Sunday, May 23, 2010
Written & Directed By: Francis Ford Coopola
Cinematography By: Mihai Malaimare Jr.
Editor: Walter Murch
CAST: Vincent Gallo, Carmen Maura, Maribel Verdu, Alden Ehrenreich, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Leticia Bredice
This film had it’s fair share of problems before it started Matt Dillon dropped out of the lead role. Francis Ford Coopola felt the film was too close to RUMBLE FISH so he was kind of glad he dropped out. But still decided to film it in the same way in black and white with flashbacks in color though diluted. Javier Bardem was cast as The Tutor but Coopola felt it would be more dramatic if the role was played by a woman. Then Francis ford coopola’s only copy of the script was stolen when thieves broke into his home studio in Buenos aires where his only copy of the script was so he had to pay a ransom to get it back.
I wish I could say it was all worth it. Coopola has called this a personal film and it shows his attention to the characters and the drama between them, but as it may mean something deep to him it just didn’t come off that way. To me it came off overwrought after awhile the film mainly deals with each of the characters and there daddy issues while everything is presented and built like a opera, but many art forms are featured in the film Dance, Novels, Plays, Stripping, Performance Art, Music. Yet it doesn’t come off too much as pretentious. The film is truly beautiful to look at it’s a technical marvel as many of the scenes look sumptuous. I imagine it is truly a marvel on Blu-ray. I think I definitely would have had a greater appreciation for the film had I seen it on the big screen. I mean even Coopola himself considers this his most beautiful looking film and obviously I agree. (though BRAM STOKER”S DRACULA is pretty good competition) While I really wanted to like the film. I was disappointed. The film came off as melodramatic a lot of times. I really couldn’t get into the film I loved looking at it but never felt any general emotions. The film feels timeless like it cold have taken place at anytime. Yet the film is too long
The story is of Tetro who ran off to Buenos Aires to get away from his great composer father to be a writer and he hasn’t come back to the states since so when his little brother who is working on a cruise ship comes to visit he is both happy to see him but can’t wait for him to go back. The get to catch up but before he can leave the brother is hit by a motorcycle and is forced to stay by Tetro’s girlfriend where he discovers Tetro’s thinly disguised novel and finds out the real reason his brother ran away
The film is built like a grand old-style classic movie. It has layers as this one character and his decisions affect those around him. As his father’s ego did to him. How each character caters to him.
I’ll admit Vincent Gallo always interests me as a person and actor/director here he does a good job with the lead performance where he isn’t called onto to emote until the end and doesn’t have too many lines. Everything is mainly told about him through actions but he is as volatile as ever. The actresses are all beauties and can be quite distracting.
The film Is rich with many things and I wish I could give it a higher grade but in my heart I can’t it is worth a rental and is a good film to put on with the volume off and have on in the background but other then that I can only suggest it as a rental.