Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Written by Alexander Troochi (book), David Mackenzie
Directed by David Mackenzie
Music by David Byrne
Starring Ewan McGregor, Penis McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan, Emily Mortimer
this scottish guy working on a barge on a river...in scotland, sleeps his way back to slightly ok when his pregnant girlfriend drowns after an argument. that sentence kind of makes him seem like someone a viewer could have sympathy for, but he is not. he's actually pretty detestable.
This movie was put together well, and it ran well. Great casting and acting provided a solid foundation for a story which kept me guessing until the end, even if the significance of those guesses degraded over time. Ewan McGregor (A Hot Piece of Man) provides the film with a slippery center, and while Swinton and Mullan do the best at hanging on to that center as it spins along a wobbly axle that best isn't good enough even if it does put the tertiary characters in a different light.
Beginning with the discovery of a corpse, the film does a good job of keeping the tension and suspense ripe right until the end. Revelations beget questions beget revelations beget questions beget answers that are simultaneously intellectually satisfying and emotionally unsatisfying. This is a very dialog-heavy movie and setting much of that dialog in cramped quarters helps maintain the tension.
The story itself was quite interesting, and actually slightly unique. This dude fucks his way through upper-low class Scotland with quite a lot of skill and he really doesn't care about what he leaves behind him. It's not active apathy so much as simple passivity; and I don't think that the couple of potentially-redeeming acts are intended to align the viewer with the character as much as they are to ally the character with himself.
This is a solid 3. I don't know if it's worth going out of your way to see, but you could do a lot worse than stopping on it if you come across it in the guide.
There are some spoilers above and below, but I don't control my woman the way Ewan did his.
this is the kind of movie that you can see is good, but you don't really like it anyway. there was extreme intention in the story, direction, and music (by david byrne). very cerebral. a good college film class kind of a movie where you have to write a two page paper on the depth and flaw of the characters. i haven't read the book, but i can say, with pretty good certainty, that this movie did the book justice.
all those good and positive things said, the main character was not a good person. i suppose they don't have to be, but he was pretty despicable in a douchey way. he treats women horribly and men too, for that matter, and despite the fact that his last relationship was pretty significant he treated her like shit too. i didn't feel sorry for him with his dilemma of whether or not to clear the guy pinned for the death of his lady. i don't know if you're supposed to. i can never really get down with movies or books like that. i feel even if the protagonist is a douche i should be able to feel something positive about his/her personality. maybe not even positive. just something. as moster pointed out he was so complacent about everything he just seemed to go along with whatever came down the road. he was wishy washy so i was wishy washy.
as i'm writing the synopsis for this thing the light came on! he saves the kid on the barge from being hit by a boat and drowning even though he hates that kid, but he wouldn't do that for his pregnant ex. he could have jumped in after her, he's clearly a good enough swimmer, but he just stood there looking at the water. there's the crux of the movie. bingo! good job me.