Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rebirth, or Just Ashes?

Alright, so the title is simply my poor attempt at subtle-referencing to an actor whom I have a great respect for; the very talented Joaquin Phoenix. By now, it is already stale news, but many people (me included) are having a tough time letting the news sink.

"Joaquin Phoenix is retiring from acting to embark on a career in music..."

Now, that is not exactly a problem. It is a loss, sure. But it is not so surprising either, considering how well he played the role of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line [2005]. Everyone (again, me included) assumed that he became so immersed with the role that he feels the need to perform music beyond the silver screen. But the problem lies not within his career choice, but rather his choice of music. It's not country music or even rock music.

It's Hip-Hop.

I personally disagree with the choice he made. Not only due to my personal disdain for Hip-Hop, but also it is such a waste of his acting talent. But at the same time, I also feel the need to give him a break. I mean, this is after all, a free-world. It's just that, it's a little disappointing to see such a thing happen. One can't help but be reminded of Mickey Rourke's decision to leave acting for a career in boxing, only to return battered physically and emotionally. Thankfully however, his recent performance in The Wrestler [2008] gave his career a breath of fresh air.

Perhaps Joaquin Phoenix will suffer a similar fate, or maybe he will actually prosper as a Hip-Hop musician. One thing we all know for certain, is that everyone is having a hard time taking him seriously as a rapper. And his recent appearance on David Letterman's The Late Night Show certainly did not help fans warm-up to his new career choice. Anyway, we will just have to wait and see.

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