Drama movie directed by Gus Van Sant
The direction of the movie is powerful. The artistic decision to frequently alternate between scenes depicting the two protagonists’ lives is especially clever. The differences between the two and the groups they represent are thus implied; viewers are invited to recognize that these men come from very different worlds. Each of these worlds, however, breeds its own debilitating pressures, its own crimes. Both men seek, and manage, to hurt in their own capacities. The movie thus simultaneously highlights sameness and difference between various groups – black and white, rich and poor –, providing a realistic portrayal of life that denies easy, stereotypical categorization.
The casting and acting - from primary to minor characters – greatly complement the realism of the movie. On the downside, I did find the music and script to be at times off or overdone. I also thought the movie lacked depth and nuance in its depiction of women and their experiences (though, arguably, given what the movie attempts to do, this was simply beyond its manageable scope). On the whole, the direction of the movie and performances given throughout were strong enough to outweigh the negatives I noted.
To wrap up, I’m glad I watched this movie. It has caused me to think and that is something all good movies do. And so, here’s my recommendation: watch this movie. It’s underrated, but it’s good.
What did you think of this review?