I had heard about Fearless for a long time and was never in the right mind to see it. It's the story about how survivors of a plane crash cope with life afterwards, their neuroses, fears and personal demons. It is a quiet film, so quiet that one can barely hear the inner tremblings of the main character.
But even though this lack of fear is his saving grace, it is also threatening to jeopardize his life. He copes with the nightmares and emotional traumas with the same reaction that helped him along on that fateful day. But in real life, this way to cope is unhealthy and even dangerous. One must live afraid to be a normal person. One must worry about finances and loss of love.
The film is imperfect, as any great film should be. There are slow moments and perhaps a little too much pop psychology. (But the film is as subtle as it gets). There are marvelous character touches, such as a lawyer trying to file a lawsuit who keeps apologizing for his greediness. (The film exposes the genuine dilemmas of trying to compensate victims and their families).
Perhaps the most amazing scene is a reenactment of the plane crash itself. I won't give anything away about the story, but the scene is hauntingly beautiful; it shows the overwhelming force of the wind and the earth ripping apart the fusilade and all the parts of the luggage and cabin that humans normally deal with. It is a violent, horrifying scene and a horrifying memory, but for the main character, he can imagine it with the appropriate distance and without the pain. This accident was the defining moment for his life, and after that scene, we realize how amazing it is that he and the rest of them could have survived, and how fragile their life was in the face of overwhelming force.
This story imagines a disaster and how useless it is to be afraid of a force more powerful than any individual (and that is the main character's profound insight).