Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Classic Cruise

This has got nothing to do with Tom Cruise’s ability (or lack of it) as an actor. I reached my conclusion on him a long, long time back. Was it after seeing a particular film or in general…? Dunno. But that he is superb is not even a matter of discussion as far as I am concerned.

But, just clicking around the various links on IMDB as I often do, I reached the Tom Cruise filmography segment, and was quite stunned to read through the list. Now, while films like Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky and Eyes Wide Shut do come to mind very easily, they are interjected with some rather tame names. Somehow, Minority Report had slipped my mind totally as a Cruise film, and had been retained as purely a classic piece of filmmaking.

Cruise, in a 23-year career of topping most ‘good looks’ lists, has made a total of 27 films, with War of the Worlds and Mission Impossible III currently under production.

But have a look at this list (the ‘emboldened’ ones are the ones I have seen):
The Last Samurai
Minority Report
Vanilla Sky
Mission Impossible I & II

Eyes Wide Shut
Jerry Maguire
Interview with the Vampire
The Firm
A Few Good Men
Far and Away
Days of Thunder
Born on the Fourth of July
Rain Man
Young Guns
The Color of Money
Top Gun
All the Right Moves
Risky Business
Losin’ It
The Outsiders
Endless Love

It’s an awesome line-up by any yardstick. And it’s amazing. Because often, when I say or feel that Tom Cruise is a brilliant actor, it’s with this sense of having said something exclusive or different. As often happens, it brings with it a sense of being proprietorial. But – and I don’t know where Cruise is placed in the more serious analyses of the day – it’s evident that Cruise has had one of the most astonishing runs in recent memory.