Friday, July 25, 2008

Fdot responds to panta924

This is basically a continuation of my Revolutionary Road review and the comments left by panta924.

I purposely left out technical considerations of the film. Being a screening, we will given the typical caveat that color correction and sound still needed to be completed; and indeed, the first few establishing shots of the film were so dark that it was difficult to discern what they were. I assume those will be fixed up in time for the general release. Addressing the mentioned areas:

Cinematography: It's certainly serviceable, but nothing that truly stood out from the film. A large percentage of the film takes place indoors during the daytime, so there is a lot of typical indoor office and house lighting. The cinematographer is Roger Deakins, so I was hoping for a bit more. It's not disappointing by any means, just not amazing.

Such: The music was bad. This is not one of Thomas Newman's better scores. It was either too dramatic for the scene, or didn't fit the mood the scene.

Screenplay: This is the film's major flaw. The screenplay is the major reason I gave the film a C-. Revolutionary Road is not a bad film, it's a dull film. The decision to start the film with a major argument and continue after the opening credits with more marital strife never allows the audience to develop a relationship with the characters. You just don't really care what happens to them. The decision to movie to Paris is milked for a few laughs, but the decision is made right after another major argument. One scene is Frank and April yelling at each other, the next scene is April playing the doting wife and coming up with this plan. The way that Winslet plays April gives the audience a sense that there is some sort of mental imbalance within her, but the film doesn't spend 1 second exploring that possibility, so April just comes off as an incredibly strange character. I don't need everything explained to me in a movie, but dropping no clues can leave one confused. Mental Issue? Suburban Malaise? Who knows? The ending of the film also falls short (I haven't read the book, so I don't know if it matches up). It's telegraphed well in advance, so it's not much of a shock, then it's followed by a strange coda of two scenes featuring the secondary characters of the movie (a neighbor couple and Kathy Bates' real estate agent). The film just presents Frank and April as miserable for so much of the running time, that it just wears you down.

Leo: Well, I like Leo, so I'm happy to say that he does do a good job in the film. However, he isn't given that much to do. Apart from the arguments with April and an argument with Michael Shannon's character, he is largely reactionary. His character arc is very small and undramatic, so he has nothing big to sink his acting chops into. He pulls off what he has to do well, but I wish there was more for him to do.

1 comment:

panta924 said...

Well, thanks for the update. The way you described it, I think I'm going to like the film, as strange as it sounds.