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Will Graham is a gangster who has left the life of crime and is living in the countryside. He comes out of hiding to investigate the death of his brother when he learns that he committed suicide. Charlotte Rampling is his old girlfriend who owns a restaurant. Boad is the villain responsible for the bad things that happened to Will's brother. Written by
Andrea Barney <email@example.com>
Loving detailed and formal noir that ultimately amounts to nothing
I suppose I should begin this review by qualifying myself. I am sucker for believing Roger Ebert. For some time I have been remarkably in tune with him on his choices of movies.
This has resulted in a shelf of his books, and his web page on my favorites list.
So when he gave this movie an enthusiastic thumbs-up, it went into my shopping basket without a second thought.
To paraphrase Michael Corleone,"Roger, you broke my heart..." The movie begins with excellent promise, engulfing us in the sort of noir detail that makes for a satisfying night at the movies. The character of Will Graham (Clive Owen) is paying a penance for his earlier life as a leading gangster in London. In his absence, his brother Davey, has become the hustler of dope to the "Beautiful People".
After a horrific end to Davey's burgeoning career, Will is forced to come back to London, to find and avenge the loss of his brother.
All of this is handled with a finely crafted and understated tension, no overt crowd pleasing violence, the movie never sacrifices it's delicious tension by throwing down a nasty image, just for the sake of it.
Then, after an hour and a half of measured and exquisite buildup, the movie, decides that I (or you, Fellow Movie Freak) do not deserve any coherent explanation of several key elements of the plot.
Zero. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
There is a fine homage to Unforgiven, when Will, who has forsaken drinking, starts to drink, in the presage to beginning his hunt for the savage Conservative who traumatized his brother.
The film, which was inching toward a solid 7 throughout its first hour and a half, decides to end on a specious, muddled, and UNFAIR note, thereby earning from me, a 5.
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