OK... this movie so far has been slated by critics and board-posters alike (although playing devil's advocate you could suggest that critics are often people who didn't make it for themselves as film-makers, and board posters are often people who didn't make it for themselves as critics) so I wanted to sit in Guy's corner with the magic sponge to perhaps reach maybe a couple of the people who've decided not to see the film based on how everybody seems to be looking down their collective nose of approval at it.
The film's biggest flaw in earning wide support is how unexpectedly complex it is. This has been described many times as as making the film "inaccessible" to the viewer. The film's chronology is relatively non-linear and the characters are used as not only a means of storytelling but as a device for showing us the subtle (or not so subtle) hints of bias we give things as we commit them to memory, IE. Ray Liotta's character brandishing a gun saying the words "fear me" is portrayed as both tragically pathetic (from Statham's POV) or interrogating and bold (from Liotta's POV). This is but one example of Ritchie's far more mature approach he has taken to film-making with Revolver, we have a storyline which is pretty archetypal (the strong but silent gritty anti-hero gets released from jail with a score to settle but gets drawn inadvertently into a world of corruption... I mean it's paint by numbers film noir here guys, all the way down to the vague poetic choice of diction and the gritty voice-overs) but then Guy has taken this framework to make a number of extremely philosophical and complex points.
Take the scene where Jason Statham's character runs afoul of a car. This throwaway sequence could have been emitted from the film and made no difference to the story whatsoever... but Ritchie is making point about how such little chance happenings such as receiving a phone call can make the difference between life and death.
So the final act of the movie is pretty mind boggling, I'd be taking the p*ss if I said I didn't spend the last 20 minutes or so of the film turning to my date going "uh... wtf?"... but that is the shoddiest reason to disregard a piece of art. It is far too easy to dislike something because you find it hard to understand. And even easier to say "well nobody else seemed to understand it so it must be a real turd of a film!". In my humble opinion, Revolver is a stylish, complex and mature piece of modern art which should be greeted with the same manner we would give the work of the Saatchi Brothers. If we choose this opportunity to collectively say "Ah sh*t, I wanted a film about a load of bleeding' cockney gangsters in-nit loll... Guy Ritchie is a tit!" then the day will come when film-makers are allowed only to make that which is expected of them by shallow, crappy people. Just because Guy made a name for himself with funny, cheeky cockney romps, doesn't mean he can't be deep without being "pretentious". Funny people can be thoughtful too.
Crime / Drama
Crime / Drama
After seven years in solitary, Jake Green is released from prison. In the next two years, he amasses a lot of money by gambling. He's ready to seek his revenge on Dorothy (Mr. D) Macha, a violence-prone casino owner who sent Jake to prison. He humiliates Macha in front of Macha's lieutenants, leaves, and keels over. Doctors tell him he has a rare disease and will die in three days; Macha also puts a hit out on him. Loan sharks, Zack and Avi, demand Jake's cash and complete fealty in return for protection. Jake complies, and through narration and flashbacks, we watch him through at least three days of schemes, danger, and redemption. Who is his greatest enemy?
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August 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm