Eddie is a very rich man who has everything he wants; money, family, success, but a car crash causes him to reevaluate the life he leads. Searching for the happiness he lost, he remembers his one-time lover, Gwen, even as his wife conspires to take his fortune...Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Florence finds the pictures in Eddie's desk, she picks them up and starts walking toward Eddie. The prints appear to be about 4" x 6". However, when she begins to tear them up in front of him, the prints become much larger - almost twice the size. See more »
OK, yes, I know, I'm nothing, I never was, but you! You could have been...
...What you could have been. ...What happened to you, Eddie? Must kill you to think what you might have been.
See more »
Deborah Kerr reportedly stopped doing movies after 1969 (even though she took film roles much later in life) because she no longer felt comfortable with the direction that the movie industry was going. After seeing "The Arrangement", I no longer question her sensitivity to the turbulent themes, language, and cinematography that was coming of age in the late 60's. On the surface, the film epitomizes many of the psychedelic themes of the era, from rampant flash-backs to cartoonized exclamations, such as "Bam!" and "Kerbloom!" splashing across the screen in bright neon colors. Beneath this, however, is the intensely challenging story of a man who wakes up one morning to discover that he detests the person that he has become. Kirk Douglas's Eddie Anderson will send chills up your spine as you watch him evolve from a successful advertising executive with the perfect house, the perfect job, and the perfect arrangement of both a wife and several mistresses, into a tormented, weakened man who despises himself enough to attempt suicide but believes in life enough not to carry through completely. His metamorphosis belies the chaotic style of the film; even though the erratic cinematography attempts to reflect his inner turmoil, the sense of peace that settles onto his face as the film progresses reveals that the reality of Eddie's mind is less insane than the reality of the world outside. He begins to see beyond the pretentions and fears that engulf the world around him and that had once turned him into a heartless executive,willing to convince consumers that cigarettes are good for them rather than lose a multi-million dollar client. Everyone around him, with the exception of Faye Dunaway, worships the "almighty dollar," and Eddie's release from this self-made prison allows him to make peace with himself, even as he makes enemies all around himself. Faye Dunaway is stunning and provocative as the insolent "office slut" who restores Eddie's faith in himself, ironically, by pointing out his flaws. In fact, she delivers what is possibly the most believable performance in the entire film, because her character, the strong, opinionated woman who accepts no sympathy for her decisions and weaknesses, has survived this tumultuous period much better than the character of say, the 60's housewife who desires nothing more than a maid, a swimming pool, and a wealthy husband. Deborah Kerr fills the role of Eddie's uncomprehending wife to perfection, even though anyone who has seen her in more flattering roles, as in her performance as Karen Holmes in "From Here to Eternity", won't be able to watch her portrayal of Florence Anderson without crying inwardly for the lost beauty of her earlier roles. Kerr is certainly ravishing in this film, despite the fruity-peach lipstick and the fluffy-headed hairstyle inflicted on her by the makeup department, but the uncertainty and bitterness that she plays to perfection in "The Arrangement" contrast sharply with the delicate mixture of sincerity and self-confidence that she exhibits in most of her early work. If you have not yet seen this film, make sure to read the book first. Elia Kazan's unique and personal style will illuminate the his meaning much more than any stylized cinematography could hope to. After reading the book, however, make sure to see the film, if only to admire the fine performances of the actors and to identify with the characters on a more immediate level. And, of course, just to watch the ever beautiful Deborah Kerr work her magic...
40 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this