Sunday, January 16, 2005

Crimson Gold (2003)

You know when they say choking yourself during orgasm makes it better? TRY THIS!

Drama (Iran)

Starring: Hossain Emadeddin, Kamyar Sheisi

Directed By: Jafar Panahi

Overview: A pizza delivery man begins to go insane. We follow him for a week, watching those events that drive him to his suicide in the film's opening.

Acting: The acting by Hossain is really well done, aloof, appropriately underdramatic. Overall, there was nothing that stood out as being grand, but this film couldn't have allowed it, it was very subdued, and quite on purpose. This was a character study, and acting was of the utmost. It held up very well.
Rating: 7

The cinematography isn't anything spectacular, the shots of his home were appropriately claustrophobic, but a few night scenes could have been less dark, a few scenes of grandeur could have done with more appropriate lenses. Often it took away from the scene, so this gets a "barely good" rating.
Rating: 6

The script has to be great in these character studies to work. Since we're watching a man's life unfold, the dialogue had better be captivating, because real-life tends not to be. The script is believable and appropriately banal. Scattered amongst are some pretty well-written lines, clearly indicating that the writer was fully capable.
Rating: 7

The plot is weak. Unfortunately we begin with a suicide and are lead to learn why, as opposed to a watching a tragic descent ending in suicide. In a way the whole film was ruined, and the second scene took me a while to realize it was a week earlier, and not a few minutes later... Foreign films also tend to presume a lot about it's audience's intelligence in that they often make the mistake of explaining very little. The connect is there but I found I had to look for it. The continuity was good but there should have been a touch more in the character defining moments.
Rating: 5

The mood is encroaching and dark, like the cinematography. I don't particular remember the score, hence it had no impact. It was plain that this movie was in the relatively low-budget category, and the film suffered a little because of it, instead of having the gritty theme that was intended. Still though, there was something about the movie that kept me entertained, and the mood must really have done a lot for me. That second-last scene, in that palatial apartment watching Hussein by the pool really impressed me.
Rating: 7

...just don't do it in traffic

Overall Rating: 64% (The Gold Washes Right Off...)

Aftertaste: This movie had some pretty mixed reviews (one compared it to Taxi Driver's main character Travis Bickle, which frankly was the inspiration for me to see it) and I liked the idea. I really wanted to like this movie, and never found myself bored by it. The dark nature of the story sustained me very well, and I'm a little surprised at the low score that I just gave it, but I saw a greater potential that it delivered. I probably enjoyed this more than you would. It'll drift away pretty quickly, but it was a good story (though the score may not indicate that).