After having seen Bad Lieutenant from Abel Ferrara, I was rather disappointed in his next work of art. I think Keitel, Russo, & Madonna all did the best they could with this film but overall the film lacks the utter rawness or gritty feel that Ferrara normally supplies with gusto.
Dangerous Game aims to be the gritty, dark drama which will reveal bits & pieces of human heart while attempting to explore human nature. The idea is undoubtedly reasonable & end results should be quite disturbing but the average viewer isn't going to have the patience to sit this one out. Ferrara could've made an excellent film which delves into the evil that lurks within Hollywood but he would've needed a stronger script. Unfortunately, weak scripts are a feat for even the best actors in the industry to pull off. Sadly, the film suffered greatly although it's clearly evident that each cast member does exhibit a great deal of talent.
I did bestow a three star rating to the film because it doesn't lack tension but rather seems unfocused or incohesive. There really isn't a great deal of plot unfortunately but the film does have some powerful scenes including the marital abuse scenes which involve both Russo & Madonna or the scenes where Keitel bullies the male lead in hopes of attaining an edgier performance. Keitel's character even goes on to tell the lead that he doesn't care whether or not it requires less/more drugs to pull it off. Obviously, the Director cares very little for his actors & this brutal portrayal works extremely well.
I also found the whole concept of domestic abuse/violence to be almost eerily haunting & I had to sometimes wonder if the film doesn't mirror the marriage of Madonna & Sean Penn. This vulnerable side of Madonna is one we don't often see on film & I think she crafted a very disturbing character here. It's a shame the editing here is shoddy & Ferrara has done much better directorial work.
Abel Ferrara's meditation on life imitating art (and vice versa) is one of his weaker films but definitely not a complete waste of the viewer's time.
Product Description A new york film director working on his latest movie in los angeles begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real life especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress. Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 04/12/2005 Starring: Harvey Keitel James Russo Run time: 109 minutes Rating: Ur Director: Abel Ferrara