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Monday, 27 October 2008

DVD review

Michael Clayton

A great movie, disclosing the lunacy required to keep a cool facade in the board room. A superb cast performing under the direction of a great master. George Clooney is portraying the role of the laywer with broken dreams turned fixer superbly and Tilda Swinton proves once again what a great actress she is (I first saw her in the Beach and she is the main reason why I finished watching that movie). After Syrianna, Clooney is involved in a project that brings to the surface some of our deepest nightmares regarding the society around us. Things we fear but try to avoid believing they are true. In Syriana, US conglomerates were responsible for keeping an entire nation under a siege of an uncompetent rich man, killing the only hope. In Michael Clayton, an american legal firm - in our nightmares second in command in evilness after oil companies - wants to hush a carcinegous practice of a manufacturing company by killing the lawyers that are fighting to get the truth out.
I must say that I have developed a strong respect for George Clooney as an actor, director, and generally as a thinker for choosing to participate in meaningful projects. In many ways his work reminds me of Robert Redfort in charisma, talent and anticomformity.

In the valley of Elah

Tommy Lee Jones, in my mind one of the best actors ever, stars in this tragic movie about a war veteran who has already lost his eldest son in the airforce and his youngest son gone missing after return from Iraq. Jones belongs to this school of actors where they tell the most with their face without talking. A most powerful performing technique without the noise. The absurdity of war and its dreadful consequences are portrayed magnificently. Jones' son was perished because war veterans come home and are expected to function in our society as they were before the war. But wars kill far away from the warzone and this poor soldier was killed by his mates, the very people that would die for him, and him for them, at the war front. Men are deprived from their humanity and operate by insticts. Unfortunately the war front has turned human survival insticts to paranoia, hence the death of Jones second son. A story that was not underlined as much as it should have been is the relationship of the soldiers' parents. Susan Saranton, the mother, kisses her husdband when he drops her off at the airport after seen the remains of her dead, burned and chopped son. This kiss alone for me is formidable. Any mother would loathe her husband; why is he still alive? her sons are dead. Both of them. Following his tracks. But she kissed him goodbye. Relationships like that are extremely rare. A very sad movie with a powerful anti-war message. Tommy Lee Jones is superb. The entire cast is. The predominant color of the movie is black. It sets the stage appropriately. The valley of Elah was where David beat Goliath. Still not sure who is David here though

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