Mr. Kilmer - "Val" is a Portrait of an Artist
Updated: Sep 23, 2021
So, a close family friend of mine last night mentioned the recent documentary about Val Kilmer. I'd heard about it but hadn't seen it yet. He's always been a fave actor of mine, in particular his masterful performance in The Doors. Obviously Tombstone and several others come to mind as well. After watching it, I was prompted with various thoughts. Certainly his skilled brand of acting, big heart, sorrowful past and to some degree present (in some ways), and inherent artistry were on display.
There were themes of truth and illusion, reality as being how you perceive it, dreams, performance, and the blurring of all these concepts.
I noted his choice in roles, for instance deciding not to do another Batman, smacked of a butterfly effect in a way. It brought up "what if" thoughts regarding his career trajectory as well as such a phenomenon in my own life. In particular in the early nineties (ironically during some of his best roles and the aforementioned The Doors in particular) a near reunion just might've produced a decidedly different outcome regarding my own timeline. I've certainly enjoyed the life I've led, but this alternate path phenomenon makes one ponder the chain of events, possibilities. This is all kind of apropos as well given Marvel's new What If? series I think, it's along those same lines.
All told, I think the documentary succeeded in ultimately showing that it has been an eventful life so far for the colorful thespian, a life not unlike ours, filled with a little bit of everything: pain, sorrow, joy, death, successes, and failures. The great takeaway, I think, more than anything is he found what he was born to do at such a young age. Many of us, your humble narrator included, might take a little longer to discover our most important calling and contribution to the world, vocationally at least. That is a blessing indeed for Mr. Kilmer, one I’m sure he recognizes.