Adapted from Dostoevsky's novella, Henry Czerny plays the narrator, Underground Man. Filled with self-hatred, he keeps a video diary where he discusses his own shortcomings and what he ...
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Trevor St. John
Adapted from Dostoevsky's novella, Henry Czerny plays the narrator, Underground Man. Filled with self-hatred, he keeps a video diary where he discusses his own shortcomings and what he thinks is wrong in contemporary society. His bitterness spills over at a dinner party attended by his old college friends, an occasion which sends him running to a nearby brothel, where he meets Liza (Lee), a young prostitute. Written by
The Underground Man:
I'm a sick man. I think it's my liver but I refuse to see a doctor. From spite. I'm a spiteful man. I've been living like this for a long time. I used to work in the Building Department but I don't now. I was a bad civil servant. I was unciviled. I was spiteful. No, no, no, no. That's a lie! I'm not spiteful. Uh, I'm not anything. But I am sick. I'm crippled from too much introspection, as in too much awareness is a disease, a crippling disease, absolutely.
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No Russian authors were killed or injured during the filming of this motion picture. See more »
Ignore the last user, this film is definitely worth the view. As a big Dostoevsky fan and film nerd I remember seeing this film listed on the line up for the Boston film festival and was immediately intrigued.
I'm very picky when it comes to adaptations of books I like, so I was pleasantly surprised with how well cast the film was. Czerny was a brilliant underground man and Lee (better known at that time from her Twin Peaks fame) was a perfect blend of hard and vulnerable. The only casting choice I was somewhat iffy on was Jon Favreau, who was just starting the "Swingers" hype, I just never pictured him to be the right age and sort for the role.
Adapting a book whose entire structure is the monologue ramblings of a conflicted character is not an easy task, but here the film is a perfect blend of snide voice over, action and still manages to convey the spirit of the novel.
I'll always remember the Boston Globe reviewer commenting that he never thought one could put Dostoevsky and comedy in the same thought, but somehow this film had. I agree, though I always knew Fyodor had has witty side.
All in all I was greatly saddened that the film never got a wide release after that, so I never saw it again, pity I'd have dragged all my literary minded friends to it.
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