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In early 19th Century Peru an old Inca rope bridge collapses, plunging five travelers to their deaths in the Andean chasm below. Brother Juniper, who was within minutes of being on the bridge himself, becomes obsessed with discovering how five people of differing class and circumstances came to be on the bridge at that moment. The Catholic friar wants to know if it was mere existential happenstance or part of God's cosmic plan. After researching the lives of the victims for five years and publishing his findings in a book, he is accused of heresy by the worldly Archbishop of Lima and is put on trial for his life by the Inquisition. Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. Although I do understand why many grade the film so harshly, for a few reasons I did enjoy it. First, the cast is straight out a Woody Allen Movie. Stars include Robert Deniro, Kathy Bates, F Murray Abraham (all Oscar winners) and Harvey Keitel, Gabriel Byrne and Geraldine Chaplin. Second, relative newcomer Adriana Dominguez is a pleasure to watch as Pepita. Third, the challenge of following the story line and time line kept my brain working non-stop for two plus hours. Although the presentation is a bit convoluted, if a movie keeps me engaged for its entire duration, it has done something right.
The downside, other than the muddled script, was the lackluster performance of Deniro. Most of the time his scenes were straight out of Saturday Night Live - cue cards and all. Bates and Keitel, on the other hand, were mesmerizing.
Based of course on Thornton Wilder's 1929 novel (he also wrote "Our Town" and "Hello, Dolly!"), the film suffers from spotty direction by (relative unknown) Mary McGuckian. Visually the picture is terrific, but she obviously has no feel for story telling.
Flawed film worth seeing for the acting (other than Deniro) and interaction between the characters.
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