Reviews written by registered user
|12 reviews in total|
Various reviewers here told the story, I won't go into that, then.
YES, it is an absolute screwball comedy and the unlikeliness of events is patent. However, unlike many other so-called comedies, this one is, in my humble opinion, really funny. Why? Because, first and foremost, of Robert Downey Jr.'s acting. He's really worth the admission to see this movie. I couldn't help laughing especially at scenes when he, the lofty, almost tight-lipped, high-brow, "I've seen it all" type of man, is taken down, literally, by circumstances. Incredible how he manages to be credible even when the going couldn't get rougher...
So, my 6 out of 10 go to Downey Jr. and if they ask me if I recommend this movie, I'd tell them, yes, go see it if you want to have a good 1 1/2 hour laugh in a not-so-common comedy, although you will see scenes you have seen before. But Downey Jr. is well worth watching.
What an utterly horrible, misguided film! I just got the double-DVD
edition of this from you local library and I feel very fortunate to be
able to devolve it as fast as possible.
Other reviewers, thank God, have had the good taste of recognizing the intrinsic flaws of this flick (pun intended). It's out of any gender and type, out of context, to be true. Nothing is respected, neither the time this story is supposed to have happened, nor the music, nor anything. It's just a shrill, nincompoop attempt at assaulting our senses and our taste by a totally, fundamentally, inept director. One should really prohibit him from working, he's certainly better at selling hot dogs than making films! Well, it's ten years the flick was made. It seems to have gained a certain "cult" status, but very undeservedly so in my opinion. Taste is difficult, albeit impossible to discuss, the Latin proverb says is, but nevertheless I had to get rid of my bad feelings about this.
I know, Marcel Carné is a genius of a filmmaker, the actors in the film
are the cream-de-la-cream of French cinema of the 30s an onward, BUT -
this film here lacks so much of a coherent storyline that I dropped out
about 3/4 of the way.
In my humble opinion, a film first and foremost should be intelligent in what it tries to tell. Film-making is storytelling. Art-pour-l'art is a pretentious pose. Hiding a week storyline behind "artful" filming is a shame.
The great Marcel Carné obviously made better films than this one. Quai de Brumes, made just one year later (in 1938) is a stand-out example and small wonder it is unforgettable even today. Nobody can ever forget Jean Gabin's both subdued and passionate acting.
Here, in Drole de Drame, we have great actors going wild until everything gets absolutely out of control. The classic screwball comedy of a type never seen before in French cinema (and, possibly, never after). The whole is overdone, unfortunately. This makes you cringe and lose interest.
I should not have watched this film! Well I did, otherwise, I wouldn't
be able to judge it, of course, however I went at it with obviously the
wrong perspective. I have grown to like films involving the scary
Hannibal Lecter character with more emotional depth, not plainly gory
Here we are: the *violence* is what disturbed me the most of this film, compared to the other two in the trilogy. I hate overt violence depicted in films as such violence causes real violence we live through in our daily lives. Scientific studies prove this, no need for me to ramble about this here. The Hannibal Lector trilogy had, in my humble opinion, the original aim of trying to grasp hold psychologically of the horrors a man like Hannibal Lecter has inside him. In this film, "Hannibal", all is perverted to mere flashy effects (e.g. the brain-eating scene: repugnant, absolutely repugnant), poor characterization of the persons (the disfigured Verger, why were there minutes and minutes and minutes we have to look at his horrible face??) and a very clear intention of making even more money, the easy way, this time.
I am not alone, another commenter here has also expressed his disgust and I commend him for that. This film could have so much better. It ruined the trilogy. I threw my DVD away as soon as I had watched the film.
I hope you don't mind but I'll be one more of the few here to comment
very negatively indeed about this film.
Let me say first that I AM a Bond fan and proudly own the Bond DVD collection with all 20+1 films. Every single one of these has it's charms, the more modern ones are those I like least, but nevertheless, they are OK.
Now this new Casino Royale Bond edition is beyond all comparison. It's a mere action flick, a brutal one to boot with unnecessary, explicit violence that has nothing to do in a Bond movie. Craig is a great actor and how well he tackles his task of interpreting this Bond here, speaks in his favor. The feel, the story, the settings are wrong, unreal, out of context, badly put together. I didn't get what it was all about! The actors run and come and go and do all kinds of things without any background explanation and logic. The settings very wildly from a high-speed luxury train in supposedly Montenegro, when there are no such trains there at all, to Venice where houses collapse selectively without damaging others, etc.etc. It's all such a mix-up, a terrible sauce to excite, more than superficially, a gullible, eat-it-all-if-it-cracks-and-pops public obviously accustomed to bad action flicks to the point of becoming mindless creeps. What a pain! Great God in Heaven...
I have just watched this film, my impressions are still fresh.
Actually, I watched the film before informing myself here on IMDb and
should have done it, apparently, to understand it better. If you watch
the film without any background information, you are thrown in cold in
a person's life and destiny that is completely unbelievable, unlikely
and utterly disturbing. Here actually lies my point of criticism: This
movie does NOT explain, WHY Brandon is like he/she is. Where does this
condition come from, what has happened to her/him? The film should have
started earlier to put us in the picture. It would have been much more
convincing, had we been given the chance to see a "more feminine"
character first. Or get some sort of empathy. For a person with
"normal" sexual orientation, it is virtually impossible to relate to
Brandon's behaviour, in my humble opinion. I was left shaking my head
more than once thinking: "a person behaving like that calls for
trouble". Why couldn't Brandon have been more discreet? Why so
blatantly offend those small-town hillbillies? He/she must have known
that stupid country people cannot relate to persons behaving otherwise
than according to fixed, pre-established behavioural patterns. In a big
city you do what you want, but in the countryside, stay low-key, for
Aside from this, Hilary Swank's performance was astounding and small wonder she won a deserved Oscar. I consider Hilary Swank to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, by the way.
