A River Runs Through It

Chris Wheeler
                                            Final Draft
                    Professor Werner

A River Run’s Through It

Robert Redford’s “A River Run’s Through It” is a story about the interpersonal struggles of two boys Norman (Craig Sheffer) and Paul Maclean (Brad Pitt) growing up under the direction of their father, Reverend Maclean’s (Tom Skerritt) Presbyterian directives and perfectionist nature. The story emphasizes the relationship between nature, art and faith while portraying the life of a typical American family in the 1910-1935 time periods.
Reverend Maclean believes that there are two things in life that are important: fly fishing and spiritual belief. The Reverend holds the conviction that all good things, trout as well as eternal salvation come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy. This belief system is a direct view of the world as meticulous and well-ordered: nature being an intricate example of perfection painstakingly created by God over half a billion years ago. Art, including the art of fly fishing, is best taught with attention to form and detail with faith best enrooted through study of the regular church attendance and carefully written and revised sermons.
Many of the key scenes and moments of the film are captured with the beautiful Big Blackfoot in the backdrop while Norman and Paul fished the river. The river to the Maclean’s was the standard of life. As stated in the opening lines of the movie, “there is no clear line between religion and fly-fishing” for their family. Reverend Maclean spent countless hours teaching the boys the fundamentals of fly fishing as he himself neared perfection. As the story progresses, Norman continues with his fathers’ style however Paul steered away from this traditional four count casting to create his own style in which he called it “shadow casting.” Paul’s style change was significant as it further...