Sunday, January 5, 2014


Road Movies

A friend of mine suggested I watch some Irish movies as homework before I say more on the subject. So for anyone interested here goes. My aim is a film maker's analysis rather than a review of any of the films. The difference is like that in all art and wine. Bad may still be worth consuming and give pleasure though in the end you're hardly better off.

Now, this will only make sense to those who have seen the film when I say that “I Went Down" was finally a disappointment. The main character was underplayed throughout, close on boring in fact while his accomplice was actually very funny and kind of grew on you. It's like the director or the writer or whoever could not make up their minds as to who the hero was meant to be . .  It rather reminded me of “Sideways” where for about a third of the film the hero’s travelling companion takes the central spot. It is subtle and you only realise it when you begin to feel more for the secondary character than the hero. Admittedly the film recovers but only with some heavy footed emotional pounding the hero gets from his ex-wife at his friend’s wedding.

The pivotal point in “I Went Down” when the cheerful accomplice saves the hero's life lacked focus. A shame as it was critical to the plot when from unwilling bed fellows they become friends of sorts. The drama was lessened again when the guy they had kidnapped to bring back to the bad boss revealed himself a far more interesting figure than our hero.

All in all, the plot was too complex to follow or care. The shoot-out scene at the end was slow in coming not to mention that the main villain was so unbelievable. He had the lines, he just about had the face but the body language was totally unconvincing. It made you think, this guy is scaring them? Really? Also, the love interest was underdeveloped to make much sense. As a character the ex-girlfriend was a non-entity. It seemed rather like a stab at padding out. At least she could have been a manipulative bitch who wants more than she deserves or gets. It may be unwarranted to put it all down to bad direction but clearly something's gone wrong.

The camera work was often clever without a good reason which is always a no-no. This is where American cinema excels. Never a self conscious shot. The camera is there to serve the storyline. It is a guide to bring us along and show us whatever it is that we are told. That said, it was still far more intelligent than in "The Eclipse" but that is another story

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