Folks, I don't know what you all see in this film! I first read comments posted here, then rented the DVD in our local library and watched it, every minute going by with greater anger. I felt disgusted about the horrible vulgarity, gross language, over-the-top characterization of persons, unreal plot. Kevin Kline got an Oscar - for what, for Heaven's sake? He plays such a hateful nincompoop, I felt positively pestered by him. Maybe I took that flick too literally, but even in a raucous comedy without any taste, I ask for some logic. This one had none. John Cleese, for me, saved the film, he made me watch it through (painfully). I admire this actor, he IS one of a kind. He should have got the Oscar, not Kline!! Well, to sum it up, I handed the DVD back to the library and was happy to have it out of my system (sigh of relief).
Much has been said about the plot and the actors of the film, I won't
go into it in more details, just give a few personal impressions.
First of all, the film has excellent actors in the main roles, Romy Schneider, Rod Steiger and Jean Rochefort being absolutely brilliant, every single one in very memorable roles. However, there are also, inexplicably, weak actors such as Paolo Giusti (one of my previous commentators has already stated this correctly) which lead me to believe that Claude Chabrol really was not up to his great level in this film. Whatever it was, something is definitely wrong, the camera angles and shots, the story, how the plot is linked - you watch the film, it sucks you in, but leaves you with a strange feeling of unfilled expectations! Secondly, what buggers me very much indeed is the horrible mixture of dubbed and non-dubbed voices. I have had the chance of watching the French and English version on DVD and caught myself switching from one to the other for getting the respective voices in their original. Yes, and another commentator here said rightly, Rod Steiger spoke English, of course. And *lots* of his acting power and prowess went into *how* he spoke! Unforgettable, how, at the beginning of the film, he plays the "impaired", soon-to-be-betrayed husband of a too beautiful wife. Romy Schneider spoke both languages in the English and the French version. The other French actors, as the great Jean Rochefort in the memorable court room scene (hilarious) spoke French to great advantage. And Paolo Giusti is speaking I don't know what, absolutely impossible to figure out, he sound horrible in whatever version you listen to. You see, it's a complete mixture. Very disturbing, very un-French. All cinephiles know the French cinema to excel in the art of direct sound recording and captivating the original actor's voices marvelously. Why on Earth did Claude Chabrol make such a mess here? Why not have chosen all-French actors and make another one of his great films? This one isn't one, even it it entertains you, in a certain, unfulfilled way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let's start off with a resume, courtesy of Light Night Productions,
Switzerland, www.lightnight.ch/2004_aularge.html: Alex, a professional
tourist guide, is asked to welcome Sacha,a young woman of Russian
extraction. She has participated in a contest and, consequently, won a
one-week stay in Geneva. From the outset, the young woman shakes up
Alex's plans and drags him along with her through a risky and hazardous
treasure-hunt at the confines of Eastern Switzerland. Wanted by the
police and hunted down by the mafia, Alex and Sacha decide to shake off
their pursuers by moving about more slowly than the others: they then
advance through lakes and other roundabout ways. While Alex and Sacha
sink deeply into an ever stranger Switzerland, they will observe,
discover, oppose and finally love each other to the vanishing point.
This here is a very unusual look at Switzerland, the peaceful country where never ever anything happens that breaks a well-organized routine. This film here tries to be a road-movie, without, in my opinion, really succeeding. Switzerland is too small for this kind of adventure, I am myself a Swiss (not even a stolid one) and know what I'm talking about. Furthermore, there are many implausibilities and, alas, some overdone acting (such as the most unlikely Gilles Tschudi). Jean-Luc Bideau and Maria Schneider are the real kings in this movie with more than moving and credible characters.
However, if you are into mystery, accept some story loopholes and genre-mixing, then this will be a rewarding two hours spent watching Switzerland as you've never seen it.
I'm sorry folks, but these enthusiastic reviews on this prestigious site about this movie "Respiro" are very strange, to say the least. Is craziness picturesque, I ask and didn't find an answer. Of course, the movie is beautifully filmed, at part it's almost a documentary. But then, the fact is that when it comes to the women Grazia, she shows every sign of a deep illness and I was wondering throughout the movie what the heck she has. Her behavior is absolutely worrisome and the (shocked) citizens of the village are very right indeed in wanting to send her off to a proper institution to see what can be done about her condition. She needs treatment, urgently! Behaviour like hers is inferno to everybody around her, her husband, the poor children (especially) and the fellow citizens. Let's not be falsely romantic about this! I hated this condoning portrait of a mentally ill. WHY, for God's sake, should the husband not want to have her cured or at least try to do this? Why the horror of going to Milan (a big city, sure, but lots of possibilities of capable persons to cure her)? Narrowmindedness? Irresponsibility? Anyway, I inspired myself on this site for renting the movie on DVD and after seeing it I HAD to post this for others to make themselves an opinion on it. Frankly, I understand why the movie did not get any further as an INDICATION to the Cannes selection...
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