Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, FIELD OF DREAMS is a gem that talks about the courage to follow our dreams, the importance to live a happy life with our loved ones, and the essence to share a close bonding with our parents.
We all have some unfulfilled wishes, dreams, or regrets that we carry till death, and those, as most of us believe, are fulfilled by God in a place called Heaven. We all have heard about heaven and hell, but in the end, it’s the heaven where we live.
The film – based on a book named ‘Shoeless Joe’ by W.P. Kinsella – begins with a farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) standing in the middle of his cornfield when he hears the voice “If you build it, he will come.” He looks around and doesn’t see anyone; it was strange for Ray as he and his wife Annie Kinsella (Amy Madigan) with their little kid are dreaming to run a family farm in Iowa but no such weird things have ever happened.
As he keeps on listening to the same voice, again and again, he begins to understand that he must plow under the corn crop and build a baseball field so that the infamous “Shoeless Joe” Jackson who has been banned from baseball since 1919 and dead for years will come back and play on it.
Strange it may sound, Ray and his wife know this may be a crazy thing to do, follow their dreams, and build a baseball field. And yes the “Shoeless Joe” (played by Ray Liotta) shows up and plays on the field with his teammates. Jackson was the hero of Ray’s father but Ray never had a good relationship with his father.
[Yes, as Jackson and his teammates are dead long back they are not visible to all and only to Ray’s family as they believe in them.]
Ray again hears the voice “Ease his pain.” Ray comes to understand that this is about an author of the 1960s named Terrence Mann who now lives in solitude. Ray finds him and together they hear the voice “Go the distance” while watching a real baseball match.
This leads them back in time to find an old man Doc Graham who had a brief baseball career before he gives up in favor of medicine. Finally, Ray even meets his father in the same field and finds a way to reconcile his differences, as Ray always resented when his father was alive. Finally, Ray asks his father: “Is there a heaven?” and his father answers: “Oh yeah. It’s the place dreams come true.”
‘Field of Dreams’ is a modern classic, based on the theme of baseball, dreams, and family. It may not excite those with a view for a more entertaining film, but this is indeed magic with original thought and imagination. Even though we don’t follow baseball in this part of the world, I found myself willingly drawn into it with the kind of message it portrayed just bringing baseball into the picture.
‘Field of Dreams’ is philosophical and sentimental in its fantastical storyline. While it uses baseball as a key metaphor, and although it never really explains anything further on the surface, the film somehow asks its audience to decode the message underneath. Indeed, it is about life, our memories; it is about what we have missed and how we must embrace an opportunity to heal our relationship.
‘Field of Dreams’ Movie Trailer
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson
Screenplay by Phil Alden Robinson
Based on ‘Shoeless Joe’ (1982 novel) by W.P. Kinsella
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster.
Release Date/Year: April 21, 1989