild, it looks like Crazy For The Storm is something to really look forward to. As far as The Comedian is concerned, come back for more later this week. I promise you, it’s worth the wait.
Crazy For The Storm sounds interesting for many reasons. To begin with, this is yet another adaptation that Sean Penn has chosen to direct and the story does sound somewhat familiar. The film tells the story of Norman Olestad, a child who is the only survivor of a plane crash and who, at the age of 11, is faced with having to make it on his own in the wilderness. The story carries a very strong premise, no doubt about it, and it looks like Penn might be slowly forming his very own intriguing genre as a director, that of the survival memoir, with strong central characters who gain independence and discover themselves through having to cope with the wild life unaided.
The film is adapted from Norman Ollestad’s own best-selling memoir, in which the author entails his astonishing account, from the time of the plane crash in California’s San Gabriel Mountains – where he lost his father and step-mother – until he reaches home safely. The story alternates between 1970s’ Malibu and Mexico, and between the very young Ollestad enjoying a surfer’s bohemian life in California, and his struggle to stay alive in the jungle.
The child’s relationship with his father plays an important role in the story. Although seemingly a strict father, he loves his son very much and dedicates a lot of his time in teaching Norman how to play hockey, ski and surf, at a very young age. The resentment that the child initially felt towards his father for the busy and hard-working childhood that he was put through, turns, with the plane crash and its aftermath, into the realization that without these skills the child would have never survived. In other words, Crazy For The Storm doesn’t just have a very dramatic premise to offer, it is also a story that provides its reader with an unusual coming-of-age tale, the maturity that is to be gained through such hardship and the growth that the inner world, courage and confidence of a person can enjoy through the development of physical skills.
Josh Brolin is the only actor attached to this project, who is cast as Norman’s father, Norman Ollestad Sr, a child actor, surfer, ski guru and author. It hasn’t yet been decided who will take on the role of the 11-year-old boy, and indeed this will determine a lot of our anticipation for Crazy For The Storm, but the fact that Sean Penn is in what has turned out to be his element, certainly fills us with confidence.