Sunday, August 12, 2007


Not sure how this movie ended up on the Netflix queue, but it did. I was delighted when I saw it had William H. Macy, whom I first 'discovered' in Fargo (along with Steve Buscemi).

So here the titular character (played by Macy) is living the drab life of a businessman, without love, passion, or purpose. He has some sort of epiphany at a fortune teller's, and in a single night, he is thrust from his gilded-white life to darkness. A netflix customer review compared it to Falling Down, but I disagree. The theme might be similar, but Falling Down was thoroughly entertaining, and one could easily relate to and sympathize with Michael Douglas' character. Edmond was neither entertaining nor sympathetic. Falling Down was about a man who breaks. Edmond is about a nut-job.

The first third of the film seemed to hold great promise. The dialogue was drawn out, but seemed to be headed somewhere. I could easily relate to the protagonist's initial condition. Throw in Rebecca Pidgeon and Julia Stiles and I was quite optimistic. But then Edmond's slide into violence and darkness begins and it all gave way to utter nonsense.

Edmond rants non-stop about prejudice, race supremacy, truth-to-oneself, and living. I don't know what the David Mamet play was about, but the movie felt like a voyeuristic look at a lunatic, rather than an every-man falling into his own darkness and depravity. Whatever introspect Edmond was exploring was on the level of coherence and sophistication I would expect of my six year old.

I won't even bother to put the DVD back in to paraphrase this accurately, but while imprisoned, Edmond is ranting on about how no-one can know the truth about what we are, that no one could take it. Edmond's cell-mate (a black man, to throw in irony, who quickly made him his punk) joins in about how maybe animals can know because maybe they are left-behind aliens. Edmond agrees it's a possibility. With absurdity like that to obscure any depth, how can one take this movie seriously. I get what the screenplay was trying to say, but the movie utterly failed.

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