Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dreams: mine and Cassandra's

"Cassandra's Dream," the latest London-based film by Woody Allen, feels as much like London as Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" felt like New York. I know I am not the expert on all things London, but I swear I thought through most of the movie that the characters were in a small, claustrophobic town. Even the outdoor scenes never felt outside, but on sound stages. (My observation during "Eyes Wide Shut" was that Kubrick re-used a U.S. mailbox in several scenes meant to take place on different blocks within Manhattan; you could tell because the mailbox had a very distinct swirl of graffiti. Of course graffiti on a mailbox is more in line with the NY Kubrick left years ago than reality.)

Anyway, that was an unnecessary tangent, as what I really found lacking in "Cassandra's Dream" was not the sense of place, but a sense of dramatic pacing. Too much of the film is setting up for the central action - the crime that these two brothers (Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell, both better in their roles than the film itself) are meant to commit. The problem is, and I've bitched about too revealing trailers before, the entire setup has already been revealed to the audience in the trailers. Even if you hadn't seen any of the trailers, I imagine any semi-literate adult would get it far more quickly than the plodding, talky, first hour or so assumes. And, then, the crime itself happens off screen - not necessarily a bad decision, since this is about the psychological impact, not the physical act - but it causes the buildup of tension and suspense to plummet. I also think the movie could have benefited from more time with the brothers in the aftermath, but we don't get that as much as we could. (I could be unfairly comparing the film to "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," which portrays another set of brothers drawn to a deed neither has the stomach for. And then I imagine Farrell in the Ethan Hawke role in "Devil," brother to Phillip Seymour Hoffman instead of McGregor, and I think we have an amazing movie. Oh well.)

The other obvious comparison is to "Match Point," which was on cable early this morning and therefore reminded me it was a much better-paced, more focused film.

* * *

I thought I'd remembered more from my dream last night, but now all I can recall is that I was visiting someone (my mother?) and again, needed to get home and there were all these other plans to drive people here and there, and I wasn't on the agenda, and I kept trying to speak up that I needed a ride home, and people stared at me blankly.


Post a Comment

<< Home

ring logo
Writing Desk Webring

Join | List | Random
Previous | Next
Powered by RingSurf
Locations of visitors to this page