John Q 2002 Movie Scene Denzel Washington as John Quincy Archibald in the operating room

John Q [2002]

Directed by Nick Cassavetes, John Q is a rather controversial movie about the healthcare system in America. It seems that it has been pushed aside because of this, and we are here to correct that error. It’s dedicated to Nick’s daughter, Sasha who had similar health issues as John’s daughter. So, I’m sure that both of them had those cold and infuriating interactions. The atmosphere is intense and suspenseful along with pretty fast pacing for a drama. Granted, towards the end, it loses momentum ending with a bit of an underwhelming finale. On the other hand, with this sort of premise, I really don’t know what the appropriate end result would be the best.

First of all, this script feels quite real, although it’s not based on actual events. However, I do believe that something similar did, in fact, happen considering the sheer number of both health and coverage issues. Well, apart from one aspect of it. This gives John Q even more emotional leverage. The acting was phenomenal, and Denzel confidently leads this old-school crew ’till the end. Everyone was believable and quite committed, even Anne Heche as the bitch from Hell. Characters are well-developed and very relatable, something that was of the utmost importance in a story like this. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I urge you not to check out the trailers or anything else and just dive into this one. Trust me, it’s worth it.

John Quincy Archibald is a hard worker, trying to make enough money for his wife and their son. They’re just getting by, trying to enjoy the mundane life they can barely afford. But one day, after he collapses during a baseball game, everything is about to change…

With a strong political message, especially at the end, John Q is not only a thriller or a drama but a statement about the healthcare system. I must admit that this was a very emotional experience for me. Although you could clearly see the tricks used to achieve this, I just sort of let go and went with the vibe. I know that the plot may seem simplistic and sanctimonious, but it’s in service of a higher power. A power that movies like this can wield. A power that just might push you to think about the society we live in and how can we change it for the better. Without referencing religion or any omnipotent beings. It’s just us down here and we have to stick together in order to survive.

I believe that healthcare is one of the basic human rights and the fact that you have to pay for it is simply absurd. When you add racism to this, what you get is such an injustice that you simply cannot help but commenting or doing something. I don’t want to bother you too much with this, just check out the movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Writer: James Kearns

Cast: Denzel Washington, Kimberly Elise, Anne Heche, Eddie Griffin, Robert Duvall, Ray Liotta

Fun Facts: Despite its thrilling progression, the cast actually did laugh at the scene when the eccentric couple break up.


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