Saturday, September 19, 2009

murder most foul (NB spoilers)

I have (re)watched a few films recently in which hordes of people meet gruesome ends.

The Departed (Scorcese) I've seen four times. It's still gripping. Murder abounds. I feel like screaming at God when Leo gets shot in the head. HASN'T HE SEEN ENOUGH SUFFERING ALREADY? GIVE THE GUY A BREAK!

This screening of Fargo (Cohen brothers) was my third. Not quite as many deaths, but it's a bloodbath nonetheless. One of the more unfortunate characters is forced through a wood chipper. It's with mild exasperation and wonder at the human condition, a bit of a chuckle and a sense of great inertia that you watch them all go.

It was the first time I'd seen Surveillance (Lynch - Jennifer) and I expect will be the last. It's clever and well acted with a twist that gets you in the gut. But it's lacking in characters to like or even understand. The violence is disturbing. And its inescapability is the point, the whole point and nothing but the point.

I don't mind a bit of gore and grit. But a movie has to take me beyond that stuff in a redemptive fashion. Happy ending? Not necessarily. But if by the end I don't want any of the characters to be rescued and I don't feel that a world I recognise has been revealed to me in a true or new way, then I'm unlikely to revisit.

No doubt I'll continue to enjoy Leo getting his brain mashed, though.