An Actor’s Life (Film Thoughts: Val)

‘Val,’ a documentary about Val Kilmer is quite an interesting watch, and I had no idea it would be. It celebrates the actor’s life of Val Kilmer, and it benefits from a lot of video footage taken by Kilmer himself. As an actor who became popular during the 80s and 90s, Kilmer also had thousands of hours of footage from his experiences, so he had ample material to present from his varied filmography. I of course know him as Iceman from ‘Top Gun’ and he says that’s his most popular role, with people calling him that characters’a name everywhere. But I did not know that he was a Juilliard-trained actor. As a natter of fact, he still is its younger enrollee in its history. Kilmer is also a little bit of a method actor, and you can sense how his roles envelope his life as he shoots them. The film is bittersweet – he now suffers from a medical condition that makes him unable to speak clearly – his voice is compromised so he has son do a lot of the film’s narration. It has a little bit of a sense of what might have been – as an actor he has accomplished a lot but makes you think if there will be more.

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