My Own Private Idaho


Action / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO


Top cast

Keanu Reeves Photo
Keanu Reeves as Scott Favor
River Phoenix Photo
River Phoenix as Mike Waters
Flea Photo
Flea as Budd
Jim Caviezel Photo
Jim Caviezel as Airline Clerk
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
806.98 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.64 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 2 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wisewebwoman4 / 10

Uneven, uncertain, untenable

I had heard some good recommendations on this film but am lost as to why the overall rating (6.9) on IMDb is so high. Am I missing something?

I watched the whole movie intently, even though my attention was flagging a lot. Those long (metaphoric?) cloud scenes with houses falling apart, reminiscent to me of the Kansas tornado in the Wizard of Oz, lonely stretches of road reminding the protagonist (over and over) of a face, yeah we get it, we don't care. And on. River Phoenix, in the lead playing Mike, is remarkable and eerie too - so much of James Dean in him, the short intense and talented life.

This is loosely based on Shakespeare's Henry IV part one, and it transfers huge chunks of the play into the movie script, some of it sounding forced and odd. An experiment that for me, fell flat on its face.

Keanu Reeves, playing Scott, plays a street hustler in an act of rebellion against his father the mayor of the town. He befriends Mike, a narcoleptic prostitute who falls asleep on the job all the time, and who to all intents and purposes falls in love with him. They go on a road trip to find River's mother who abandoned him when he was small.

The details of Mike's parentage are appalling and the road trip takes them to a rather weird Italy and then back again to the streets where Scott turns his back on his old ways, abandoning Mike.

Uneven and actually frustrating, the dialogue was very muddy and hard to understand at times and the shifting of script from modern to Shakespeare not successful.

4 out of 10. Could be to some tastes, but not to mine.

Reviewed by bkoganbing10 / 10

River tunes out, Keanu slums

My Own Private Idaho is a bittersweet tale of two rent boys in the Pacific coast are and the contrasts between them. With the help of the greatest writer in the English language ever, William Shakespeare, Gus Van Sant draws two great characterizations in the characters realized by River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.

You couldn't find two more opposite types in the world. River is a street kid through and through. Even the circumstances of his birth are a tragedy that I won't reveal. His mother leaves him as a youngster and he can't get over it and go on. He was raised by an older brother in the sparsely populated 'potato state' as he calls Idaho and the and the family dynamic was strained. He's a gay kid in an area where that could be deadly so he takes off for the fleshpots of Seattle and Portland where his youth and beauty will bring him some cash. He has no skills or education to support himself any other way. Sad, but the only hope this kid has of a decent life is to get taken up by some older sugar daddy who might just treat him to an education of some kind. That is if he can decide to just get over a bad home life and lack of a normal family. I've known gay kids who came from as lousy a background as River Phoenix and who never could get over it. River has developed an interesting defense mechanism and a psychologist would have field day with him if he got him on the coach. When the stress gets too much for him he just has a seizure like an epileptic, but in fact all he does is fall asleep. It's called narcilepsy, but he's vulnerable in that state as the film shows as well. River just tunes out the world.

Keanu comes from a different world, his father is the Mayor of Portland, but he's dying and hopes to have his son take over the family political dynasty. But Tom Troupe is bitterly disappointed in his 'effeminate' son who like Prince Hal likes to hang out with lowlifes and street trash. Keanu's Falstaff is William Richert, a gay older man of a Falstaffian bloated belly who likes the young stuff and in his world probably treats them well. Gus Van Sant was quite imaginative in seeing the gay subtext that could be drawn from Prince Hal and Falstaff. Indeed Keanu says that Richert is closer to him than his real father. But he also says that he's planning to work a change in him when he comes into his own. And he says it in dialog taken from Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts one and two.

The most touching scene is with River and Keanu out in the country at a fire where River basically confesses his love for him. It's love to be sure, but River also sees in Keanu a figure who has confidence and self assurance and those are the qualities that draws him to Reeves. What Phoenix misreads is that self confidence is really a safety net that he knows he has and at the appropriate time uses. Although he's gay for pay as he states, he still allows River to have sex with him. I suspect that Gus Van Sant from his own background knows full well that gay for pay is not always 100% absolute.

Reeves goes on to his destiny for which if you know your Shakespeare know what that is. Phoenix's destiny is less clear, more than likely an oblivion that a lot of those kids go to. As a fantasy I'd like to think that as Reeves denies himself, closets himself as he moves on in life, that an older River comes back to remind him of his roots.

We all know of the tragedy of River Phoenix who died way too young just like a lot of street kids do ironically. There is a second tragedy in the My Own Private Idaho. Rodney Harvey who played one of River and Keanu's street peers also died way too young in similar circumstances to Phoenix.

Not only does Van Sant give us an excellent two person character study, but his other character with less dialog than the leads also are fully formed characters which is the mark that many including me say indicates a great film. My Own Private Idaho is a troubling picture, but a realistic one of the underside of gay life that we cannot ignore.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle6 / 10

Reeves and Phoenix doing terrific work

Mike (River Phoenix) is a hustler prostitute who suffers from narcolepsy. He has dreams of being comforted by his mother. Mike's best friend is fellow hustler Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves). Scott is rebelling against his father who was the wealthy mayor of Portland. He expects to inherit money from him at 21. Mike is obsessed with finding his mother and is in love with Scott. Their journey would take them from Portland to Idaho to Italy and then back to Portland.

Gus Van Sant creates a meandering journey of two lost souls. Reeves and Phoenix are doing terrific work. It gets surreal at times. I actually want a greater visual surrealism to his dreams although the indie budget would prevent that. I'm not so much in love with the Shakespearian influence on the dialog with Bob. It takes me out of the gritty street world. It's an up and down movie for me. I find parts of it fascinating but others too flighty.

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