Tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit set in a run down hotel which plays host to mentally ill people too poor to afford medical insurance.Tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit set in a run down hotel which plays host to mentally ill people too poor to afford medical insurance.Tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit set in a run down hotel which plays host to mentally ill people too poor to afford medical insurance.
a) Enjoy Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay collaborations b) Thirst insatiably for explosions, car chases and sex scenes featuring silicone-enhanced blondes c) Are considering this film only because you're a Mel Gibson fan...
THEN DON'T RENT "THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL"! YOU WILL LIKELY HATE IT!
Otherwise, you might want to give this one a shot. MDH is far, far off the beaten Hollywood path. It's a quiet, understated film that finds beauty and grace in very unlikely places. Bono and Wim Wenders have put together a love story so unconventional that it nearly defies description... it is certainly NOT a "tragi-comic, romantic whodunnit", despite the IMDb plot summary. It's a tale of quiet desperation and pervasive sadness that dares to violate pretty much every unwritten rule in the movie business... further off the wall than "Being John Malkovich" but infinitely more subtle and ultimately smarter.
On the surface it's a tale narrated by an idiot (a dead one at that) which signifies very little. Set in a run-down hotel in which mentally-ill derelicts and freaks are squatting, the film primarily follows Tom-Tom (Jeremy Daviess), a deceptively simple fool who is madly in love with a schizophrenic girl (Milla Jovovich)--who is a heartachingly beautiful hybrid of the Virgin Mary and the Whore of Babylon. The plot is fairly intriguing-- Hardass cop Mel Gibson is investigating the mysterious death of a tycoon's prodigal junkie son. The crazies at the hotel devise an elaborate con job to profit from this tragedy... provided they can bluff a snooty art critic and keep the cops distracted.
Some humorous moments ensue. But the plot is almost irrelevant here. The film works because of the engaging oddball characters (especially Peter Stormare as an obsessive Beatles fan and Jimmy Smits as a bizarre Native American "artist"), because of the brilliantly surreal, postapocalyptic cinematography, and because the sheer naked unhappiness of the film crawls inside of you and doesn't go away for several days. Bono's script, like the best of his music, is deeply cynical about society, but retains a faith in the salvation of individuals. It is neither a comedy, a drama, or a romance... it really just plays out like a bittersweet existential ballad. The only romantic scene features an idiot and a schizoid whore who never actually have sex... but it's one of the most touching love scenes ever captured on film. If that sounds like your cup of tea, check out "The Million Dollar Hotel". I don't think you'll be disappointed.
- Jun 3, 2001