Perfectionism is a soul-killing attitude which brings terrible psychic pain and great devastation into people's lives. The Fan, a mesmerizing film directed by Tony Scott and written by Phoef Sutton, presents a vivid anatomy of this dehumanizing malady.
Robert De Niro gives an intense and riveting performance as Gil Renard, a hunting knife salesman whose life is centered around an obsession with baseball. The focus of his adoration is Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes), a center fielder for the San Francisco Giants who has just signed a forty million dollar contract. However, when a highly competitive teammate (Benico Del Toro) refuses to give Rayburn his old number 11, the superstar falls into a slump.
Gil, who has just lost his job and been denied access to his son by his ex-wife, decides to strike back against all such losses by helping his idol regain his mastery at the plate. With harrowing results, this deranged fan intrudes himself into Bobby's life and eventually becomes a deadly stalker.
The most compelling dimension of this powerful film is the way the two men handle their mutual problem of perfectionism. One sets his soul free by letting go while the other follows his compulsion to its terrifying conclusion.