July 19th, 2009

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Fatalism with Great Style (and Some Exceptional Hats)

Just got back from seeing Michael Mann's new crime pic Public Enemies. Starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger and Christian Bale as Bureau man Melvin Pervis (as well as a host of others in smaller roles), the film presents a slice of history.

Philisophically speaking, I was not particularly taken by the film's dogged attempts to shove fatalism down the viewer's throats. However, that gripe aside, I found the narrative to be rather gripping.

The film does not tell us much, in the way of back story, choosing to present characters via their actions. In fact, back story is related mostly as a joke, best passed over. "I was born on a farm," says Depp's Dillinger, "my father hit me cuz he didn't know how else to raise me, and I like robbing banks, fast cars, whiskey and you. What else do you need to know about me?"

The film's presentation of 1933 is pretty amazing. I love that period's style, love the wardrobes and particularly the hats. Wow.

Still chewing over the film as "film". Michael Mann's pictures tend to take time for me to digest.

Saw two goooood trailers prior: Shutter Island is the new Scorsese picture (based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, of Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone fame) about investigation into an insane asylum (circa the 1950s), and Amelia is a picture about Amelia Earhardt. Looks pretty nice, but I was not actually interested until I saw the director: Mira Nair. Wait, sez I, the director of Kama Sutra, Mississippi Masala, and Monsoon Wedding is directing this? Reeeeeally. Okay, now I'm intrigued. :) Enough to overcome my dislike of Hilary Swank, even (that's pretty interested!).
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